Venture Capitalism

Former First Round Capital Principal Charlie O’Donnell Launches Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, a Seed Stage Fund

via BrooklynBridgeVentures.com

On his blog this morning, New York City tech stalwart Charlie O’Donnell announced the creation of a new seed investment fund called Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. Mr. O’Donnell, who used to bike the 9.2 miles from his home in Bay Ridge to his last job—principal at First Round Capital in Union Square—says his is the first venture capital fund based in Brooklyn and that the borough “has the potential to be the very best place in the world to start a technology business.”

Business Insider‘s sources say Mr. O’Donnell’s fund will be $10 million. Betabeat has heard somewhere in the range of $10 million to $20 million and that Quotidian Ventures might be his first big LP, although Mr. O’Donnell would not return earlier calls to confirm. We have reached out to Quotidian and will update the post when we hear back. Read More

Startup News: Holiday Countdown

(maketecheasier.com)

BIG BITES. Big Apps winner MyCityWay partners with NYC app Bitehunter. “No other app helps you navigate a city like a true local than MyCityWay and now… the apps make it possible to roam and find a great meal for cheap. Users can share tips on activities, hot spots and restaurants with each other, as well as create ‘best of’ lists to share with users and, as of today, foodies can find the top local deals for each market thanks to BiteHunter’s thousands of sources.”

GEORGIA STARTUPS. OnWednesday, January 18th, Union Square Ventures will host the first Flashpoint Demo Day. Flashpoint is a three-month accelerator program based at Georgia Tech; 17 startups will demo.

ONLY IN THE ALLEY. The 12-startup calendar, from SNAP Interactive and Hotlist, has been released and the syndicate will ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ on December 28. Read More

RIP

Fast Society Hits The Deadpool. New App, Cameo, Coming Soon

And now for the encore, Cameo

Back in more innocent times, our intrepid reporter Adrianne Jeffries went down to SXSW to cover the group messaging wars. A clutch of startups including Beluga, GroupMe, Kik and Fast Society were all battling to be the breakout star. GroupMe did the grilled cheese party, Fast Society countered with the shuttle bus from the airport.

Since then, Beluga was bought by Facebook and GroupMe got acquired by Skype. Kik is still going, but last night Fast Society, always the wildest of the bunch, announced they were shutting down their messaging service and moving on to a new app, Cameo, they will be launching in January.  Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Tisch Out of Water: David Tisch Navigates Startupland and Comes Out a TechStar

(via We Are NY Tech)

On a warm October afternoon, before the weather turned, Betabeat was following David Tisch’s lead up and down University Place in search of an empty-ish coffee shop. Mr. Tisch, the bright-eyed, foul-mouthed managing director of TechStars New York, an incubator for young startups, shuffled along in his standard get-up: jeans, a hoodie, and a backwards baseball hat. His unruly black hair flipped out from underneath.

It’s a fitting uniform for Mr. Tisch, who in person can come across much like the founders he invests in. The grandson of self-made billionaire Laurence Tisch, his speech is peppered with the words “fuck” and “cool,” he burrows his fists in his hoodie, and, once we find a place to sit, jostles the glasses on the table when he crosses and uncrosses his long legs. “I’m pretty shy in groups. I don’t like big crowds. So being on TV is weird for me,” he said, referring to the Bloomberg TV cameras that followed him around for months to document the TechStars New York’s inaugural class.

Just 48 hours earlier, clean-shaven and in shirtsleeves this time, Mr. Tisch stood in front of the Cedar Lake auditorium in Chelsea, rearranging the paper nametags on reserved seats like an anxious dinner party host, albeit to maximize the free flow of funding rather than conversation.

By the time he introduced Mayor Bloomberg to the packed house of more than 500, including the haut monde of investors and entrepreneurs who make up TechStars’ list of mentors and backers, Mr. Tisch had a hard time wiping off his grin.

“David, thank you. Good morning, it’s good to be here at Demo Day!” the Mayor said, before glancing at the iPad-cum-teleprompter he placed on the podium. “I also wanted to welcome all the VCs and angel investors who have flown in here from around the country. I think you’re proof positive that the TechStars is going to change this world and certainly change America and this city.”

Two years ago, Mr. Tisch, would have been lucky to get a ticket to such an affair, much less license to arrange the wedding table. While his last name may be synonymous with New York industry, aside from a handful of angel investments, Mr. Tisch was a relative unknown in tech circles before his appointment at TechStars. Read More

Fresh Capital

Disruptors Got Legs! Disrupt Alum BillGuard Raises $10 M.

Mr. Samid.

BillGuard is only half-New Yorker–CEOYaron Samidis based in “New York and Tel Aviv.” But the company, which combs your online statements for fraud and frivolous charges, garnered 10,000 sign-ups in a matter of days after launching in May at TechCrunch Disrupt. They discovered fraud on 20 percent of the new users’ bills, and a $6,000 erroneous charge on one wealthy individual’s card. Read More

Made in NYC

Wanna Drink and Play Pinball With GroupMe? That’ll Be $20

groupme-pinball

GroupMe, the humble startup that went from hackathon to $85 million exit in less than two years, is now officially owned by Microsoft. But they’re still GroupMe from the block! The startup is offering a meet-and-greet through Sidetour, a TechStars startup trying to create a freelancer-powered activity market. “Talk Startups and Play Pinball With GroupMe” will set you back $20, which goes to benefit the HackNY startup internship program. Read More

Shameless Self-Promotion

Ashton Kutcher Punks CBS! How @Aplusk Snuck Foursquare and GroupMe Onto ‘Two and a Half Men’

(Instagram: @thatpatrick)

How hip is Ashton Kutcher? The actor-angel has a hand in many of the hottest social media startups around (as well as some mega-losers) and he loves to do them favors. After Mr. Kutcher subtly pimped his investments without disclosure in Details comes this clever touch of realism: Mr. Kutcher’s tech billionaire character Walden Schmidt has two stickers each for New York startups Foursquare and Groupme on his–is that a Macbook Air?–laptop alongside stickers for his portfolio companies Flipboard, Chegg and Hipmunk. Anybody know what that other red sticker is for? Read More

Wishful Hacking

What Foursquare Wants: Suggestions for the Global Hackathon

foursquare power

Foursquare is being very strategic with its hackathons! We remember the first foursquare hackathon like it was yesterday. It was at General Assembly. It was right before South By Southwest. GroupMe built a foursquare app and subsequently broke out; Parisian hacker Pierre Valade built Agora, which eventually led to an internship at foursquare and the banning of the app by Twitter for misdemeanor spam.

As a result of the first hackathon, SXSW attendees had plenty of new foursquare apps to play with in between sessions of real foursquare in the startup’s PepsiMAX-sponsored court and awareness of the API spread amongst developers. Foursquare is pushing next weekend’s Global Hackathon just as cunningly. Remember when Meetup.com declared a National Pug Meetup Day and sent emails to pug lovers they found on the internet, encouraging them to create their own pug meetups in their cities? Read More

Before the Storm

URGENT: The Top 10 Hurricane Apps You Must Download Now – NYC Edition

iOS for iRene

As Missy Elliot would say, time to get your freak (out) on. Betabeat’s cabbie earlier today explained that he was from the Dominican Republic and would be battenting down the hatches at his house in Queens with techniques passed down in his family through the generations.

For those of you without tropical storms in your pedigree, here are a few must-have apps that will help you get through what must be the only week in New York City history to feature both an earthquake and a hurricane.

1) Hurricane HD: For $2.99 you can track Irene in high def as she barrels towards your borough. Betabeat recommends using the Boxee app to get this puppy up and running on the biggest screen in your house.

2) Foodspotting: It’s day six without power and you’ve run out of Ramen. You’re hearing reports over IRC chat that a cache of gourmet catfood has been discovered nearby and is being prepared as delicious tacos. Should you venture outside in search of sustenance? Pics or didn’t happen. Read More