Fresh Capital

Picturelife’s Nate Westheimer Launches Red Bud Partners, a Seed Stage Fund for New York Startups

nate-westheimer

Serial entrepreneur Nate Westheimer is something of a renaissance technologist.

Picturelife, the photo startup he cofounded with OMGPOP founder Charles Forman, recently raised a $4 million round led by Spark Capital. Picturelife’s concept is timely: the service focuses on backing up, storing, and accessing all of your photos from the cloud. That got the attention of a number of other notable investors, including Crunchfund, Founder Collective, Lerer Ventures, Highline Venture Partners, Betaworks, David Karp, SV Angel, and Chris Dixon. Mr. Forman put some of the “way more” than $22 million he earned from OMGPOP’s sale to Zynga and former Zynga GM Nabeel Hyatt, a partner at Spark, joined Picturelife’s board. Read More

Hyperlocal

Where NY Tech’s Culture Comes From (and Why We Owe Amit Gupta Our Bone Marrow)

Mr. Gupta

This is a guest post from Nate Westheimer. Nate is an engineer, entrepreneur, and angel investor. Currently, Nate serves as Executive Director of the NY Tech Meetup, Advisor to Flybridge Capital Partners, and Founder/Advisor to Ohours.org. He blogs at innonate.com.

***

As the NY Tech scene has gained momentum over the past few years, I find myself talking to a lot of journalists who are trying to understand what’s going on here and how we arrived at this point.

In these interviews, I always highlight NY Tech’s unique culture, and in so doing I point out that this culture is both native to New York itself, but also cultivated and defined by folks in the tech community 5 to 10 years ago, before this Great Boom showed up in Gap ads and magazine covers.

In my opinion, the culture we have here has been defined by three people: Read More

On The Calendar

Goooood Morning, Silicon Alley! Gary Sharma’s Picks for the Week of September 12 (The Look Ma, I’m on TV! Edition)

garysguide

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), Founder of GarysGuide, Mentor at ER Accelerator and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over forty red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.org.

The tech powers-that-be reached out to me over the weekend with a desperate plea: “Gary, as u know two of our blowhards superstars were unceremoniously booted regretfully let go last week. Now we love these kids, but God knows what kind of crazy mischief they’ll get into if we don’t find them a new gig, pronto. Can you help?” So I put on my red tie, summoned my super powers and went searching for some answers.

The Boutique VC Firm
If you thought Andreeseen-Horowitz was the gold standard in Silicon Valley, wait till ya get a load of Arrington-Bartz. With Bartz’s take-no-prisoners approach and Arrington’s friendships cemented at Bin 38, dealflow should be a cinch. And I believe A12Z.com is available.

The Buddy Movie
Think an R-rated version of Jackie Chan + Chris Tucker but with way more colorful language and just a hint of romance. If that’s not a sleeper hit franchise in the making, I don’t know what is. You’re welcome, unimaginative overpaid Hollywood studio execs.

The Crime Fighting Super Duo
Worth it just to see all the prancing around the valley in tights and capes. Bartz’s trademark one-liner? “I’ll dropkick you to (bleeping) Mars.”

The Swap
It’s a no-brainer! Arrington takes over the reins at Yahoo while Bartz assumes blogging duties at TechCrunch. It’ll be like nothing ever changed. Bonus: Bartz and Arianna face off in a boardroom cat fight! But thats a story for another day.

And finally… the 2012 Presidential Candidate Team
If there was one takeaway from their infamous fireside chat at Techcrunch Disrupt NYC last year, it was that these kids would kill it in a presidential debate. F-bombs, anyone?

And now, onto this week’s tech-a-licious events… Read More

The Start-Up Rundown

Start-Up News: Vayable Launch, Airbnb Rebirth, and a Place Where There Are No Strangers

(Vayable.com)

VIABLE? Vayable.com, the world’s first experience sharing platform, launched last week in New York City.  “The company began operations less than four months ago, growing a passionate community in their hometown of San Francisco and has quickly gained popularity in key national and international markets.” New York was a natural next stop, said founder and CEO Jamie Wong, who came up with the idea while working at The Daily Show.

“Vayable.com is a new service that lets anyone discover and book great things directly from others in the community, providing a dynamic and compelling alternative to dusty guidebooks and double-decker bus tours.  Individuals are making money offering diverse experiences such as a private concert in a concert pianist’s downtown Manhattan loft, a fashion model sketching session with an instructor at Parsons, and a tour of Wall Street hosted by a Bloomberg TV reporter.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Social Media Edition

rumormonger

OMGNATE. We posted about Nate Westheimer selling the first app he ever coded, Ohours, to Hirelite. Ohours was going great! People loved it! And yet Mr. Westheimer was ready to move on to bigger and better Rubylicious things. Although he demurred when we asked what. But the rumormill is suggesting it’s something to do with social gaming. A source tells Betabeat the stealth project is “a partnership with OMGPOP’s Forman,” referring to the infamous Charles, a friend of Mr. Westheimer’s. Read More

Buy Local

Tweeting, Tweeting, Gone! Nate Westheimer Sold His First Coding Side Project, Ohours, Thanks to Twitter

nate west

It’s a very New York story! Less than a year ago, man-about-New-York-tech Nate Westheimer, a Non-cOding Product Executive, or NOPE, retreated into a “sweat lodge” with a Ruby on Rails book and an idea he’d been sitting on for more than two years.

“It was something I really, really needed,” Mr. Westheimer told Betabeat via Google Chat. He’d been using “a hacky combination of tools” to approximate a web-based calendar to coordinate open office hours. “When I started teaching myself to code I told Vin Vacanti a few ideas I had, and he said if I build Ohours he’d be the first user on it. Knowing at least one other person would use the product really inspired me to build it.”

Mr. Westheimer launched the site back in December and local techies started testing it out. As promised, Mr. Vacanti was a prolific user, although Forrst founder Kyle Bragger was technically the first to sign up. Shelby.tv founder Reece Pacheco gave it a try; Union Square Ventures’s Gary Chou wrote a rave review. TechStars’s Dave Tisch is a fan. And so on.

But in May Mr. Westheimer was ready to move on to other schemes. “I wonder if there someone out there who LOVES @Ohours, has what it takes to run a startup, and hacks Rails at least as well as I do…,” he tweeted. Read More