New York City’s startup scene is nothing if not symbiotic and self-motivated. So it came as no surprise that yesterday afternoon, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures’ founder Charlie O’Donnell had already started organizing a list of available office space under the Twitter hashtag #sandycoworking. Some people will take any excuse to keep working!
Today, even more startups and coworking hubs have opened their doors, like Mirror, a social discovery platform for dating, social and professional purposes, which launched in March. ”As a startup founder and CEO, I understand how important it is to be productive. Each day is critical in the life of a startup,” Mirror CEO and founder Daniel Mattio said in a press release.
If you end up using Mirror’s office, we bet a “Fuck it, Ship It” sticker would make an appropriate thank-you gift.
Teach Me How to Startup
New York University’s premier tech club, Tech@NYU, is in the midst of its annual Startup Week. This year’s series of panels featuring familiar faces from Silicon Alley are all organized under the theme ”Hacking as a mentality.”
Hence last night’s event starring Charlie O’Donnell, partner of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, and David Tisch, the former Read More
Teach Me How to Startup
Since 2009, brothers Scott and Daniel Stedman have been hosting the Northside Festival in Williamsburg and Greenpoint as a cultural showcase for emerging indie bands, filmmakers, and other artistic aspirants of what one might call the McCarren Park Kickball Guild. In fact, the Stedman brothers have staked their careers on the better borough. Ten years ago, they launched L Magazine. Their company, Northside Media Group, is also responsible for Brooklyn Magazine, BAMBill and Summerscreen. “Fairly early on,” CEO Scott Stedman told Betabeat, “We saw that Brookyn was becoming a national adjective for what’s next in the creative community.”
But this year, the brothers are doing something a little different with their “discovery festival”–setting aside two days in the week-long schedule to celebrate the newest members of Brooklyn’s creative class.
“A few years back, people would be graduating college and launching bands and today we feel as often one roommate will be launching a band and the other will be launching a new app or a new website,” said Mr. Stedman. “They’ll be living together and hanging out together and they often come out of Brooklyn and identify themselves as New York.” Yeah, we think we know the type.
A week after we wondered whether Dumbo has hit maximum capacity–cobblestone streets, now in limited supply!–venture capitalists have arrived to big ups the borough.
Will Porteous, general partner at Manhattan-based RRE Ventures, tells peHUB that Brooklyn may just be the best place to launch, pointing out that eight RRE portfolio companies call Brooklyn home. Err, make that “were.” Drop.io and Hot Potato were acquired (or acqui-hired, depending on who you ask) by Facebook in 2010, but that still leaves HowAboutWe, MakerBot, Pontiflex, and more for serious street cred.
Brooklyn Bridge Ventures founder Charlie O’Donnell, formerly of First Round Capital, does Mr. Porteous one better, wondering if Facebook will even be able to make devs happy from its stodgy Midtown perch. Estimating that “50 percent of people who work at venture-backed startups live in Brooklyn,” Mr. O’Donnell thinks the exodus has already begun.
the startup rundown
2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.
CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David Tisch, Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.
AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here.
This morning, Hustler VC Oren Bennett pointed Betabeat’s attention to a list of judges and emcees for the annual SXSW Accelerator, a competition sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark that culminates in awards for four lucky startups. Not as coveted a prize as the Breakout Award–which helped catapult Twitter, Foursquare, and then GroupMe to fame, financing, and an acquisition–perhaps, but a nice trophy all the same.
We already introduced you to the four Made In NYC companies that will be competing, but here’s a look at who’s deciding their fate.
Cowork With Me?
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.
On his blog this morning, New York City tech stalwart Charlie O’Donnell announced the creation of a new seed investment fund called Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. Mr. O’Donnell, who used to bike the 9.2 miles from his home in Bay Ridge to his last job—principal at First Round Capital in Union Square—says his is the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn and that the borough “has the potential to be the very best place in the world to start a technology business.”
Business Insider‘s sources say Mr. O’Donnell’s fund will be $10 million. Betabeat has heard somewhere in the range of $10 million to $20 million and that Quotidian Ventures might be his first big LP, although Mr. O’Donnell would not return earlier calls to confirm. We have reached out to Quotidian and will update the post when we hear back.
the startup rundown
DIVERSITY. Black Techies Meetup is tonight. “This meetup exists because I was damn tired of being the only black person at other tech meetups,” says Tumblr dev Kyle Wanamaker. “We aim to be a network of developers in NYC interested in becoming better, learning from each other and networking. Developers of all skill levels are welcome, from experienced hardcore, neckbeard hackers, to n00bs. If you want to be awesome, or more awesome, I hope you can find yourself at home here.” 7 p.m., at Tumblr’s HQ.
BE SEEN WITH CAFFEINE
Coffee Shop (Will M.
, foursquare.com) vs. Friend of a Farmer (Fred W.
The Coffee Shop in Union Square, located on the bustling corner of 17th St. and Union Square West, is famous for several things: the waitresses are models, it turns into a Brazilian dance club on the weekends, was voted Best Bar for Modelizers in the Village Voice, and New York says it boasts a “high risk of poor service and unpleasant encounters with attitudinal (but often pretty) people” but praised the crayons and puzzle place mats for kids. This noisy, WiFi-less den is famous for something else within the tight-knit community of Silicon Alley: it serves as the de facto meeting place for VCs and founders such as Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson and IA Ventures’ Roger Ehrenberg. “Pitch your startup to First Round Capital here. They’re right across the street,” says the Foursquare tip left by Charlie O’Donnell.