Ride or Die
Last year, the New York City Economic Development Council gave a local business school student a $17,500 grant to fund what was basically the best idea ever: Miniature vending machines, sized to fit snugly in the backseat of a taxi, ready to dispense items that New Yorkers on the go really need.
Silicon Alley Smackdown One of the many tech events on rain delay because of Hurricane Sandy was the Big Apple Smackdown ping pong tournament, whose guest list included an impressive number of familiar names from the New York tech scene. (Betabeat is one of the media sponsors, so we may be a little biased.) Among the techno-athletes scheduled to play was Gilt Groupe CEO–and soon-to-be Gilt Groupe chairman–Kevin Ryan. Apparently, we missed quite a show.
The tournament was scheduled for Sunday, “and I played on Friday and on Sunday just to get ready for it!” Mr. Ryan told Betabeat. Really? “Oh yeah, because I won a tournament about a month ago.” That was an invitation-only affair for ping pong ringers at the Hamptons manse of ABC Carpet & Home’s Ken Pilot. “You had to put $100 into the pot and the winner got two-thirds of the pot, so I was pretty excited about that,” Mr. Ryan enthused.
65 percent of women are the CFOs in their household, meaning they make the principal financial decisions. When serial entrpreneur Amanda Steinberg was looking to create an email business, she fixated on improving women’s financial smarts, something she had struggled with as a new mother buying a new home. And so DailyWorth, a sort of DailyCandy for money, was born.
The company has just raised $2 million from a group of angel investors led by Joanne Wilson and Stocktwits founder Howard Lindzon. Other investors include 500 Startups Dave McClure, TechStars Dave Cohen, networking artiste Peter Shankman and Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures. That brings its total funding to just over $3 million. “Amanda is an experienced entrepreneur and web developer. She’s got a great set of skills and is tapping into a big market,” said Ms. Wilson.
A new fashion start-up launching in September has secured backing from some of the biggest names in angel investing on the East and West coasts. Edition01 has raised around $500,000 from David Tisch, Ken Lerer and Ron Conway’s SV Angel to build an e-commerce site focusing on capsule collections: limited edition runs of products by designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez.
Apartment hunting in New York can be a soul-crushing time-suck. Just ask our friend who is crying about it right now. (Speaking of, anyone know of a nice studio/1-bedroom in Prospect Heights? He could really use your help!)
To the rescue comes Nestio, the very first start-up to present at TechStars’ Demo Day in April. The NYC real estate bookmarking site just secured itself the entire $750,000 it was aiming for, besting the $100,000 it had “soft-circled.” Angel investors for the seed funding round, led by NY-based Quotidian Ventures, include Gotham Gal Joanne Wilson, Barbarian Group’s Rick Webb, Betaworks’ Josh Auerbach, and TechStars New York’s David Tisch. The start-up aims to make it “easier to find a place to live” by organizing apartment listings so you can compare price/bedroom/location side-by-side either online or via its streamlined apps.
Growing Up VC
Growing up VC can be tough. During her rebellious teenage years, Jessica Wilson refused to tweet, much to the dismay of her parents, Fred and Joanne Wilson.
The Wall Street Journal has a big spread by Katherine Rosman on the Wilson family, cataloging the clan’s digital lives. Jessica and Emily each have two tumblrs. Josh only has one, but he’s got two Xboxes to make up for it.
In a house where both parents are prolific seed stage investors in tech, extracurricular activites focus on building a healthy online presence and becoming comfortable as an early adopter of new services.
“I would tell her that it was going to be the next big thing,” says Mr. Wilson, about encouraging his daughter to use Twitter.
On a spring morning back in 2008, Lockhart Steele, the precocious prepster who helped Gawker Media turn a snarky take on current events into an online juggernaut, sat down for breakfast at Pastis. He was meeting with Joanne Wilson, one of the investors in his new company, Curbed Media, which focused on residential real Read More