Not a Hackathon
million dollar listing
When Betabeat walked into Code&Beats, the dance party meets hackathon held last night at the Centre for Social Innovation in Chelsea, we saw an event with a lot of potential to get people excited about the world of code.
But despite the great location, De La Soul headlining the show, tons of programmers and an enthusiastic crowd, the night was a somber flop.
Soon, Chelsea is going to be one, big Googleplex. The search behemoth is close to signing a 360,000 square-foot lease at 85 10th Ave for space that wasn’t even listed as on the market.
Today, Spotify made a big announcement: The company is expanding its local presence, with plans to hire an additional 130 engineers by the end of 2014. That’ll make New York home to the company’s largest office outside of Stockholm, with the bulk of the employees being engineers.
Rather than simply sending a press release or flying in Frank Ocean, the company had Mayor Bloomberg deliver the news at their current home in the Google building.
“The right engineering talent is here in New York. More and more that’s going to be true,” the mayor whistled his familiar refrain. He also announced that his office now has its own Spotify profile, which he personally approved. (Enjoy the mental image of Bloomberg bopping along to B.I.G.’s “Juicy.”)
Give it up for GOOG, boys and girls: Later this morning, the search behemoth is expected to announce an initiative to blanket southwest Chelsea with free Wifi. That’ll mean easier access to the Internet for not just Chelsea Market shoppers and Google employees, but also residents of the NYCHA-run Fulton Houses and several local public schools.
Nice to see someone getting after that digital divide.
With the recent news that prolific investment firm Accel Partners finally hired David Eisenberg as their first New York ombudsman, Betabeat figured it was time to survey the scene at the company’s NYC HQ, located on the 16th floor of 111 8th Avenue, better known as “The Google Building.” Not much photographic evidence of the office exists online, but we’ve compiled a few images that will give you a peak into the luxurious digs of one of the world’s foremost venture capital firms. Aside from modern-looking glass conference rooms and a prime location near Chelsea Market, the view from the office balcony is worth the click alone–we don’t typically use the word “breathtaking,” but it truly is.
moving on up to the east side
When Google first moved to 111 Eighth Ave. in Chelsea, developers expected to see the neighborhood turn into another Silicon Alley, with office tenants providing ancillary services to the tech giant. But that’s not quite what happened. Instead, what Chelsea got in the vicinity of the GOOG were condos, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Kusisto, and the developers are attempting to mimic some of Google’s funky, hip, startup-style design tics.
Surprise! The most lucrative neighborhood for getting venture capital deals done is not the tech corridor from DogPatch Labs to the top of Madison Square Park that seems to emanate from Fred Wilson’s office in Union Square. In fact, according to data from the research firm CB Insights, the epicenter is northeast of that, closer to Gilt Groupe’s Park Avenue offices, between 32nd and 33rd Streets. Their zipcode, 10016, happens to be the hottest in the city for securing venture capital.
Maybe it’s a lucky office? Gilt co-founders Alexandra Wilkis Wilson and Alexis Maybank, along with angel investor Doubleclick co-founder Kevin Ryan—and their $270 million in funding—work out of the space formerly home to Right Media, which was successfully sold to Yahoo in 2007.
While SoHo, Union Square and Chelsea are still start-up hubs, CB Insights data shows that a particular stretch from the mid-20s to the 40s on the East Side—covering Kips Bay, Turtle Bay, and Murray Hill—saw 40 VC deals worth a combined $351.8 million since 2009. If you stretch it out to the mid-50s on the East Side, that’s 76 deals amounting to more than $840 million. The numbers were enough to make the New York Post declare that the area they’d like to call Silicon Park (meh?) is giving Silicon Alley a run for its VC money. But is it really?