Welcome to New Fit City

Fitocracy: the NYC Fitness App That Helped Miss America Ace the Bikini Competition

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Politicos like Chuck Schumer and Marty Markowitz have been quick to claim Mallory Hagan’s new pageant title a victory for “the borough of Kings,” nevermind that the Alabama native and former Miss New York is a relatively recent transplant. But as it turns out, one New York City tech startup might also be able to bask in the bling of the Miss America crown.

“In case you haven’t yet heard, the new Miss America is a @fitocracy community member + trainee of @DickTalens,” LoyalCX founder Sarah Judd Welch tweeted this weekend. Mr. Talens–a former fat kid turned body builder–is one of the cofounders of Fitocracy, an addictive fitness app that motivates users by treating workouts like you’re leveling up in Everquest or World of Warcraft.  Read More

This Happened

Want to Work at Fitocracy? Just Attach Shirtless Selfies to Your Resume

(Photo: Hire Kenny Yang)

Fitocracy, the gamified fitness app that boasts a Dick, Wang and Cocken on its staff roster, has just added a new intern to the team; sadly, his name is Kenny Yang, so dreams of building out a staff with names derived solely from penis synonyms have flown right out the window.

Mr. Yang did, however, score the position in a rather atypical way. In order to prove his devotion both to Fitocracy and the healthy lifestyle it promotes, Mr. Yang created a single-serving website called “Hire Kenny Yang,” complete with not one, not two, but six shirtless photos of himself. The photos illustrate Mr. Yang’s progression from 260-pound high school student to ripped-as-fuck “level 25 ninja.” Read More

Perk Up

Do Startups Get Run Down by Passive-Aggressive Perks? The Downsides of Unlimited Everything

The Tipping Point Partners office (Photo: Tipping Point)

Like cushy sign-on bonuses or drool-worthy stock options, perks are a potent recruiting tool for startups, dangled before potential hires like a treat before a ravenous animal. Expensive, Steve Jobs-approved gear and kitchens overflowing with every snack imaginable are treated like they’re the equivalent of platinum health insurance.

We get it–having a thriving, enjoyable Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Motivational Social Networks Edition


Steps to success Moteevate, formerly known as Fitango and self described as “the motivational social network,” went live last week. The site makes achieving your goals sound really easy by breaking them down into three steps: choosing from over 600 action plans (or making up your own), inviting your friends to “motivate and cheer you on,” and, finally, following the plan to accomplish your goal.

Keep running Fitocracy, the fitness social network that lets you track your workout progress and compete against your friends, has made some changes to their team. Cofounder and former CTO Richard Talens is now the Chief of Growth and Analytics, and senior engineer Daniel Roesler is stepping in as the new CTO. The company has also hired Jay Patel as a new backend developer.

New and improved The Tumblr app for iOS just got a makeover and is now faster and also looks better, with support for higher resolution photos as well as redesigned notification tabs which make navigation much easier. The improved app also includes offline support, which allows users to write blog posts, reblog, and leave comments while offline, which will be posted automatically the next time the iPhone connects to the Internet. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Foursquare Day, Impact Investing, Assembled Capital and New Social Apps

Mayor Michael Bloomberg with Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley. The mayor declared April 16 NYC's official 4sqday. (Ben Weitzenkorn)

2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.

CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David TischCharlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.

AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here. Read More

Growing up

Fitocracy Now Has a Dick, a Wang, and a Cocken

Mr. Cocken.

Mr. Cocken.

Fitocracy, the New York-based fitness gamification startup that recently graduated from the Mountain View incubator 500 Startups, likes to hire its users. The company announced it has hired a chief product officer today, Jared Cocken, a Fitocracy user and until now, the creative director of the high-profile web design agency The Wonderfactory.

Fitocracy’s CEO is Brian Wang and its CTO is Dick Talens, so Mr. Cocken will fit right in. But besides the name coincidence, the startup just generally lucked out with the hire. Fitocracy was scouting for a designer, and Mr. Cocken had been helping them with screens for the iPhone app. “We noticed he was really really passionate about the product,” Mr. Talens told Betabeat. They didn’t have high hopes, and Mr. Talens says he’s still not sure how they managed to woo the talented Mr. Cocken. Read More

Mama I'm Coming Home

Return of the Diaspora: After a Taste of the Valley, New York Techies are Coming Home


Underlit bars and blaring techno set the scene at the Park Avenue Armory earlier this month, when a who’s who of New York’s tech scene gathered in the cavernous block-length building for the sort of startup event that bore little resemblance to the usual beer, pizza and Powerpoint office gathering. No, this was a fashion show; a nerdy fashion show, to be sure, but one with glamour and theatrics. Raise Cache, a fundraiser for the apprentice developer program HackNY, tapped local tech personalities to walk the runway outfitted in glasses from local e-prescriber Warby Parker, slacks from e-tailor Bonobos and accessories from e-jeweler Bauble Bar. Larger-than-life cartoon avatars lorded over the crowd from the DJ booth as amateur DJs spun tracks using Union Square-based streaming music startup Turntable.fm. Founders and VCs milled about in gowns, coattails, pinstriped vests, glittery tights and cowboy hats. A recording of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has been pumping his pom-poms for the New York tech scene of late, boomed out at the close of the show: “Now more than ever, [New York] is the place for to be for tech soirees!” Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: NWC+HP and a Hard Candy Launch


HIP LIKE HP. New Work City just signed its newest sponsor: HP. “This is really great for us, as their support will play a huge part in helping us make ongoing improvements to the space and community. To consummate the relationship, we’re hosting an event on December 5th. I’ll have more details next week. In the meantime, come play with some new gadgets and help us help HP make printing suck less!

FITOCRACY PUSH. “Fitness is something that people tend to take very seriously so it should be no surprise that when they embark on the quest to better bodies, they want their chosen tools to be the best they can be. Since the beginning, one of the most often requested features for Fitocracy has been a way to visualize your workout progress over time. And so it is with incredible excitement that we announce the official release of Graphs on Fitocracy.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: An Address to the General Assembly

(Screencap via Ben Kessler)

INSIDE VOICES. Someone has complained about General Assembly members making noise in the elevator! An email went out to coworking residents this afternoon, subject: “Courtesy to our neighbors in 902,” from cofounder Matthew Brimer, which a resident forwarded to Betabeat:

Hey Folks,
We’ve been getting a number of complaints from other tenants in the building regarding inappropriate language and behavior of some members of our community. We were sad to hear it.

Keep in mind that we share 902 Broadway with hundreds of other working professionals, so please be mindful of this and make an extra effort to be polite and courteous when in the elevators and lobby.

On a related note — we have access to the building’s freight elevator (accessible on 21st between Broadway and Park), which is oftentimes a faster and less crowded means of getting to and from the 4th floor. Feel free to use it during daytime hours.

The GA Team

Bummerzone! But Betabeat reached out to three GA residents, none of whom had any idea what the email was in reference to. “I’m surprised by it,” said one resident. “I’ve never noticed untoward behavior in common building areas or even in GA really.” He added, referring to the Canadian record label that has an office in the building: “I bet it was actually Nickelback and they’re just trying to pin it on GA.” Another resident was just as stumped. “I was confused too,” he said. “Have no idea.” And three makes a trend: “I’m sure just some old lady complained,” said a former resident. Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Fitocracy Goes Freemium, SNAP Hires a CFO, And Tonight’s NYTM Will Be Collegiate


FITOCRACY GOES FREEMIUM. Fitocracy, now a year old, just announced a subscription plan for $4.99 a month. Subscribers get unlockable titles, the ability to copy workouts, greater visibility in the stream and early access to new features.

YOUNG NYTM. Tonight’s New York Tech Meetup will feature the annual spotlight on demos from college students and faculty. Here’s the lineup: BodyJam, Commons, Grafighters, Codecademy, Lewis Dots, PlayPower, Hacker League, LoCreep, AdRunner, MidiPHON, Bluefin Labs, Upod, Imaginary Marching Band. At the 92nd Street Y. But if you go you will miss Ben Lerer talking about the story of Thrillist at General Assembly. Read More