Words of Wisdom

Moot Talks to HackNY About The Importance of Being Imperfect


Moot (né Christopher Poole) was the latest tech luminary to impart his wisdom and experience, accumulated over the past 20-something years, to hackNY’s 2011 class.

Akarshan Kumar, one of hackNY’s new fellows, chronicled the experience on his blog New York Summer. In the two-hour talk Mr. Poole covered everything from his personal temperament (“I’m not easily offended. I run 4chan”) to not being friends with your board members.

But Mr. Poole’s most trenchant advice seemed to be about picking the right co-founder and the benefits of imperfection. When picking a partner to run your start-up, over-eagerness should be a turn-off. Instead, he told them, go for a hard-to-get founder you’re going to have to fight to work with. Mr. Kumar’s take away? “If your prospective co-founder wants to sleep with you, don’t sleep with him.” Read More


New York’s Tech Accelerator Boom Has Other Cities Running Scared

Image via Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun

Here’s a little anecdote to get the day started. Some dudes in Balitmore with a parking app and a panda for their mascot totally left that town and headed to the Big Apple when they landed a spot in the innagural ER Accelerator.

For anyone who’s been paying attention, New York is throwing a sort of start-up summer camp this year, with half a dozen accelerators and incubators putting young start-ups through the paces. The L.A. Times, which doesn’t even mention ER by name, seems blown away by the idea of a company getting $25,000 and a spot in Times Square. Read More

Summer Jamz

HackNY Conscripts Three Times as Many Students As Last Year to the Startup Life

via Business Insider

Betabeat has the first word on HackNY’s new batch of fellows for 2011. The campaign to “keep kids off the Street” will triple in size to 35 students, from the hundreds that applied, thanks to funding from New York’s start-up community, groups like Internet Society and the Kauffman Foundation, and investors like Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ Gotham, and First Round Capital.

Hundreds of New York start-ups also submitted their offer: a technological problem to solve (and mentor for each fellow). HackNY co-founders Evan Korth and Chris Wiggins whittled that list down to 33. Read More


Student Coders Do it Live at HackNY Hackathon

hackny charlie o

The HackNY hackathon is the most realistic New York hackathon in recent memory in terms of what can be built in a weekend, attendees told Betabeat over and over.

Students from NYU, Columbia, Juilliard, Rutgers, University of Pennsylvania and Brown, running on bagels, ice cream and a few hours of sleep presented rough drafts of applications Sunday including a virtual reality xylophone, location-based chat, personalized recommendations from Netflix Instant, a website that tells you what ice cream shops are nearby, and two derivatives of the game Balderdash. Read More


HackNY’s One-Year Anniversary


Two professors and a data scientist met in January last year over milkshakes, but it was with a sense of urgency. “We felt like we needed to do something as soon as possible, if not sooner,” said Chris Wiggins, an applied mathematics professor at Columbia. “There was starting to be an increase Read More