Start-up School

HappyFunAcademy Teaches Liberal Arts Grads Front-End Web Development, Ends Their Happy Fun

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 8.46.42 AM

There’s a growing pool of high paying tech jobs and never enough decent talent to fill them. Here in New York City, if you majored in Psychology or Art History and aren’t thrilled with how that’s going financially — looking to pivot, as they say — you can attend one of many coding schools for a quick intensive. Now, there’s yet another school vying for NYC’s tech hopefuls.

HappyFunCorp, a real software engineering firm with real offices in Brooklyn, is opening a front-end coding school called HappyFunAcademy. The name doesn’t have the same maker-y vibe as General Assembly or Flatiron School, but HappyFunCorp is betting that its impressive list of clients and promise of hands-on experience will “up your command line game,” as their site says. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (The “Sponsor Gary’s Red Tie @ SXSW” Edition!)

sponsor_garys_red_tie_sxsw

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.

Sooooo…it’s that time of the year again. SXSW (a.k.a. Spring Break for Geeks) is right around the corner, running March 8 to 12 in Austin, Texas. And you know what that means: Parties, parties ‘n more parties!! :) So, once again, we’re putting together what we hope will be THE definitive guide to all this year’s SXSW Interactive parties. We’ll be updating this list regularly, so check back often. And email me if you’re organizing an event or a party. Read More

Brooklyn's Finest

The Brooklyn Tech Triangle is Getting Its Very Own Bus Line

(Photo: Brooklyn Tech Triangle)

The Brooklyn Tech Triangle already thinks it’s bigger and better than Manhattan, and now they’re getting a transportation upgrade to help them prove it.

The triangle–which includes Downtown Brooklyn, DUMBO and the Brooklyn Navy Yard–is getting its very own dedicated bus route, according to a press release issued today by New York state senator Daniel Squadron.

Senator Squadron and MTA stakeholders will plan the new route, which is set to roll out in 2013. “Brooklyn’s tech industry is changing the face of New York — and now, we’ll have a bus route that will allow the booming Tech Triangle to continue to grow and innovate,” Senator Squadron stated in the release.

And here we thought most startup kids were fiercely loyal to the ice cream-wielding Uber team.

Funding Fun

With New B Corp. Certification, Etsy Raises $40M for International Growth

Mr. Dickerson (flickr.com/eschipul)

DIY-ers, you may now begin crocheting celebratory pillows and other yarn finery: E-commerce site Etsy, also known as Amazon for Twee People, announced today that it has raised a $40 million Series F round from investors, including Union Square Ventures and Accel Partners.

In a lengthy blog post, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson strayed from the typical tech funding announcement, instead choosing to first focus on Etsy’s growth and continued commitment to making the world a better place through business. The DUMBO-based startup has scored a B Corporation certification, which “gives [them] a framework to measure Etsy’s success against rigorous values and responsible practices as [they] scale as a company.” Read More

Brooklyn's Finest

Move Over, Manhattan: The Brooklyn Tech Triangle Claims It’s Bigger and Better

A corny image from the Brooklyn Tech Triangle initiative. (brooklyntechtriangle.com)

Looks like DUMBO isn’t the only neighborhood eager to flaunt its tech prowess. According to a new site launched last week, DUMBO is just one ‘hood that’s part of the “Brooklyn Tech Triangle,” which also includes downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard. A local coalition from each neighborhood has been tapped to represent its district in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle initiative, which seeks to establish the area as an innovative and welcoming place for tech firms. Read More

Rivalries

With the Rise of Digital Dumbo, Do We Detect A Beef?

2TD3QMSXIUMJIZMLLDYEQSGBZHMMDJWW3LN1V4VMWBKAKMS1

With Dumbo’s star rising, it’s time for the inevitable inter-borough smack-talking to begin. And, as often happens when boosters for Manhattan and Brooklyn go toe-to-toe, things are starting to look a little heated.

Crain’s is just the latest to notice all the fuss across the river. Etsy has long been a neighborhood fixture; digital consulting firm Takeout just relocated; Loosecubes and Docracy are homegrown efforts. Why are startups flocking to a neighborhood with a mere 3 percent commercial vacancy rate? Surely there are roomier (and therefore cheaper) environs. Turns out, Manhattan lacks a certain spark. (Manhattan, are you just going to let them talk about you like that?) Read More

Office Space

Has Digital Dumbo Reached Maximum Capacity? Techies Drive Down Vacancy Rates for Office Space

2TD3QMSXIUMJIZMLLDYEQSGBZHMMDJWW3LN1V4VMWBKAKMS1

At an industry breakfast yesterday, the commercial real estate brokers at Cushman & Wakefield announced that New York City has reached a tipping point: For the first time since 1999, the information and media sector (including technology) beat out financial services terms of office leasing.

In the first quarter of 2012, information and media accounted for 27.8 percent of office leasing by square footage, compared to the financial sector’s 26.3 percent. “New York is not just a financial town anymore,” Cushman’s managing director Ken McCarthy told the Real Deal.

You don’t have to tell Dumbo. Yesterday, the Brooklyn Paper reported that commercial vacancy rates in the neighborhood are down to 2 percent, prompting city planners to try to make Downtown more appealing to Brooklyn’s creative class. “Everyone in the tech industry wants to be in DUMBO,” said the paper. And here we thought the ideal spot was spitting distance from Union Square Ventures. Read More