Teach Me How to Startup
Tech workers are in serious demand in New York City, and Cornell Tech is getting set to build a tech campus that will bring a new generation of webutantes to NYC. This morning at Google’s offices in Chelsea, Cornell unveiled their plans for the Jacobs Institute, the next step in their build-up toward the opening of their NYC campus.
The Jacobs Institute, a collaboration between Cornell and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, is a small graduate program, providing custom-tailored degrees to address problems facing industries in New York. The first programs focus on the way information technology can be combined with connective media and health services.
Cowork With Me?
Between the accelerators, coworking spaces and incubators, there are so many choices when considering where to set up shop for your startup — and the pool of options just grew. Coworking space The Yard is officially opening two new locations in sought-after NYC neighborhoods.
The new venues will be an Upper West Side location near Lincoln Center, and a NoMad location at 27th Street and 5th Avenue, right around the corner from Ace Hotel. The NoMad location is starting to take applications for spaces as of today.
Turn the page on a chapter in the history of New York’s startup scene: In 2014, General Assembly will shutter its coworking offering, to focus on classes and events like hackathons and job fairs. Business Insider estimates about a hundred people are affected.
“While we’re making serious investments to grow our New York footprint, there is an almost impossible need for even more space to accommodate our classes, events, students, alumni and staff,” said CEO Jake Schwartz in a blog post explaining the move.
For eight months, since the inception of the co-working space Alley NYC in Midtown, Harry Raymond was hard at work on the 17th floor of 500 Seventh Avenue with his team developing Shindig, an iPhone app that helps users identify liquors, wines and cocktails. Mr. Raymond, co-founder and chief executive of the company, is now working out of Hamilton, NY, as part of the Entrepreneurs of NY Fund.
Shindig represents a success story for New York co-working and an achievement of the goal of space providers: for members to outgrow their space.
“We are successful if we help companies outgrow us,” said Jesse Middleton, co-founder of WeWork Labs, during a tour of WeWork’s 175 Varick Street space last month.
Cowork With Me?
Rose-Colored Glasses Warby Parker just released its annual report for 2012, and it’s a pretty fun slideshow to click through. The glasses empire now has 113 full-time employes and 42 part-time employees. Of those bespectacled folks, 108 have company-sponsored gym memberships. In other Warby Parker health news, 2,507 pounds of salad were eaten in the office this year. Although there are not too many exact sales figures in the package (besides the fact that 296 monocles were sold this year) a diagram on the last page shows that sales from the first quarter of the year to the last one have nearly tripled. Warby Parker says it gave out 250,000 pairs of glasses this year, some of which went to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Shai Goldman, a venture partner at 500 Startups, recently announced another sign of the seed stage fund’s growing interest in New York City–besides poaching a Silicon Alley stalwart like Mr. Goldman, of course. This February, the firm plans on opening a coworking office at 28th Street and Park Avenue in the Flatiron, not far from General Assembly.
500 Startups is known for its global focus. The only physical space the firm had up until New York was a corporate office in Mountain View, “which is where we run our accelerator throughout the year,” Mr. Goldman told Betabeat by phone. But 500 Startups opted for a different route here.
After the Storm
Yesterday’s news about Loosecubes closing caught the New York tech scene by surprise. The company, one of the early movers in shared office space, just raised $7.8 million in venture funding back in June. They’d been a little quiet in recent months, and the coworking business is a competitive one, but no one figured Loosecubes was on the fast track to the deadpool. It was the kind of company that even non-techies easily understood and appreciated.
So the sudden shutdown, besides bumming out fans, left two nagging questions: What went wrong? And where did all that venture capital go? When we called, Loosecubes’ office number had already been disconnected. An email to their press team returned only a canned response from cofounder Anna Thomas:
Cowork With Me?
As New Yorkers stumble northward in search of working outlets, the whole city is seeing spontaneous outbreaks of cooperation. After perusing social media feeds, we feel safe declaring this the week that everyone learned to cowork: one guy shows up with an extension cord outside of a Starbucks, and everyone clusters around politely to get their mobile devices working again. And then, with their newly juiced devices, they’re taking pictures of their setups.
And so behold, disaster porn’s geekier cousin.
The latest neighborhood trying to make a coworking space happen? It’s the former home of Archie Bunker, i.e. Astoria. The Daily News reports that three locals are shopping around for a space.
Maybe they can cut a deal with the beer garden?
At the moment, Astoria is a little lacking in public spaces for laptop luggers. There’s Astor Bake Shop, a couple of Starbucks outposts, and the ironically named Brooklyn Bagel, but there’s really nowhere to squat if you prefer to work away from caloric temptation.
Summer love Do you ever find yourself wishing that couples therapy was cheaper? Well, here’s an app that claims to be just as effective, and for only $7.95 a month (limited time only). Couplewise combines digital interactive versions to cognitive behavioral therapy techniques and research from leading cognitive behavioral therapists as well as crowdsourcing the wisdom of other couples “who have been there.” The company claims that 79 percent of their beta users say that their relationship has improved as a result of the app, and none say it has worsened—what are you waiting for?
Attention freelancers Coworking has come to Bushwick with Bat Haus, a new community office space open to freelancers of all disciplines. The space opened last month and has apparently been hosting art groups, writing meetups and fashion shoots. If its sunny decor doesn’t seal the deal, they also have a backyard with a grill and potlucks for members. Full time membership is $275 a month, part-time $175, and it’s $15 for a day pass.