startup rundown

Startup Rundown: Betterific Improves the Future of Bed Sheets, and GroupMe Lets you Communicate Via Images of Squirrels

GroupMe's collection of summer-themed emoji

GroupMe ups the Emoji factor It’s hard to text your friends about brunch plans when you don’t have a bacon emoji, you know? So maybe it’s time to download GroupMe, the group messaging app that now offers users a delightfully broader array of emoji than ever before. There’s a red Solo cup; a taco; an iced coffee; a freaking squirrel perched on a branch, people. There’s even a special summer pack that includes a sweat-stained t-shirt (ew?) and a fat dog wearing sunglasses—endless fun! Already have GroupMe? Access the new range of emoji by downloading the latest update. Read More

3D printing

‘MakerBot Is MakerBot Is MakerBot': CEO Bre Pettis Promises The Company Won’t Change

The odd couple. (Photo: Screencap)

“This is a dream come true for an entrepreneur,” gushed MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis at this morning’s press conference announcing his company’s acquisition by Stratasys. “It’s an exciting new day for us.”

But much of the brief event was devoted to reassuring everyone that the quirky Brooklyn startup won’t change, even though it’s now a subsidiary of a massive, publicly traded company.

“MakerBot is MakerBot is MakerBot,” Mr. Pettis promised, after waxing nostalgic about the days when the company was so strapped for space that they once rented a Brooklyn apartment and started shoving in desks.”We’re a special place.” Read More

3D printing

Stratasys Is Acquiring MakerBot for $403M in Stock

Cutting the Ribbon at MakerBot's new Sunset Park facility

First Tumblr, and now comes another sizable New York City exit. Turns out the whimsical MakerBot won’t be raising a round, after all, because the desktop 3D-printing startup is being acquired by publicly traded behemoth Stratasys, for $403 million in stock. (Of course, that’s just the initial value, based on today’s $84.60 closing price for shares of Stratasys stock.) Stakeholders qualify for additional performance-based earnouts, with an initial total value of $201 million. Read More

startup rundown

Startup Rundown: Google Glass Gets Fancy, and MakerBot Open Up (Another) Shop

Cutting the Ribbon at MakerBot's new Sunset Park facility

New Tech City gets new managing editor WNYC announced yesterday that Manoush Zomorodi will become managing editor of New Tech City, the weekly tech podcast and segment on Morning Edition. According to the press release, Ms. Zomorodi—who co-created and currently hosts the program—“will oversee a new phase of New Tech City, in which WNYC plans to expand the weekly segment into…a digital media enterprise with videos, live events and other components that break from traditional radio programming.”  Keep your eyes and ears peeled, folks! Read More

YOLO FOMO 'n all that jazz

Gary Sharma’s Highlights from SXSW 2013 (Grumpy Cat, Elon Musk, Shaq, BBQ Pool Parties, Angry Birds & more!)

sponsor_garys_red_tie_new

Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun, singer/songwriter Tori Kelly, IRL Productions’ Emily Gannett and billionaire / Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at Conduit Corner @ SXSW 2013 (photo by Erica Gannett)

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide 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.

This was my sophomore outing at SXSW (‘Spring Break for Nerds!’) and it was every bit as epic and intense as the first one. Five days of non-stop boozing ‘n schmoozing ‘n pool partying ‘n BBQing ‘n celeb meeting  ‘n concerts with little-to-no sleep can take its toll. I feel like a HERD of elephants ran over me! Now that I’ve put that mental picture in your head, let’s dive in.

My 2013 SXSW actually began right here at La Guardia airport, where I ran into bunch of local tech peeps en route to Austin, including Newscred CEO Shafqat Islam. There was a storm coming, but luckily we got out before it hit. In fact, my flight left half an hour EARLY, if you can believe that, so thank you, United. (Of course, the return flight was delayed by an hour, so there went all the hard-earned goodwill. Oh well.) Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Will.i.am’s New Song Has a Hashtag In the Title, Naturally

IDK.

Recording artist Will.i.am, as you may know, is something of a self-styled technologist. Besides holding down a sweet gig as Intel’s director of “creative innovation,” he pops up in pro-coding propaganda and once featured a Makerbot in one of his videos, because why not. Now he’s further demonstrating his devotion to technology in the title of his latest track: “#thatpower,” released todayRead More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Rap Genius Cofounder Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 3.25.10 PM

Real Genius Andreessen Horowitz invested $15 million in Rap Genius to help its Ivy League cofounders to annotate the Internet. But how much will they have to pay to rein in the braggadocious Mahbod Moghadam?

In a recent issue of Wakefield, a newsletter covering “tech and startup insight not captured elsewhere,” Maboo was up to his old shenanigans, volunteering information about a “feud” with Mark Zuckerberg, who also happens to be backed by Andreessen Horowitz.

Apparently, Mr. Moghadam was at Ben Horowitz’s home, “chilling” with Zuck and Nas as is the new mode of Silicon Valley socializing. (Mr. Horowitz happens to be close friends with Steve Stoute, Nas’ former manager.) Despite Zuck’s heightened privacy concerns (it’s complicated?) Rap Genius cofounder couldn’t resist Instagramming his good fortune. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Classes at MakerBot, a Birchbox for Valentine’s Day and Lady Makers on PBS

What about a V-day date at MakerBot? It could work.

Your heart-shaped Birchbox. Tired of cellophane-wrapped boxes full of chocolate-flavored fat? On February 7, Birchbox is launching a limited edition V-day box—the “We Heart” Collection. For $36 you can have goodies like nail polish, bobby pins and some mascara product advertised as “triple action,” in case you’re not getting any this year.

Newsreels Tonight at 6 p.m. marks the premier of “MAKERS: Women Who Make America,” at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. This video and broadcast initiative is a collaborative effort between AOL and PBS that aims to communicate stories of revolutionary women who help shape today’s world. Read More

Life in 3D

MakerBot Boots 3D Printed Gun Parts from Thingiverse

(Photo: MakerBot)

After the events in Newtown, the gun control debate has taken on a new urgency. Suddenly 3D-printed firearms look a lot less like a thought-provoking experiment and more like a danger to the public–and Makerbot wants nothing to do with that.

CNET reports that just yesterday, it was possible to get the blueprints for the lower receiver of an AR15 semiautomatic rifle on Makerbot’s wiki Thingiverse. Today, there’s nothing but this listing where the downloads used to be. It’s part of a wider crackdown across the site on 3D-printed weapon parts. Read More