startup rundown

Startup News: Gilt Group now has Search Capabilities; Codeacademy Can Help You Learn Python

The redesigned Nestio iPhone app.

Hunting season Nestio has redesigned its iPhone app, designed to help apartment hunters stay organized and share information with friends. In addition to improved camera functionality, the 2.0 version has some new features, including an activity screen to help users see what progress their roommates have made in the search, as well as a checklist to help potential renters and buyers remember what features to look for when they’re viewing an apartment.

Guilty convenience Gilt Group just announced that they have (finally) added search capabilities to the site. Members can now search each Gilt store by category, brand and price—just like almost every other website that exists.

1000+ Zinio—which produces interactive versions of existing magazines, providing a reading platform which enables readers to easily navigate text, interactive graphics, animated illustrations, and videos—just announced the production of its 1000th interactive magazine. Read More

Look At Me Now

TechStars NYC: Where Are They Now?

23 Photos

Spontaneously (Summer 2011)

We feel a little guilty. We’ve been fickle and easily distracted. Last year, the first two TechStars NYC classes were all we could talk about. But when their programs ended, we kind of forgot about them and directed our attention to the newest TechStars NYC class. Shame on us!

But back in the day, those first 23 companies were all the rage. Like shiny new toys, they were exciting and fascinating. There was even a reality television show about them. So even though their three-month, highly-competitive startup accelerator program has ended, these companies are still around. They didn’t just vanish into thin air. (Well, some of them did).

But all of this begs the question, where are these companies now? How have they fared in the big, bad world? Did they flop? Or surpass expectations?

We didn’t know, so we decided to find out. And it turns out that we weren’t the only ones who were curious about what these companies have been up to. Read More

XX in Tech

Lady CEOs Take Over Internet Week

Ms. Barna (firstround.com)

The rain was really starting to come down hard, but the female CEOs at Internet Week appeared undaunted by the passing storm. Birchbox’s Hayley Barna, Learnvest’s Alexa von Tobel, Nest.io’s Caren Maio, Mashable’s Sharon Feder and Artspace’s Catherine Levene joined CNNMoney reporter Laurie Segall for a discussion about gender in tech.

The panel was entitled “Why Being a Good CEO Has Nothing to Do with Being a Woman,” but it was clear from the first question that the women on this panel were more concerned with talking about their businesses than how being a woman has hindered their growth in the tech sector. And who can blame them? After all, the panel was specifically about how gender had nothing to do with their success–though almost all of the questions revolved around their experience as women in a male-dominated world. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

This Week In TechStars!: Mark Suster Gives Good Insult

suster

Entrepreneur-turned-investor Mark Suster has already dispensed email advice for “us sarcastic bastards who have slitting tongues,” but on this week’s episode of TechStars he gives David Tisch a run for his money on the real talk/insult-o-meter, to some amusing ends. (Check out our top five list after the end.)

In Episode Four, Mr. Tisch is trying to prepare the teams for Demo Day and “access to a room full of money,” in some cases by throwing ping pong balls or fake cash to see if he can distract them. He also encourages them to “try your best to get a third of what you’re looking for soft circled,” so they can present with some momentum. The VC weather report might be frothy, but not all the teams are finding it easy. Read More

Real TechStars of New York

‘Don’t Blow That F%^&ing Opportunity': Betabeat’s Guide to Watching the TechStars Reality Show Premiere

VinVacanti-Nestio01

New York’s tech set has finally hit the big time, you guys! At 9 p.m. EST tonight, TechStars new reality show premieres on Bloomberg TV. And the vaunted ranks of IRL housewives, spray tan-happy Italian-Americans, and people with something to lose have nothing on the drama of trying to fund, launch, scale, keep afloat–and especially name–your startup.

In fact, by our count, since January, the TechStars New York inaugural class has already had four name changes, one big win, one pivot, one abandoned idea, and one fail.

If you think about it, the reality show format is a natural fit for a seed stage accelerator like TechStars. Like America’s Next Top Model and American Idol, you have the desperate audition to actually make it on the cast, only with PowerPoint decks instead of strutting and singing. Then once you’re in, your work is constantly being scrutinized by a panel of experts, which makes David Tisch the Heidi Klum (albeit with a filthier mouth) to Roger Ehrenberg’s Nina Garcia. But as every reality show “winner” can tell you, getting anointed by the powers that be doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the real world.

But you didn’t think Betabeat would let you wade into the expletive-laced, frothy territory on your own, did you? Here’s what you need to know before the premiere. Read More

Accelerators

David Tisch, Josh Auerbach, and Joanne Wilson Invest in NYC Real Estate Site Nestio

restio

Apartment hunting in New York can be a soul-crushing time-suck. Just ask our friend who is crying about it right now. (Speaking of, anyone know of a nice studio/1-bedroom in Prospect Heights? He could really use your help!)

To the rescue comes Nestio, the very first start-up to present at TechStars’ Demo Day in April. The NYC real estate bookmarking site just secured itself the entire $750,000 it was aiming for, besting the $100,000 it had “soft-circled.” Angel investors for the seed funding round, led by NY-based Quotidian Ventures, include Gotham Gal Joanne Wilson, Barbarian Group’s Rick Webb, Betaworks’ Josh Auerbach, and TechStars New York’s David Tisch. The start-up aims to make it “easier to find a place to live” by organizing apartment listings so you can compare price/bedroom/location side-by-side either online or via its streamlined apps. Read More