Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
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.
Terribly saddened by the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims, and hopefully we can all come together and figure out how to never ever let something like this happen again.
Plenty more holiday parties this week. The one event you don’t wanna miss is the Queens Tech Meetup Holiday Party. QTM has quickly raced to almost a thousand members, and this Wednesday they’ve assembled a rockstar panel of women in NYC tech including Rachel Haot (Chief Digital Officer, New York City), Reshma Saujani (Founder, Girls Who Code and former New York City Deputy Public Advocate). Jessica Lawrence (Managing Director, New York Tech Meetup) and Helen Marshall (Queens Borough President and Coalition for Queens). Long Island City is happening, yo!
Who wants high-speed broadband fiber goodness at their business? You do! The NYCEDC may be bringing you the Christmas gift you always wanted. It’s called the NYC Fiber Challenge. Winners receive free fiber build-out to their business, an overall value of up to $7 million for all winning businesses over two years. The application deadline is 2pm on December 27. Go get ‘em! If you wanna learn more, there’ll be a few workshops this week in Long Island City and Brooklyn.
After the Storm
Given recent events, Betabeat decided to forego our Rumor Roundup this week for a roundup of all the things startups are doing to help get New York back to normal following Hurricane Sandy.
It didn’t take long for New York startups and techies to spring into action after Hurricane Sandy left parts of our fine city without power, water, shelter, or Wifi.
On Tuesday, we pointed you to New York Tech Meetup and New Work City’s attempts to mobilize tech-savvy volunteers to help local businesses and organizations get networks and websites up and running. Today, NYTM put out an official call to its 28,000 members, asking for more volunteers and taking requests (online or by phone/text 646-392-7353) from government agencies, small businesses, non-profits, and schools that need help anything from data recovery to Internet connectivity to getting servers back online.
Noel Hidalgo, one of the lead volunteers of that effort, has been manning an uber-useful Sandy Coworking map of offices space for displaced techies. And New Work City founder Tony Bacigalupo, has pretty much morphed into Silicon Alley’s Cory Booker.
Many businesses and organizations in New York are suffering without electricity following yesterday’s devastating hit from Hurricane Sandy. With electrical and tech equipment down across the city, there’s a need for capable engineers to help get New Yorkers back to being plugged in. Today, the New York Tech Meetup and New Work City published a sign-up form for volunteers hoping to use their tech skills to help out a neighbor.
“NY Tech Meetup and New Work City are organizing volunteers with technology skills to help New York-area businesses, payday loan lenders and organizations get their technology back up and running after Hurricane Sandy,” reads the signup form. The team is currently organizing a database of willing volunteers and then will decide from there how to allocate help.
“I thought this was gonna be like a real funeral,” Betabeat’s date complained. Her confusion was understandable. The invitation for Friday night’s Startup Funeral–a sort of reverse launch party for failed startups–instructed us stop by the “New Work City Funeral Home.” So we were a little surprised, upon entering the dim second-story loft off Canal Street, to find a DJ spinning hip-hop as guests milled about the Chinatown coworking space in business casual–save for a veiled woman and a dude in devil’s horns.
We didn’t spot any condolence casseroles, but canapés sat on trays next to bowls of punch and pink paper lamps hung from the ceiling. On the Western window, a large screen bore the Wifi password.
Startup parties tend to focus on the positive. Launches, app releases and acquisitions, oh my! It’s a freaking party, after all. But the flip side also deserves to be commemorated. With booze. So goes the logic behind Startup Funeral. “Join us as we pay respects to our dearly departed startups who have left us for the deadpool,” says the site, with a link to an event on September 21st that promises to do just that.
The wickedly clever idea was masterminded by Android developer Kevin Galligan, who then teamed up with four of his fellow entrepreneurs out of New Work City, a co-working space in Chinatown: Leo Newball, Jr., Jason Kende, Valerie Lisyansky and Jason Nadaf. “Work time: 45 minutes; Discussion Time: 2 months+,” Mr. Newball told Betabeat by Gchat when we asked how it took them to build the site.
Founders representing the deceased startups will have a chance to speak for five minutes about whatever they want–lessons learned, plugging their new venture–but the aim is to have a good time. “So the idea [for] Startup Funeral started as a Viking funeral–drinking with a burning effigy as they would in the grand old times when the Vikings ruled the sea. Then the idea morphed. Why not an Irish funeral? Why not a marching band?” Mr. Newball explained. “We want to be clear it’s primarily a party; the learning experience is way down the list.”
the startup rundown
LAWGIC. Today 2tor is partnering with Washington University to put their Master of Laws degree online. 2tor’s previous partnerships with USC, UNC and Georgetown have put high-end higher education online with programs in social work, business and nursing. The Washington University partnership is specifically aimed at removing a hurdle for international students who want to study U.S. law. Read More
About 60 of 200 registered attendees gathered at New Work City last night to hear two-minute speeches by the candidates for an open New York Tech Meetup board seat. Meetup and NYTM founder Scott Heiferman stood in the audience in a red hoodie, board member Esther Dyson settled on the window ledge in a #newsfoo t-shirt, and scene staple Gary Sharma wandered about with his sponsored tie (Pivotal Labs and Inkba) as 15 candidates gave their vision of what should change about the largest meetup in New York, which last year incorporated as a nonprofit 501c(6), giving it the power to lobby government, among other things.
I'M FOURSQUARE MAYOR--BITCH
Leo Newball has held the title of mayor (on Foursquare) of Soho’s cozy coworking cave New Work City. Who is Leo? his website asks. A web developer who is into design and data, his website answers. And Foursquare, apparently. But Mr. Newball is tired of going unchallenged.
the startup rundown
STYLECASTER RAISES FUNDS. “Announced today, we’ve raised $1 million in a small bridge round, in order to bring in Facebook, MySpace and Zynga veterans as investors… we’re going to completely revamp our flagship site StyleCaster.com, and offer new, even more social products and features.”
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEMO NIGHT. Is tonight (and $10, why?)
NEW WORK CITY. Hit 100 members.
WEWORK LABS. Has an important announcement to make tonight about the future of the coworking space. (We hear it’s good news.)
the startup rundown
HIP LIKE HP. New Work City just signed its newest sponsor: HP. “This is really great for us, as their support will play a huge part in helping us make ongoing improvements to the space and community. To consummate the relationship, we’re hosting an event on December 5th. I’ll have more details next week. In the meantime, come play with some new gadgets and help us help HP make printing suck less!“
FITOCRACY PUSH. “Fitness is something that people tend to take very seriously so it should be no surprise that when they embark on the quest to better bodies, they want their chosen tools to be the best they can be. Since the beginning, one of the most often requested features for Fitocracy has been a way to visualize your workout progress over time. And so it is with incredible excitement that we announce the official release of Graphs on Fitocracy.”