5 Minute Pitches

New Web Series Spotlights New York Startups

Mr. Skiff (ericskiff.com)

Unless your company is driven by big-name investors, it can be difficult to get press coverage for your fledgling startup until you’ve raised a significant amount of funding or kicked up some controversy. At least that’s the theory behind 5in5NYC, a new web series from entrepreneurs Eric Skiff and Kunal Shah that spotlights some of New York’s most compelling budding companies. Read More


The Hatchery Launches a Fashion District Coworking Space and a ‘Sweat Fund’ To Help Startups Close Deals


If you hadn’t heard, office space in New York is increasingly hard to come by. The Hatchery, the startup advisory firm behind the infamously rigorous pitch events “Are You Serious?” and The Gauntlet, wants to help with that–and a whole host of other problems early-stage startups have to deal with, such as finding customers and growing revenue.

To that end, Hatchery founder Yao-Hui Huang is launching the Hatchery 500, named after the space’s address at 500 Seventh Avenue at 37th Street. The 16,000 square foot space offers shared desks ($450/month), dedicated desks ($850/month), and offices (starting at $3,100/month). There are plasma-enabled conference rooms and a 1 gig+ fiber connection. But the real draw is likely the collaborative milieu, which includes events, workshops and the chance to apply to something called the Sweat Fund. Please allow Ms. Huang to explain. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Fear of Facebook


FACEBOOK FEVER. Facebook is opening an engineering office in New York. “For us this isn’t a satellite office, this is going to be a core part of our engineering stack,” said a company exec today. So how does the still-nascent New York tech scene feel about the arrival of such a giant?

“I mean, Google is freakin’ massive, and they’ve almost had no effect on the community,” Hacker Union head and 10gen engineer Brandon Diamond told us by Gchat. “They’re trying to get out there, but they seem to be awful insular. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook is the same way… it will probably help more than it hurts. Fb obviously isn’t banking on the ‘tremendous number of hackers living in NYC.’ Instead, I think they believe they’ll be able to woo many new hackers with the added bonus of being in a cool city. It’s a boon.”

As to whether the new office will lure back some of the talent Facebook poached in the form of Drop.io, Hot Potato, Daytum and Mail Rank, but survey says no. “I don’t suspect? Highly doubt it, actually,” says a source, regarding the Hot Potatoes. Read More

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Why Does Facebook’s New Timeline Feature Look So Dang Familiar?

Mr. Lessin

Of the many announcements to emerge from F8 –Spotify is now integrated with Facebook! Netflix is now integrated with Facebook! You can “watch” and “read” things instead of just “like”ing them! Things are just really different, okay?Good luck not friending your Mom, because she’ll be on there soon!– was Facebook’s Timeline.

Rather than having to hit “Older Posts” again and again, Timeline lets you stalk with the greatest of ease by arranging a user’s information in chronological order. As AllThingsD‘s Ina Fried notes, it also lets you pick a big, About.me-like cover photo for your life story.

Mark Zuckerberg introduced the feature with pictures of a toddler Zuck in pink tie and suspenders–and nary a thought about privacy in his head. But from the looks of the Facebook blog, it was former Brooklyn boy Drop.io founder Sam Lessin (now a product manager at Facebook, which acqui-hired him in last October) who was in charge of the feature. Read More