Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Lemonade Heroes Yacht Party, DreamIt Health Road Show, Decoded Fashion Hackathon, Startup City, Digital Dumbo, Brooklyn Tech Meetup)


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]

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day to all ye community managers out there! You guys ‘n gals are on the front lines engaging with customers every day, putting out fires, making your customers smile, fostering conversation. Community is important and you guys are making it happen. Stay awesome! :) To celebrate, bitly is organizing a breakfast this Friday and later this month is the Community Manager UNconference.

My buddy Eyal and the good folks at WIN are organizing a must-attend conference later this month on February 21: Funding the Best in Global Innovation. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Smash Summit, DreamIt Tech Olympics, Social Retail Summit, Queens Tech Meetup, Digital Dumbo, Fashion 2.0)


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]

So you all probably know about the High Line. But have you heard about the LowLine? Cofounders Dan Barasch and James Ramsey are aiming to convert an abandoned trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street into an extraordinary subterranean public park. That’s right–it’s an economic revitalization opportunity.

But it’s more than that. It also represents cutting-edge design and a new generation of green technology and  lies at the heart of a broader global discussion about the potential of remnant urban infrastructure and the need for cities to reinvent the meaning of space–above and below ground.

So go check it out, get involved and if you’re living it up in the Hamptons these days, make it out to their Cocktail Fundraiser at Water Mill on August 4, organized by Mo Koyfman of Spark Capital and others.

Don’t forget to sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom, either–that is, if you haven’t already done so. It’s being signed by all of us folks who believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world!

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

startup rundown

Startup News: Kickstarter Expands to the U.K.; Bing Volunteerism Comes to Harlem


Stay tuned Kickstarter announced via tweet yesterday that, starting this fall, U.K. residents will be able to use the crowdfunding platform to launch their own projects. Currently, although people anywhere can give money to projects on the site, only individuals based in the U.S. can launch projects and receive funding.

Advise away Tout’d, a new digital forum for personalized recommendations, launched last week. As a social media platform and referral space, the app for iOS and Android enables users to ask for advice from friends as well as share recommendations ranging from restaurants and gadgets to professional referrals.

Sell now Join M&A professionals this Thursday at General Assembly for the first Startup Exit event on the East Coast. With a focus on social commerce and online retail and fashion, the evening will feature a fireside chat with Etsy’s Director of Strategic Finance, Carrington Williams, and well as a panel featuring the CEOs of Thrillist, dotBox and OpenSky. Tickets are required. Read More

Words on the Internet

Blogger Syndication Network Opens Self-Serve Platform in Beta


New York-based content syndication network Tidal is promising it will have a ton of announcements in January, but here is the first: after almost a year in beta with partner Condé Nast, the startup is opening up its self-serve platform to the public. “This will allow online stores, non-profits, startups or most any company to easily add a crowdsourced topical blog,” the startup announced in an email today. “This is a great way to engage the Tidal community, and your biggest fans, to bring content and traffic to your website. Our self-serve platform will start at just a few hundred dollars a month, and if you join the beta program we can give you January and February free while we work out the kinks.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Now, Flex


STRANGEST RECRUITMENT LETTER EVER. The strangest recruitment letter we’ve seen, we must say–an email from the list-happy General Assembly-based Dinevore, seeking … someone or someones “great” … for … the “evolution of Dinevore, if you will.” Biz dev folks, technical co-founders and designers all need apply! “We’re not looking for rockstars or ninjas or jedis or any of that. Just great people with vision and killer ideas and the ability to execute on them. Drop us a line if you think we could use your skills. Make sure to include something to get us interested (a great BD idea, a link to your GitHub page, your online portfolio etc). NYC-based is ideal, but not essential.” Okay! Readers, if you’re applying, do send a tip with your impressions.

#BITCOIN-RUMORS. The mystery of the epic MyBitcoin whodunnit continues, although energy is flagging among the Bitcoin community. Word on the street is, may have some connection to that most underground of ecommerce, the website where you can OMG buy drugs known as the Silk Road, which would give the owners another motive to build the easy-to-use wallet service in order to make it easy to get Bitcoin to spend on weed and mushies. Betabeat called our local Federal Bureau of Investigation today to file a complaint and find out if there was an investigation ongoing. “I’m sorry, I can’t help you on this,” a press representative said, declining to either confirm or deny whether the FBI was looking into the matter. Read More

Accelerated Learning

Paul Graham: NYC Is More Important Than It Used to Be, But Valley Is Still the Center

paul graham

When the Y Combinator accelerator program was founded, sessions alternated locations between Cambridge and the Valley. But when Mr. Graham decided to settle in Palo Alto after his wife got pregnant, he decided he wanted his YC babies there, too. It’s just a better place for kids, you know? But today came the announcement: the first official Y Combinator meetup, a “hybrid of reception and conference,” in New York will take place in September.

The meetup doesn’t mean Y Combinator is going to open a New York branch the way TechStars (Boulder, CO) and DreamIt (Philly) have, Mr. Graham indicated, it’s just an introductory session to recruit more entrepreneurs into the program. If they decide to stay in California, that’s cool. If they move back to New York after demo day, that’s cool too. Read More

And Now For Something Completely Different

DreamIt’s Biggest Pivot: Mutated Into Pictour Over the Last Four Weeks


Philadelphia-based DreamIt Ventures incubator opened its first New York session in May with 15 companies culled from more than 500 applications, a three percent acceptance rate. Three months later, those companies are taking the stage at the McGraw Hill Conference Center in Midtown. There were a couple pivots in the class, but probably the most extreme came from the five founders who left their families back in Honduras to build a Facebook-integrated classroom management platform for teachers, Read More

Demo Daze

Pick Your Ponies: DreamIt Demo Day is Here

There is nothing Betabeat likes better than squeezing into a tightly packed mob of investors and watching a cattle call of young start-ups strut their stuff on stage (more metaphors, please! –ed). The tweets are flying fast and furious while handshakes and checks are being exchanged. At least that was the scene at our first rodeo, when we attended TechStars NY Demo Day at Webster Hall. Today Philly-based DreamIt Ventures will unveil their first class of New York start-ups.


New York’s Tech Accelerator Boom Has Other Cities Running Scared

Image via Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun

Here’s a little anecdote to get the day started. Some dudes in Balitmore with a parking app and a panda for their mascot totally left that town and headed to the Big Apple when they landed a spot in the innagural ER Accelerator.

For anyone who’s been paying attention, New York is throwing a sort of start-up summer camp this year, with half a dozen accelerators and incubators putting young start-ups through the paces. The L.A. Times, which doesn’t even mention ER by name, seems blown away by the idea of a company getting $25,000 and a spot in Times Square. Read More


New York’s Second Tech Accelerator Opens In Beta

DreamIt founder David Bookspan, DreamIt New York accelerator director Mark Wachen, accelerator general manager Kerry Rupp and DreamIt Ventures founder Steve Welch put down their pizza for this photo on day one of the DreamIt New York program.

Orientation! Today was the first day of the DreamIt Ventures accelerator’s brand new New York program, and entrepreneurs from 12 start-ups gathered around director Mark Wachen this afternoon in the accelerator’s three-quarters-of-the-way finished open office on the eleventh floor of a Chelsea elevator building on W. 27th and Broadway. The space is sunny and bright and equipped with wifi, coffee, water, a ping-pong table, clusters of desks, some computers and iPads and not much else. “That’s going to be another conference room there,” Mr. Wachen indicated a corner with some panes of glass leaning against the wall. “You can also use the stairwell conference room.” “Or the Starbucks conference room,” the office manager piped up. Read More