the startup rundown

Startup News: Time’s NYC 10 in Tech, Rx Sunglasses Online and Amazon’s Hot Sister

(Source: Warby Parker)

PERFECT TEN. Last Wednesday Time Inc. brought together editors from many of their news properties to bestow upon us the “10 NYC Startups to Watch.” Only in the startup picking game since lat year’s Internet Week, Time Inc. has already picked winners like GroupMe, which was purchased by Skype for a supposed $85 milion.

The startups that made the cut for 2012 are Adaptly, a social advertising platform;, the Pandora of art; Codeacademy, an interactive self-paced tool to learn to code; Enterproid, a mobile platform to segregate work from personal information on a single mobile device; Fab—you already know what Fab does; Fancy Hands, a provider of virtual personal assistants; Loosecubes, a matchmaker for workers and workspaces SideTour; a community marketplace for booking and hosting adventures, Stamped; a five-star-only mobile rating app and Truth Art Beauty; an online platform where users can custom-create skincare blends.

FOUNDER POWER. This Friday Women 2.0 is hosting their New York Founder Friday at 16 East 34th Street. Featured founders Cheryl Yeoh of CityPockets and Eloise Bune of GraciousEloise will begin speaking at 7 p.m. but the event will kick off at 6 p.m. with an introduction by Matt Wolfrom of Makovsky and Company, the event’s sponsor. Founder Friday is free, and open to people of all genders, unlike the LOL-inducing “Jews against the Internet” rally, which is $10 and closed to women. Unfortunately, Founder Friday is already at capacity. Add your name to the wait list and cross your fingers.

RALLY IN THE ALLEY. The Association for a Better New York Foundation and Mayor Bloomberg honored the city’s technology leaders in Union Square last Thursday including Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley, Greycroft’s Alan Patricof, ideeli CEO Paul Hurley and NYTM cofounder Dawn Barber. The Lew Rudin Founder’s Award went to New York City deputy mayor for economic development Robert Steel. Read More

Unrefused Offers

CityPockets Founder Cheryl Yeoh on Her Start-Up’s First Acquisition and the Emerging WeWork Mafia


Last week, New York-based e-coupon organizer CityPockets announced the acquisition of the month-old, one-man start-up Dealburner, a real-time SMS notification for daily deals based on the Foursquare API. DealBurner was created by Jason Fertel after he and his two co-founders decided to abandon their group-texting start-up Freespeech, which seemed doomed despite sending half a million texts a day just because there were so many bigger start-ups doing the same thing. Both CityPockets CEO Cheryl Yeoh and Mr. Fertel worked out of the Soho co-working space WeWork Labs, which has seen companies formed, funded by angel investors and accepted into incubators since it opened in April.

Betabeat caught up with Ms. Yeoh to ask about plans for DealBurner.  Read More

Group Buying Mania

New Data From Groupon Confirms It’s Peaked in Older Markets


Bad news for group buying from local daily deal aggregator  and number-cruncher Yipit. Following on some earlier analysis based on the start-up’s S-1 filing, the initial paperwork required for an IPO, Yipit finds that Groupon’s numbers are getting worse with time. In Boston, the company’s second-oldest market, subscribers are buying fewer Groupons and revenue per merchant is waning, Yipit’s Vinicius Vicanti writes. As Groupon spends more to acquire new customers, its subscriber base is buying fewer Groupons. “That’s not good,” is Mr. Vicanti’s kicker. Read More

Silicon Alley Redux

Fever Pitch! New Yorkers Go Starry-Eyed for Start-Ups

nytm illo

“I can’t tell you the whole idea.” The Internet entrepreneur on the other end of the phone sounded panicky. “It’s going to sound ludicrous and ambitious, more ludicrous and ambitious than most.”

The voice belonged to a 27-year-old Stanford law student—“just about the oldest you can be where I cannot remember not having a computer”—who was in New York last week to talk to people about his new concept for a website.

He gave a few vague descriptors that could apply to half the start-ups in New York.

“I definitely don’t want it in the newspaper,” he said. “I’m worried that even little sign posts toward what I want to build are dangerous.” Read More


IDoneThis Joins Xoogler Incubator Angelpad


A side project we counseled to turn start-up is headed to San Francisco to join the elite incubator Angelpad, founded by ex-Googlers in 2010. IDoneThis, the productivity hack from Walter Chen and Rodrigo Guzman, told us a month ago they had applied to a few incubators–including New York’s brand-new Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator–but it seems they’ll be shipping off to Cali even though “New York has been good to us.” We look forward to hearing dispatches from the relatively new incubator, which mostly selects start-ups run by more experienced entrepreneurs, and to enjoying the sandwiches at their celebratory open sandwich bar party next week. Read More

Beg Borrow and Steal

The Startup Diet: Quinoa and Kale


Here’s a slice of schadenfreude for struggling boot-strappers. Glowing tech press doesn’t necessarily mean the startup life is as glamorous behind-the-scenes. Take fledgling New York coupon aggregator CityPockets. Back in March, Forbes crowed, “Not to sound too cliché or fluffy, but CityPockets is the solution,” to the deluge of daily deals sites. A few paragraphs later, they piled it on with:

“To quote Andrew Mason from an email exchange we had in 2009, “[Groupon’s] goal is to make Groupon feel ‘too good to be true’ from beginning to end,” and frankly CityPockets succeeds in bringing an entire industry under that mantra.”

With that kind of review 28-year-old CEO Cheryl Yeoh must have been living the Silicon Alley high-life, right? Yeah, not so much. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Games Edition

criss angel

Do any of these rumors beat Betabeat’s random act of art last night? You be the judge:

MAGIC AND MAGICIANS: What is designer/angel/connector Matt Shampine doing in this photo tweeted today by Vegas showman Criss Angel with the caption, “In secret project meeting will reveal details about 1 of the projects this Sunday….” No idea what it could be, as Mr. Angel’s website is already maximum sick!

Read More