Betabeat Approves A Thing
Cowork With Me?
With two Kickstarter projects breaking the $800,000 barrier in the same day, the mothership of crowdfunding sites is having its moment. We had a hunch this was coming when investors on recent panel about women in venture capital called out, unprompted, to Perry Chen, hoping he might be in the market for funding. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
So like any dutiful Kickstarter devotee, Hype Machine founder Anthony Volodkin did what he does best, build “apps that allow us to discover and enjoy new things.” Enter Kickstumbler: a site and tool bar that lets you stumble upon projects you might have otherwise missed. “This was made over a few weekends, sometimes, truly instead of sleeping,” Mr. Volodkin told Betabeat by email. It was a labor of love for what his team calls Hype Machine Labs. “It’s a name we use when making something not explicitly related to the core site.”
Others have tried and failed to make a coworking space grow in Williamsburg. (The Makery is dead! Long live, Bnter’s new office!) But “real estate professionals” and born-and-raised Brooklynites Morris Levy and Richard Beyda may have the home-court advantage. The duo opened The Yard, a 14,000 square foot coworking space, in November and are already at 65 percent capacity.
A number of tech companies, including Hype Machine, Wanderfly, Mobile Roadie and Uber are already working out of the space, as well as a few startups still in splash page mode, like Gander TV and Spotflux. Somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of The Yard‘s residents are techies, although that wasn’t exactly the owners’ intention. “We knew there was a need in Williamsburg/Greenpoint for something like this, but we didn’t realize the tech scene was happening here and that that was the direction it was going to go,” Mr. Levy told Betabeat by phone.
Now that the startup syngery is under way, however, The Yard has been “planning strategic alliances” with angel investors whose portfolio companies might be interested in working there. For example, Mr. Levy said he’s currently in talks with Brooklyn Bridge Ventures founder and First Round Capital alum Charlie O’Donnell, who launched a Kings County-centric seed fund last month.
App of the Week
On stage at LeWeb in Paris, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sent a tremor that we imagine reached all the way back at Pandora headquarters in Oakland. TechCrunch Alexia Tsotsis reports that Mr. Ek “innocuously” introduced a radio app, built on the company’s recently released app platform by Spotify’s dev team in New York.
His pitch: “It’s kind of like Pandora with unlimited skipping and unlimited stations.”
Except for the fact that Pandora has a mobile version, and Spotify’s app is still confined to the web (for now), it’s hard to imagine that Pandora, which caps users to 100 stations and eight song skips, isn’t feeling threatened.
It took the team at Hype Machine 18 months to complete their new iPhone app, but just one day to become the #2 program among paid music apps.
“We were working on a lot of different things at once, and with a small team that really slows you down,” says Hype Machine Read More