Bitcoin Nation

Capitol Hill Is Hosting Its First Bitcoin Demo Day Today

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Rep. Jared Polis, the “Gamer Congressman,” has been a big advocate for Bitcoin on Capitol Hill. He’s taken BTC for campaign donation, lampooned his colleagues for speaking out against Bitcoin, and invited fellow congressmen to give Bitcoin a shot. Now, he’s helping bring Washington, D.C. its first Bitcoin Startup Demo Day.

Today, a few major Bitcoin startups like Coinbase, BitPay and BitGO will set up shop in the Rayburn House Office Building to convince Washington regulators to embrace Bitcoin. They’ll be joined by major companies who have successfully integrated Bitcoin into their business models, like Expedia, who started taking payments in Bitcoin earlier this summer and have been more than happy with the results. Read More

Secondary Markets

Startup Takes Your Personal Data, Forces Brands To Compete To Sell You Stuff

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We know that Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, and other services leverage our data to benefit from marketers and advertisers. But a new startup called OwnOut wants to help you get in on the action by leveraging your own data to pit brands against each other in a fight for your loyalty.

“We help brands steal customers,” OwnOut Founder Mike Grassotti said yesterday — nine times actually — at a presentation for ERA Demo Day.

It works like this: customers give over their email account so OwnOut can go in and examine their purchasing habits. If that seems scary, consider: you’ve likely already given that data away to other online services — OwnOut just wants you to benefit directly. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Ideas NYC, NY Tech Meetup, Digital Health Accelerator Demo Day, Investor Feedback Forum, GoGreen, Innovating for the Connected TV)

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This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

Last week I finally got to play with the (oh-so-elusive) Google Glass! It was fun to try it on, but I’m not convinced it’ll take off (at least not in its current form). That’s because it is simply an awkward experience from a human interaction perspective. Whether it’ll turn out to be a dud like the Segway or a very early iteration like the Palm Pilot, only time will tell. Meanwhile, here’s SNL’s hilarious take.

Tuesday (for some reason) has historically been the busiest day of the week for tech events. Last week, I think I ended up going to eight events! (A personal best, I’m pretty sure.) One of the events was a launch party for NY Angels’ Brian Cohen’s new book, which I’m looking forward to reading. Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

Hot New Startup Trend: Trying to Make Money

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Yesterday, Y Combinator (Silicon Valley’s ur-accelerator) hosted its biannual Demo Day at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

As cofounder Paul Graham announced last fall, YC downsized both the number of startups and the size of the investment in this current class. And fears that the accelerator bubble is about to pop were not lost on the 47 startups who presented, nor the 500 or so investors in attendance. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Hearst Fashion Hackathon, Social Commerce Summit, NY Tech Meetup, PandoMonthly)

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This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

Congrats to the Ravens for winning the Super Bowl! Best of the commercials? That’d be Chrysler’s So God Made A Farmer ad. Beyoncé rocked the half-time show (and flashed the Illuminati sign?). Yes, there was a brief blackout, enough to unleash a torrent of funny tweets. Oreos won the night, social-media wise. And finally, there was Shaq, lip-syncing to Beyoncé’s “Halo.”  Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Mashable Social Good Summit, ERA Demo Day, Startup Weekend, GoGreen, Design for Manufacturing Summit)

sponsor_garys_red_tie

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of Gary’s Guide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

iPhone 5 Day is coming, and you know what that means. That’s right–long lines are already starting to form outside Apple stores all over the world as folks clamber to get their hands on the all new slimmer, lighter and faster iPhone 5. A shout-out to Gary’s Guide member (and founder of a new social media startup, Vibe) Hazem Sayed, who is first in line outside the iconic 5th Avenue “Big Glass Cube” Apple Store. Go Hazem!

My friend Dave Lifson (product manager at General Assembly) along with Christina Chaey (associate editor at Fast Company) will be doing a free livestream this Wednesday at 2pm EST, on product management for non-product managers. You’ll learn what it takes to turn your ideas into functional products. And did I mention its free? :) Oh, and everyone who registers gets a free copy of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s new e-book, Making Something People Love. So go sign up!

The new Cornell NYC Tech campus has started accepting admission applications for its beta class of computer science students, slated to start January 2013. Deadline is October 1.

And now let’s see what’s going down in the Alley this week… Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

How to Ruin Your Wildly Successful TechStars Demo: Fudge Facts on Stage

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You know what they say about karma, so don’t make us repeat it. It looks like good intentions backfired with Karma, a 4G hotspot provider initially founded in Amsterdam that presented this morning at TechStars Demo Day.

In press materials for the spring class, Karma’s one-line descriptor was: “Simple, honest 4G provider,” a sentiment repeated throughout its introductory blog post. But shortly after Demo Day ended, Travis Kalanick, the CEO of request-a-ride car app Uber, tweeted that Karma’s CEO Robert Gaal had not been honest in mentioning a partnership with Uber during the company’s pitch in front of crowd of more than 700 at Webster Hall. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

The One TechStars NYC Startup That Won’t Be Pitching At Demo Day Tomorrow

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In March, TechStars NYC announced that it had selected 14 startups from an applicant pool of more than 1,600 for the chance at 13-weeks of mentorship and $100,000. But only 13 companies will be presenting at tomorrow’s Demo Day at Webster Hall. Betabeat has learned that StockTouch, which described itself as “revolutionizing finance with mobile data visualization,” did not participate in the program.

Managing director David Tisch would only say that the decision was mutual. We have reached out to StockTouch for comment and will update the post when we hear back. StockTouch CEO Jennifer Johnson was one of five female CEOs (and six female cofounders) accepted into the spring 2012 class. Read More