Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Going South for the Startup
This coming Saturday and Sunday, Aviary and General Assembly are hosting the second installment of their baller photo hackathon, often touted as “the world’s largest photo hack day,” though we’re not sure there’s that much competition. At last year’s event more than 175 developers produced 40+ hacks, a number of which were built using Face.com’s futuristic facial recognition technology.
More than 200 developers have already signed up for the second go-round, officially known as Photo Hack Day 2 (Twitter hashtag #PHD2), so you can expect even more hacked-together photo goodness. Like Aviary’s photo editing suite itself, the emphasis now is on mobile development rather than the web. “Sunday demo tickets completely sold out a full week and a half before the event, so we’re anticipating a good, curious crowd,” said Alex Taub, Aviary’s head of business development and partnerships.
Aviary and GA have already announced an impressive roster of speakers for a fireside chat moderated by Aviary CEO Avi Muchnick, including Tumblr’s David Karp, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, and Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh. But today they’re ready to talk about the good stuff: prize$$$.
Six Canadian startups are headed to General Assembly this month, part of an initiative by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. The Canadian companies will spend three months inhaling the fumes of Silicon Alley from a pretty perch at General Assembly, thanks to a partnership between General Assembly and the Consulate General of Canada in New York.
the startup rundown
General Assembly is opening a second campus across the street from its current glass-and-wood-panel startup kingdom at 902 Broadway in the Flatiron, Business Insider reports, in a 10,000 square foot space divided into six classrooms and a common area. The new space on the third floor at 915 Broadway—zipline not included, @GA says—will be dedicated to the ever-expanding catalog of business, design, marketing classes and general internet interest classes offered at the Silicon Alley hub. The GA office will also set up a home there.
The Education of NY Tech
GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Besides that $2,800 Ruby class, General Assembly is ramping up its curriculae big time with classes on everything from how to use Twitter to starting up in China. The campus is also hunting for teachers. “Want to teach at General Assembly? Get in touch by completing the form here.”
HIRING. As activity marketplace SideTour prepares to leave the TechStars offices for greener pastures this Friday, the startup has officially started hiring for a lead engineer and “host development manager.” Business Insider is looking for a biz dev intern.
Last week, Art.sy tech lead Daniel Doubrovkine took to the NYC-rb mailing list to advertise a new six-week Ruby course he’s co-teaching at General Assembly. “Forgive me for shameless advertising. I am teaching a RoR for Developers class @ GeneralAssemb.ly in January,” he wrote. Innocuous enough, but some members of the Ruby community took umbrage at the pricetag: $2,800. “Any programmer should be able to learn Rails without paying $2,800,” wrote Rubyist Kfir Shay. “Documentation is excellent, free online resources are plenty, community is strong etc.”
$2,800 sounds high when compared to instructional Ruby Meetups and Skillshare classes in the $0-$50 range. Ruby Nuby is a free collaborative meetup / support group for aspiring Rubyists; local Rubyist and DesignerPages chief product office Avi Flombaum is making a neat little side gig out of teaching a $35 class on Ruby basics on Skillshare; he charges $800 for the five-week version. Free resources like Learn Ruby the Hard Way abound.
Still, the $2,800 General Assembly class, “Rails for Developers,” is already sold out.
Art.sy’s Daniel Doubrovkine and Pivotal Labs’s Dimitri Roche are teaching a six-week class on Ruby on Rails at General Assembly for $2,800. When Mr. Doubrovkine took to the NYC-rb mailing list to advertise, he was surprised by the pushback. “I don’t want to put you down or sound like a jerk but any programmer should be able to learn Rails without paying $2,800,” wrote Rubyist Kfir Shay. “Documentation is excellent, free online resources are plenty, community is strong etc.”
Considering a move to the West Coast, but not sure if you should do it due to all the Alley-boosting blog posts in Betabeat and your Tumblr feed? Here’s an Alley-to-Valley success story for you. TopGuest, a New York startup that launched in the beginning of 2010 to add social and mobile features to consumer loyalty programs, just had its big exit: an acquisition by San Francisco-based global customer service software company ezRez for an undisclosed sum.
CEO Geoff Lewis moved out to California with his two co-founders about a year ago to work on TopGuest, which raised $2 million and sported Peter Thiel as an advisor and Silicon Valley all-stars Keith Rabois and Ron Conway as angel investors, according to AllThingsD.
the startup rundown
The small talk sounded heavy as Betabeat stopped by the beer counter last night at General Assembly’s Demo Night. “We just A/B test, A/B test” one young gentleman explained to his companion. “Meetings and meetings,” a young lady said to hers. Thankfully the younguns had a few hours of respite from the pressures of Read More
New School Learning
STYLECASTER RAISES FUNDS. “Announced today, we’ve raised $1 million in a small bridge round, in order to bring in Facebook, MySpace and Zynga veterans as investors… we’re going to completely revamp our flagship site StyleCaster.com, and offer new, even more social products and features.”
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEMO NIGHT. Is tonight (and $10, why?)
NEW WORK CITY. Hit 100 members.
WEWORK LABS. Has an important announcement to make tonight about the future of the coworking space. (We hear it’s good news.)
If you click over to the General Assembly website these days you will find a new section for video classes under the heading Hybrid Education. It’s the most robust online learning efforts GA has introduced so far, and gives a taste of the way they will be deploying the $4 million they raised earlier this year from folks like Yuri Milner and Jeff Bezos.
So far there are two courses online, Introduction to Web APIs and Forming Your Startup. They are on the short side, 45 minutes and a little under half and hour. The lesson on Web APIs is the sort of tutorial you might image finding on a Khan Academy. The course on forming your own startup, with Adam Dinow, an attorney at Wilson Sonsini, is a uniquely GA product, covering the legal intricacies and tax advantages of forming an LLC versus a C Corp. with the upbeat zeal of web tutorial.