Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (FinTech Hackathon, Newark Tech Week, Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, Blueprint Demo Day, NYU Stern Summit, FinTech Meetup)

sponsor_garys_red_tie_new

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

So Google just launched Google Nose (smelling is believing!) and Google Maps now has a Treasure View mode, while Virgin is creating a glass-bottomed plane, Twitter will start charging $5 per month for vowels and Youtube is shutting down. Hmmmm… either I am hallucinating or it must be April Fools Day!

I recently came across something awesome: brainstorming sessions between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan for the movie Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark (easily one of my all-time faves). There were five consecutive nine-hour, day-long sessions, and it’s fascinating to see their thought process as the characters and story are fleshed out. Here’s the New Yorker‘s abbreviated take. Read More

Demo Daze

Inaugural Blueprint Health Startups Pitch Investors on Disrupting Health Industry

IMAG0033

Nine startups demo’ed today at Blueprint Health, the health-tech startup incubator nestled in a Soho office that opened its first session in January. The room was packed, the rock music was at an appropriate volume, and the sandwiches ran out before Betabeat got there (early!).

But what followed was a highly-polished series of demos, following the formula: introduction by a mentor, pitch, market opportunity, amount being raised and for what, and team. Most teams were highly polished, although the startups seemed to go from more to less compelling. “This is like extreme startup makeover!” one mentor said in his intro.

The companies are raising between $350,000 to $750,000 each. A survey of the guests showed a smattering of investors, a smattering of entrepreneurs, a few journalists and a vast number of Blueprint mentors.

On to the demos. Read More

Accelerators

Another Health Tech Incubator Springs Forth in New York

Mr. Ellis.

New York is already home to one health-centric incubator: Blueprint Health, a member of the Global Accelerator Network which includes TechStars and more than 40 other incubators. It’s also the homebase of the Startup Health Academy, a mentoring program with an eye on the long-term. With Health 2.0 opening an office in New York, that makes three major resources for health tech companies; and with today’s launch of Gramercy-based WellTech, that makes four. Trend-plus?

WellTech, a health and wellness-focused incubator, announced its first two incubatees today, the charmingly-named FITiST and Wizpert. The two startups–and more to be announced in the coming months–will receive guidance, office space in Union Square, mentoring and marketing support for six months, with the possibility of extension.  Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Next Jump Brings Technology Into More NYC Classrooms, Behance Gets an Upgrade

The new Behance

HOP SCOTCH. New York City based Next Jump, a company that strives to better match consumers with businesses, has raised over $500,000 to bring technology into more than 750 classrooms. The campaign, which started late last year, funds projects submitted through DonorsChoose by shoppers on OO.com, Next Jump’s discounts and deals website. The initiative has already impacted the lives of 85,000 NYC students, most of them in needy public schools.

TARGET MARKET. PeerIndex, the social influence marketing platform, has raised nearly $3 million in Series A funding led by Antrak Capital. NYC resident and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer also invested in the round. PeerIndex, whose CTO is New York tech evangelist Sanford Dickert,  seeks to identify “influential individuals” on social media and “facilitates sampling interactions between brands and these influencers.” Sounds effective—but kind of creepy. Read More

Vitamins

Not an Incubator. Not an Accelerator. An ‘Academy.’ Startup Health Announces Inaugural Class

do not want. (flickr.com/katerha)

Healthcare startups have a rough go of it. They don’t generate the buzz and excitement of a new private photo-sharing app or a virtual pinboard for moms, and they’re taking on one of the most tangled, frustrating, illogical industries around. The premise of Startup Health is to support healthcare companies by putting them in a class with their peers and then providing them with resources and advice as needed.

Right now, Startup Health’s mentoring program, or “academy,” has no campus and no roster of splashy name mentors. But ideally, the program will encourage innovation and growth and give the entrepreneurs moral support.  Read More

Accelerators

Blueprint Health, a TechStars Incubator, Opens First Sesh

Blueprint Health, an incubator for health-related startups that closed its funding and opened for applications in the fall, started today with nine companies, just one from New York (Patient Communicator), one from China (iCouch), one from Dubai and the rest from the U.S. The program is three months long and very similar to TechStars, which open sourced its model so that other incubators could be part of the TechStars Network. The incubator also added ten new mentors, reports TechCrunch, including Andy Weissman of Union Square Ventures.

the startup rundown

Startup News: Fitocracy Mobilizes, Exfm Extends and Blueprint Health and Facebook Both Want You

Fitocracy goes mobile.

FITOCRACY MOBILE. “After what seems like an eternity, we’ve finally released the very first version of our mobile web app. That’s right, you can now log your workouts on the go if you have an iPhone or an Android phone!”

INCUBATE ME. Blueprint Health recently closed its fund and opened for applications.  “The program will be launching on Jan 9, 2012 with an application deadline of November 13.”

FACE ME. Facebook is hiring in New York. Via Inside Startups, the company is seeking a “Strategic Partner Development, Media” with “high levels of creativity and strategic thinking, extensive experience in the media industry, eight-or-more years experience, including 5 years of related partner or partner facing experience, a proven track record of initiating and successfully driving new business opportunities, exceptional communication and presentation skills.”

NEW MUSIC. Exfm is about to release its next major version, due out this afternoon. Look for a “push play music experiences available at ex.fm, new extensions for Firefox and Safari, plus a completely revamped one for Chrome” as well as a new embeddable site player for music blogs.

NEW GILT CITY. “Gilt City is excited to announce that we have acquired Joe Bastianich and Jeff Zalaznick’s upscale private dining booking engine, DinePrivate.com. Gilt City’s acquisition of DinePrivate.com will allow members access to over 90 of New York’s top private dining accommodations in restaurants such as Del Posto, Bluefin, Megu, Marc Forgione and Da Silvano.” Read More

Welcome to New Fit City

New Union Square Incubator From the TechStars Network Is Taking Applications From Health Startups

greys_anatomy

Betabeat has been trying to warn you that the healthcare revolution was coming to tech industry. But Blueprint Health might finally be able to get you out from behind your standing desks and pay attention. Xconomy reports that Blueprint, a member of the TechStars Network, is opening an incubator in January and already taking applications for health-related ventures.

The TechStars connection comes in because members of the network  share best practices across accelerators. In keeping with that model, startups get $20,000 in seed funding and Blueprint takes 6 percent equity. Partner Brad Weinberg, who started his first company, Shape Up, in 2006, says Blueprint, which expects to get 300 applications for 10 spots in the inaugural class, has raised $400,000 and is setting up “a really cool space”  in Union Square. But like TechStars, the big draw seems to be the mentors. Read More