IRL

Techies Gather For a Real-Life Branch with Ev Williams and Jonah Peretti

Mr. Williams, Mr. Peretti and Mr. Miller.

The elevators to the BuzzFeed office are magnificently slow. Each fits about six people comfortably, and they trundle and groan up to the 11th floor, where the company’s ops, tech and marketing people sit. “Considering how fast the company moves, it’s amazing how slow its elevators are,” quipped one dapperly dressed man as we all awkwardly waited for the doors to open.

Betabeat was visiting the BuzzFeed office for the first time to attend a real-life roundtable. Hosted by Branch cofounder Josh Miller, the event included beers and mingling among some of New York’s prolific tech reporters and entrepreneurs, as well as a discussion with Twitter cofounder Ev Williams and BuzzFeed’s own cofounder Jonah Peretti. Read More

Founder Fun

Founder Swap Wants to ‘Get Startups Pregnant with New Ideas’

Ms. Ray and Mr. Brown

If Wife Swap is one of your guilty pleasures (ahem), then you might get a kick out of Founder Swap, a project created by the makers of Scroll Kit, Kate Ray and Cody Brown, [Editor's note: along with Jonathan Basker of Betaworks] which aims to inject fresh talent into startup teams. On June 1st, New York-based early-stage startup founders will swap places with the hope that the project will help foster new ideas among the participating companies. Read More

Love in the Time of Algorithms

Scroll Kit Lets You Make Customizable Valentines for Your Secret Crush

vday

Scroll Kit, the latest brainchild from the Bushwick-based team of Cody Brown and Kate Ray, demoed their new product at last week’s New York Tech Meetup to an admiring crowd. As Mr. Brown’s elevator pitch goes, the publishing tool lets anyone “make magazine-style layouts for the web and iPad without knowing how to code.”

Now that they’ve got your attention, they decided to have some fun with it, by putting the DIY back in Valentine’s Day love notes. Read More

Fresh Capital

Scroll Up! Bushwick-Based Mini-Startup Scores $222 K. After a Pivot and 16 Months of Ramen

Scrll screen shot

Cody Brown and Kate Ray graduated from NYU in 2010, taught themselves to code and built Kommons–a platform for crowdsourcing questions through Twitter and attempting to peer pressure an answer from public personalities. It didn’t, as they say, get traction. So they built another thing, “Nerd Collider,” a platform for hosting text-centric discussions between experts on the web, sort of like the New York Times’s Opinionator blog. Their latest product, Scroll, is a simple single-page HTML editor that allows publishers to lay out a fancy-looking page that mimics the flexibility designers have for formatting on the printed page. Bonus: the web page is automatically-formatted to look as good on the web as it does on the iPad. Read More