Up and Comers

19-Year-Old Tech Pro Wants to Revolutionize News, Will Drop Out of School If Necessary

Mr. Meyer demos Fresco for us at a WeWork coworking space downtown. (Photo by Jordyn Taylor)

John Meyer isn’t sure if he’ll go back to school in the fall.

Currently finishing up his freshman year at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, the 19-year-old’s course load hasn’t taught him much he didn’t already know. After all, Mr. Meyer’s been developing apps — some of them hugely successful — since the App Store launched in 2008, and has been using his earnings to support himself since his sophomore year of high school.

Now, he’s certain his latest project — a news app called Fresco, which launched today — is going to revolutionize the journalism industry. Read More

App for That

Ben Huh’s News Startup Circa Aims to Change the Way Users Consume Mobile News

(Photo: Circa blog)

In recent months, LOLcat emperor and  Bravo TV star Ben Huh has systematically leaked handfuls of details about his news startup, Circa, to the press. Back in April, Circa raised $750,000 from a slew of investors (many of whom were named David). In May, Nieman Lab caught up with Mr. Huh at ROFLCON, where he provided buzzword-laden answers and metaphors involving newspapers and teenagers to their questions about the startup. But today, Mr. Huh’s efforts have finally solidified into a cohesive company: Circa is an iPhone app that wants to change the way readers consume news.

Circa isn’t just a news aggregator. It employs teams of editors who curate and synthesize news stories into digestible bites, optimized for reading on mobile devices. The point is to write stories that are designed exclusively for mobile, instead of repackaging stories released on other platforms and trying to fit them into a mobile setting. Read More

The Third Degree

Quotidian Ventures and Its Venezuelan Founder Have Quietly Funded 34 New York Startups

Mr. Picón.

Pedro Torres Picón is an angel investor of the new breed: Young, hip, and handy with an Instagram, it’s suddenly clear how he managed to make his way into a slew of impressive investments despite moving to New York two years ago without knowing a soul. Mr. Picón has an easy manner, a sweet smile and a certain trustworthiness about him; and, in this town, being personable is most of the battle.

It doesn’t hurt that he’s sharp. Read More