Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (FinTech Hackathon, Newark Tech Week, Kaplan EdTech Accelerator, Blueprint Demo Day, NYU Stern Summit, FinTech Meetup)

sponsor_garys_red_tie_new

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.

So Google just launched Google Nose (smelling is believing!) and Google Maps now has a Treasure View mode, while Virgin is creating a glass-bottomed plane, Twitter will start charging $5 per month for vowels and Youtube is shutting down. Hmmmm… either I am hallucinating or it must be April Fools Day!

I recently came across something awesome: brainstorming sessions between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan for the movie Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark (easily one of my all-time faves). There were five consecutive nine-hour, day-long sessions, and it’s fascinating to see their thought process as the characters and story are fleshed out. Here’s the New Yorker‘s abbreviated take. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Kickstarter and IndieGogo Show Off Their Metrics and Middle Schoolers Get Appy

121008094631-40u40-main-perry-chan-charles-adler-yancey-strickler-gallery-horizontal

Kickstarted The crowdfunding king released its annual highlights for 2012 this week. And the startups is going about as gangbusters as well, an oversubscribed, blockbuster Kickstarter campaign. In 2012, 2,241,475 people pledged almost $320 million and successfully funded a little over 18,000 projects. That works out to about $606 per minute. Monetization is so much easier when it’s baked into your platform, isn’t it?

Indie No More Kickstarter competitor Indiegogo also released data for 2012. Campaigns raised 20 percent more in last year than they did in 2011 and successful campaigns took an average of 11 days preparing for their launch. Read More

Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!

Best Tech Events This Week (Girls Who Code Gala, Ignite NYC, DataWeek, HallowMeme, Startup Weekend Series)

sponsor_garys_red_tie

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.

This Sunday I’m co-organizing The Big Apple Smackdown! (the Silicon Alley ping-pong tournament) at SPiN. Duking it out will be some of the city’s hottest startup entrepreneurs, execs, investors and bloggers, including: Kevin Ryan (founder/CEO, Gilt Groupe), Seth Godin (author, Tribes), Jared Hecht (cofounder, GroupMe), Read More

Closing the Gender Gap: A Peek Inside Programs to Train Female Developers

The 20 Girls Who Code participants working out of AppNexus's Flatiron office (Photo: girlswhocode.tumblr.com)

“Maliyah, step away from the mouse!” called Ashley Gavin, a software engineer at the MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory and instructor at the Girls Who Code summer program. Maliyah Greene, the recipient of Ms. Gavin’s reprimand, reluctantly tore herself away from Photoshop to come and talk to Betabeat. We were sitting in AppNexus’s Flatiron office, watching her fellow Girls Who Code students work on virtually tagging brick walls with their names. “It’s not as hard as I thought it would be,” Ms. Greene smiled.

She is one of 20 high school girls who gave up summer vacation to learn about app development, robotics, web design and other topics at Girls Who Code, a summer computer-engineering program for girls.

Though this is its first summer in existence, Girls Who Code already boasts executives from Gilt Groupe, Twitter and General Electric on its board and has been working with AppNexus and other New York startups throughout the summer. Read More

XX in Tech

Twitter Partners with Reshma Saujani’s NYC High School Program, Girls Who Code

(Photo: twitter/reshmasaujani)

On its blog today, Twitter announced a new partnership aimed at changing that ratio. The company will be investing “time, energy and money,” to partner with Girls Who Code, a intensive program designed to get New York City high schoolers comfortable with software development.

Girls Who Code was launched by Reshma Saujani, a former deputy public advocate under Bill de Blasio. Ms. Saujani, who is running for Public Advocate in 2013, has strong ties to the tech community both here and in the Valley. Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey and Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes both came out to support her (ultimately unsuccessful) bid for a Congressional seat from New York in 2010. She also recently married LocalResponse founder Nihal Mehta. (Mazel!) Read More