Lawyer up on the go A new app from minds like BuzzFeed’s president Jon Steinberg and Spotify’s Jared Grusd lets you create, sign and send legal documents from your smartphone. Shake, released last week, includes template documents for independent contractors, personal loans, and NDAs. After you’ve chosen your document and answered a few quick questions, the contract can be signed on the spot or emailed. It’ll also be stored away in the cloud so you can get to it later. “Agreements don’t need to be long and complicated to be legally binding,” says Grusd. Yes, let’s leave lots of room in there, okay?
The Gmail app for iPad and iPhone got an upgrade. [Gmail Blog]
Despite the cluttered app market, half of all revenue from the app store goes to just 25 developers. [The Register]
Techstars company Karma has launched its $79 4G mobile hotspot that rewards users for sharing their connection. [TechCrunch]
If the Curiosity Rover can last eight more years, it will get a friend. NASA plans to send another rover to Mars in 2020. [BBC]
Why walk or drive to work when you could trampoline? [The Guardian]
The Real TechStars of New York
Back in June, the founder of 4G hotspot provider Karma got up on stage and announced partnerships with American Airlines and car service Uber. Only there were no final, formalized partnerships–just “talks” that might’ve been going well, but certainly weren’t done. At the time, it looked like a pretty devastating misstep.
Fast forward to Wednesday, when one of the world’s largest tech companies did some similar fudging. Google announced “a new, cloud-based version of the Google Wallet app that supports all credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Now, you can use any card when you shop in-store or online with Google Wallet.” Pretty sweet for those of you racking up the AmEx rewards.
5 Minute Pitches
After three long months of toiling away at 36 Cooper Square, TechStars NYC’s spring 2012 class is finally ready to say, “Hello, world.” Or rather, “Show me the money.” This morning, 13 startups will present their exhaustively-rehearsed pitches to a crowd of more than 700 for the program’s third Demo Day. (Check out our live-blog from Webster Hall.)
Back in March, managing director David Tisch promised us his most visionary class yet. “They all take big swings,” he told Betabeat. “I think the ideas are all going for something big. I don’t think there are lot of safe bets or small bets.”
The Real TechStars of New York
Unless your company is driven by big-name investors, it can be difficult to get press coverage for your fledgling startup until you’ve raised a significant amount of funding or kicked up some controversy. At least that’s the theory behind 5in5NYC, a new web series from entrepreneurs Eric Skiff and Kunal Shah that spotlights some of New York’s most compelling budding companies.
It’s that time again, boys and girls. TechStars NYC managing director David Tisch just announced the 14 companies who got the golden ticket to the accelerator and seed fund’s Spring class. Unlike the previous two programs, which operated out of Pivotal Labs, this class will call 36 Cooper Square home. (TechStars recently moved in to Foursquare’s old office in the Village Voice building.) “They’ll be able to sleep there easier,” Mr. Tisch quipped to Betabeat over the phone.
Last year, TechStars NYC funded 23 companies, 21 of which went on to raise $50 million after they graduated. According to Mr. Tisch, you can expect even bigger things from this class. The common element among all 14 newbies? “They all take big swings,” he said. “I think the ideas are all going for something big. I don’t think there are lot of safe bets or small bets.”