Shaking Hands Kissing Babies

Get Ready for Your Close Up, Silicon Alley: Scott Stringer Wrangles Dem. Mayoral Candidates for Tech Forum

Mr. Stringer. (Photo: Thomas Good / NLN)

Mayor Bloomberg is scheduled to exit stage left this year, which means it’s time to elect someone to take his place. Since there are no other billionaire tech evangelists waiting in the wings, local techies are being courted for their votes by candidates eager to prove they’re the all about Silicon Alley.

Wall Street? Where’s that?  Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

Mike Bloomberg Has Poured $1.1 B. Into a Research Institution That Is Not in New York City

Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Dorsey. (Photo:

A fair bit of Mike Bloomberg’s third and final term has been devoted to improving New York City’s educational offerings in the practical hard sciences. Besides the creation of Cornell Tech, he also helped broker city support for beefed-up programs at NYU and Columbia.

But there’s one science-focused school that has clearly has the mayor’s heart, and it’s in Baltimore, of all places: His alma mater, Johns Hopkins, where he got his engineering degree. He’s showered the university with cash for years, and the New York Times reports that his latest gift (a cool $350 million, the largest individual gift in the school’s history) brings the total to $1.1 billion.  Read More

Ride or Die

Mayor Bloomberg on Taxi Apps: ‘There Is a Group of Cab Owners That Are Opposed to Anything’


This morning, on his weekly Friday radio show with John Gambling, Mayor Bloomberg discussed the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s vote in favor of a year-long pilot program to test out e-hailing apps, which let riders flag down a cab with their smartphone.

As we noted yesterday, the pilot was a last-minute compromise when it seemed like lobbying from black car and livery car incumbents would prohibit the passage of permanent rules to open up the taxi market to any app with a license. (Black cars and liveries worry that the ability to “pre-arrange” taxi rides with an an app will hurt their business.)   Read More

Meet Your Maker

At a Ribbon-Cutting for Shapeways’ ‘Factory of the Future,’ Bloomberg Talks New York Tech

The crowded presser for the factory of the future. (Photo: Shapways' Instagram)

This morning, Betabeat ventured forth to the industrial environs of Long Island City for a ribbon-cutting at what’s being billed as the “factory of the future.”

Naturally, quite a few tech scene regulars were in attendance, like New York City Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky. But, by and large, it was mayor Michael Bloomberg’s show–that, and of course Shapeways, the company that’ll soon be 3D printing user-generated designs right were we were standing.

“There are plenty of good reasons we want New York City to be the epicenter of the industry, something, folks, that the factory and the research lab here at Shapeways will help make possible,” he told us, before adding, for anyone missing the point: “This is the future of our city.” Read More

Mayor Bloomberg, Eric Schmidt Dish on Upgrades to New York’s Tech Scene

Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Dorsey. (Photo:

Earlier today, Betabeat ventured downtown for a tech-world double whammy: Not just Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but also Google chairman Eric Schmidt were scheduled to speak. The pair were stopping by the joint headquarters of Boxee and Sidetour for a quick check-up on the state of New York tech.

After a barrage of stats illustrating New York’s rise to tech superstardom–for example, between 2007 and 2010, the number of employees at New York City digital media companies has grown 74 percent–Mayor Bloomberg segued into the news, such as it was.

On the heels of a nighttime cab ride testing Square technology with CEO Jack Dorsey, he’d just come from a morning meeting where he’d convened leaders–from Valley heavy hitters like Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to Alley stalwarts like Union Square Ventures ringleader Fred Wilson–for a roundtable dubbed “Keeping the Edge,” focused on the areas of infrastructure, education, and innovation. Read More

Fashion Turn to the Left

AHAlife, Of a Kind and Others Get Their Very Own Pop Up, Just in Time for Fashion Week

Our setting. (Photo: Yelp)

Back in June, we drew your attention to Project Pop-Up NYC, a city-backed contest for fashion and fashion-tech companies looking to prove their innovative bona fides. Well, the ballots are in and today the winners were announced in a press conference that must’ve taken quite a while, because there were a lot of winners.

A whopping eleven startups were honored including AHAlife, Of a Kind, and Shoptiques, and every one will get a spot at Chelsea-based pop-up specialist STORY for the month of September. With all those winners you’d be forgiven for wondering whether everyone got a trophy, but Crains reports that more than 130 companies applied. Clearly the fashionistas have been busy bees. Read More

Metro Tech

Speedballing: Time Warner Cable Spends $25 M. to Improve Broadband in Startup Hubs

(Photo: Wikimedia)

Today Time Warner Cable announced that the company expects to invest $25 million to expand its fiber optic network in both “established and emerging” business sectors around New York City. Many of the areas highlighted in today’s announcement happen to coincide with burgeoning tech hubs.

In a press release to Betabeat, Time Warner said it would extend its broadband capabilities in “the World Trade Center, the Flatiron District, all areas of Midtown and throughout the Financial District,” in Manhattan. In addition to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Time Warner is also upgrading fiber in the “Brooklyn Tech Triangle, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Industry City.” Long Island City in Queens, the future home to Shapeways 3D-printing factory, will also benefit from the effort. Read More

Teach Me How to Startup

Beyond Silicon Alley: NYC Partners with Mashable, Tumblr to Get Neighborhood Businesses Online

Mayor Bloomberg.

Bright and early this morning, we hopped aboard an F train and ventured not into Midtown, home of Betabeat, but rather deeper into Queens. Our destination: The Queens Business Solutions Center, an unassuming government building located on Jamaica Avenue and surrounded by bargain stores. Waiting, freshly printed, on every single seat: An updated copy of the city’s digital roadmap, dated August 2012.

Mayor Bloomberg had shlepped out to discuss his plan to bring small businesses into the Internet Age. The means: the Small Business Toolkit, a program incorporating both in-person classes at business solutions centers across the five boroughs, and a new online library of how-to guides developed in cooperation with local tech companies Mashable, Tumblr, Google and Weebly to help neighborhood entrepreneurs figure out this whole Internet thing.

While startups in the Union Square vicinity focus on disruption, few have been addressing the many neighborhood business that aren’t even online, and don’t know how to get there. Perhaps the administration got the memo about that bodega tech gap? Read More