2013

‘Think Before Including Emoji in Every Text:’ NYC Techies’ New Year’s Resolutions

(Photo: DeviantArt)

2012 was quite a year for the New York tech community. Several NYC startups scored monster exits, while others raised millions to up their chances of scoring a ping pong table for the office. Whether or not that hotly debated bubble bursts, we imagine 2013 will be another exciting year for NYC’s tech set. Here are some New Year’s resolutions from some of the NYC tech community’s boldest names. Read More

Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

Onswipe Announces Its First Hackathon, Encouraging Devs to ‘Hack Their Way to HTML5 Glory’

(Photo: Eventbrite)

Hey you, what are you doing next weekend? Would you like to flex your HTML 5 and Javascript skills with the potential to win some sweet prizes? If the answer is yes, Onswipe has a hackathon for you! If the answer is no, what’s your problem anyway?

On October 19th, Onswipe is holding its first ever 48-hour hackathon at the company’s Union Square-based HQ. The startup assures us, in bolded font, that there will be beer. The theme of the hackathon is HTML5–unsurprising given Onswipe’s own underlying code infrastructure. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: AOL Is Sunsetting QLabs, Ron Jeremy Has Friends In Tech Places

(Photo: QLabs)

Good news, Silicon Alley denizens. After much demand from fellow gossip-mongers, Betabeat has decided to resurrect your favorite recurring Friday feature. Welcome back to Rumor Roundup! Overheard a juicy tidbit about impending departures or imminent acquisitions? Dying to dish about startup blunders or frothy financing? Holler at your girls: tips@betabeat.com

THE SUN SOMETIMES SETS ON THE AOL EMPIRE Multiple sources have told Betabeat that AOL Ventures plans on shutting down QLabs–the press-shy experimental think tank in Soho located at 670 Broadway. “The time frame must be darn near immediate,” one source told Betabeat, alluding to some urgency around winding down existing projects. “It’s dead,” said a source with indirect knowledge of the decision. “Their funding ran out,” the second source added, speculating that the initiative had a set funding size, but “nothing yielded.” Read More

True Crime

Spate of Attempted Robberies Hits NYC Startup Offices Onswipe and Shelby.TV

Onswipe's office. (Photo: Michelle Young, Untapped Cities)

A few weeks ago, Betabeat caught wind of a handful of attempted robberies that had taken place at startup offices around the Flatiron area. On a visit to his office, Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste told us that a few men who looked to be in their early 20s had come to Onswipe claiming to be soliciting money for a sports team. Instead, they attempted to steal some of the company’s iPads. Read More

Summer Jamz

We Know What You Did This Summer

35 Photos

Dennis Crowley

It’s hard to be heads down when it’s hot out. Exhortations to “just keep shipping” trigger fantasies of sailboats; Friday afternoon happy hours just aren’t as appealing as sangria on a terrace in Spain. Besides–is there any surer sign of a healthy startup sector than tech stars taking lavish vacations? Read More

Going Mobile

With Two New Execs and Lofty Expansion Plans, Onswipe’s on Its Way Up

Mr. Baptiste (jasonlbaptiste.com)

The first sound we heard upon ringing the doorbell at the Onswipe offices just off of Union Square was the pitter-pattering of puppy footsteps. “Is that a dog?” we asked aloud to the well-dressed man who was also waiting to be let into the office. Sure enough, an Onswipe employee opened the door and a scruffy white dog excitedly greeted us.

Once we were in the loft-like offices, out came TechStars alum Jason Baptiste, Onswipe’s colorful founder, who after introducing himself made the dog (named Johnny) sit and shake. Johnny refused to do a spin though. “He’ll do anything if you have food,” acknowledged Mr. Baptiste, wearing a dapper grey suit and pink tie.

We were at Onswipe to discuss the company’s recent growth, which has been on an impressively upward swing since February. Onswipe’s staff has quadrupled to 25 in the last year, with plans to grow to 48 employees by year’s end. The company also recently added two new executive level positions: former VP of AOL Video Richard Bloom as its first COO, and former VP of sales at Jumptap Jared Hand as its first CRO. Read More

Freebies

For the Next 24 Hours, Onswipe CEO Jason Baptiste Is Giving Away His New Book For Free Online

Mr. Baptiste

In advance of of the release of his new book, “The Ultralight Startup: Launching a Business Without Clout or Capital,” Onswipe CEO and cofounder Jason Baptiste is letting readers access the entire thing for free for the next 24 hours. Onswipe, which has picked up $6 million in funding from Yuri Milner, SV Angel, Thrive Capital, Betaworks, Lerer Ventures, and more, offers a nifty platform that lets publishers make their web content iPad-ready in a flash. Starting at 10am EST today, book will be available here  . . . and in tablet form via Onswipe, naturally. (You didn’t think Mr. Baptiste got a book deal by being a wallflower about his product, did you?)

The book is being released by Penguin, the same publishing house that backs Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, and Nick Bilton’s recently-outed Twitter project. “It’s essentially the hands-on guide I wish I had five years ago to know how to go from idea to launch to traction to funding,” Mr. Baptiste said of his book, which will feature cases studies from Onswipe, as well as Twitter, Foursquare, and Dropbox. Read More

Goooood Morning, Silicon Alley! Gary Sharma’s Picks for the Week of Halloween: The Multi-Million Dollar Edition

garysguide

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), Founder of GarysGuide, Mentor at ER Accelerator 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.

Just Peachy
It starts off innocently enough with buzzwords like platform, brands, game mechanics, engaging clients, social graph … yada yada yada … being thrown about. And then suddenly this … “We’ve been thru a ton of together. I know her mood swings, I know when her blood sugar gets low.” Wait, whaaa…? Yup, thats Betabeat’s very own new reality show, of course. ;) It’s called “The Pitch” and as Betabeater Ben Popper recently tweeted, it’s got everything from college seniors and corporate bankers to toy makers and fashionistas trying their hand at the startup lifestyle. And yes, plenty of baseball metaphors. So go grab some popcorn, lean back and press the play button already.

Deals, deals & more deals
As always, we got a bunch of cool deals for y’all including classes at General Assembly, the Raise Cache tech fashion show, 500 Startups Warm Gun conference and more.

And now, lets take a peek behind the curtains to see who’s performing (and who’s showboating) in the Flatiron production of Silicon Alley this week… Read More

Demo Day

TechStars NY Demo Day: The Live Blog

Let’s get this party started.

GO: Ben Lerer and Roger Ehrenberg do a fist bump and talk about having a coding sleepover #brogramming

1 – Companies are coming out to Empire State of Mind. Investors high fiving them as they walk down the aisle.

2 – Unlike last year, when Bloomberg was filming, the lunch with investors after demos is private this time.

3 – David Kidder introduces Contently, says he’s an investor, and promises this thing has legs. Mr. Kidder says its gotten to $1 million a year.

4 – Contently’s Shane Snow talk about how LinkedIn became their client after trying Demand Media and other content farms. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

TechStars, Episode 2: ‘Hide Your Developers, Hide Your Designers’ OnSwipe’s Hiring Errrybody In Here

davidcam

Last week on the premiere of TechStars, the startups got the good news about their golden ticket into the inaugural New York class (more selective than Hahvard, didja hear?). Last night, the reality show’s second episode (you can watch the whole thing here) focused on Lesson One: Humility–as in, it just might behoove you to get some. Fast. One startup picks up $1 million in funding. One startup goes to Hollywood to meet their idol. And we learn that you don’t have to know a whole lot about gaming to throw around the words “gaming mechanics.” Here’s what you missed! Read More