XX in Tech
What Is This I Can't Even
There are precious few tech events for which Betabeat would agree to wear high heels. But if there was ever a worthy cause, it’s Girls Who Code. Thus between subway transfers, we swapped out our beat-up boots for patent leather and teetered our way around the cobblestone patches outside the New York Stock Exchange for the organization’s startup-studded gala.
The cause for celebration was two-fold. The first was showing off demos from its inaugural class of 20 girls, who represented all five boroughs and some disarmingly ambitious ideas. (We’re still scratching our head at Cora Frederick‘s plan to use data mining and machine learning to classify tumors.) The second was to announce an audacious new goal: to train one million girls in computer science by 2020, starting with a national expansion outside New York City next year.
The nonprofit organization, founded by former deputy public advocate Reshma Saujani and run by former Jumo managing director Kristen Titus, offers teenage girls an eight-week, full-time education in robotics, web design, and mobile development, with mentorship from engineers and executives at Twitter, Google, ZocDoc, Gilt Groupe, and more. In fact, Ms. Saujani noted last night, CEO Dick Costolo volunteered Twitter’s first philanthropic donation to Girls Who Code, although she politely declined to specify the dollar amount.
Teach Me How to Startup
The old Grey Lady sure has outdone herself. Today the New York Times treated us to “Bachelorville’s Big Fish,” about the Valley’s population of wealthy, eligible bachelors who, it is universally acknowledged, must be in want of a wife. Even better: It’s complete with a slideshow by the oh-my-God-are-you-serious name of “Dating Profiles of High-Tech, High-Worth Bachelors.” We’re sure that many of these gentlemen are lovely, but really?
Rather than get our knickers in a twist re: gold-digging and its inherent objectionability, we’ve decided to take a different tack and respond to each “dating profile” with a popular song. To wit:
Time to Make the Paper
On his blog yesterday WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg (who is not personally responsible for Betabeat being down just now, but sorry about that) noted something unusual about Y Combinator’s newest venture partners, namely their lack of venture experience.
If you haven’t heard of COLOURlovers, you’re probably not a design fiend. Judging by its traffic growth over the past seven years, however, it’s built a pretty loyal following among its one million right-brained registered members. The Y Combinator grad also counts community-building experts, like Matt Mullenweg from WordPress and Alexis Ohanian from Reddit, as angel investors. They joined Founder Collective, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups and others in a $1 million seed round last March.
Today on the company’s blog, “Chief Lover” Darius A. Monsef IV (who goes by the name Bubs and founded the site while still working at Microsoft) announced the private beta launch of an Etsy-like exchange called CreativeMarket that will enable its users to share and sell their “mousemade goods” like patterns, shapes, photos, fonts, and gradients. Although the team works remotely, co-founder Aaron Epstein, the brains behind ColorSchemer.com which eventually merged with COLOURlovers, lives right here in New York. “We’ve been trying to get as many New York people as possible,” Mr. Epstein told Betabeat.
Back in December, we spoke to Bubs about the API for CreativeMarket that he and Mr. Epstein were planning to roll out, why he decided to leave Microsoft, how Twitter plays into this, and getting Martha Stewart to blog his wedding cake.