Remember the busload of entrepreneurs who hacked together six companies on the way from New York to South By Southwest? The experience was somewhere between summer camp and boot camp, and the participants have kept in touch ever since. (Betabeat received a few tipsy messages one night that revealed the buspreneuers had reunited for drinks and decided to raise $6,000 by the morning in order to stage an impromptu hackathon on a train.) Now the Startup Bus syndicate is planning StartupBus Accelerate, brainchild of Startup Bus hacker Mike Caprio, for this Saturday at New Work City.
CONQUER THE WORLD. Startup Weekend just closed a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation; now it’s announced a two-year agreement with Google. “Google is supporting Startup Weekend through a global sponsorship, which will not only allow for the expansion of current operations, but also enable the global roll-out of pre-Startup Weekend Google developer workshops and vertical specific initiatives in areas such as education and health.”
SAVE AMIT. Seth Godin, Michael Galpert, and Jakob Lodwick have pledged $10,000 each for the first person whose marrow matches that of Amit Gupta, recently diagnosed with leukemia. Party and cheek swabbing session on Friday at New Work City.
the startup rundown
SKILLSHARE EVERYWHERE. Skillshare had two big announcements yesterday: 1) the democratized education platform is available in “every major city” in the U.S. now, and 2) CEO Mike Karnjanaprakhorn has been named one of 12 TED fellows in 2012.
FORRST RANGERS. The developer community Forrst has started posting jobs. Bring it on, Stack Overflow.
SAVE AMIT. The campaign for Amit Gupta continues! Upcoming: bone marrow drive in Delhi and swabbing party in Somerville and much, much more.
DREAM TEAM. New Work City is joining forces with the hackers of NYC Resistor to cross-promote events. Synergy!
XX INNOVATION LUNCH. “I’m super psyched for my lunch this Friday,” Charlie O’Donnell wrote in his newsletter this week. “Marissa Campise from Venrock and Sarah Tavel from Bessemer are co-hosting a lunch with me for up and coming women entrepreneurs to get a chance to meet venture investors.”
The Start-Up Rundown
FUNDING FUN. Who is surviving the seed stage slaughter? General Assembly, obviously, which raised $4.25 million from some Russian billionaire and other folks. Crowdtap, the on-demand user testing service, just raised a $7 million Series A financing round led by the Foundry Group. “The funds will be used to help continue the rapid growth we have experienced in our first couple years and continue to build a world class platform to help brands connect to, manage and market with their influential consumers.” AppFirst, the “next generation application problem resolution system for the application performance management market,” announced it closed its Series A for $4 million, led by Javelin Venture Partners. “FirstMark Capital and First Round Capital, original backers of AppFirst, also participated in the financing agreement.”
STEALTH RUMBLINGS. Philip Kaplan, a.k.a. Pud of FuckedCompany.com, just sold his startup TinyLetter to MailChimp and is banging away at another, Fandalism, which is some kind of tool for musicians of all types. Fandalism has 197 fans on Facebook, but when’s it coming out? “Within the next 4 weeks-ish, hopefully. Sorry for the delay.”
Welcome to New Fit City
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.”
NEW YORK CITY’S START-UP SCENESTERS were nowhere near the isle of Manhattan when the 4 Hour Body fad hit its tipping point among the local tech set. In fact, according to Rick Webb, co-founder of the Tribeca-based digital agency the Barbarian Group, the digerati diet craze currently upending start-up snack supplies and clogging Twitter feeds with the hashtag #4HB reached comic proportions during the city’s annual pilgrimage to Austin, Texas, back in March.
Mr. Webb traced the outbreak back to the carbo-loading marathon that is South by Southwest. Or “beer and taco week,” as Mr. Webb described it. He and several other techies had recently become disciples of The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman, a life-hacking manual written by Tim Ferriss that distills a decade of experiments into chapters about slow carbs, self-tracking and, yes, how to make a woman orgasm in 15 minutes.
TURNTABLE.FM PARTY CRASHED! On Thursday, New Work City had the rockin’est Turntable.fm DJ-off and techie dance party north of the Mississippi, we’re told, despite a miscommunication in the Pepsi delivery. Turntable’s cutesy avatars were cut out and pasted on the wall behind the DJs, which included Shai Goldman, bringer of dance beats as well as Silicon Valley Bank sponsorship. “Had almost 200 people, got crashed by drunk, obstinate Obliterati around midnight,” says one attendee. “A woman who claimed be society columnist for WSJ showed up with 10 people and pretty much demanded entry. Mind you, it’s $30 at the door to get in for open bar. Women from Zaarly also showed up part of this cadre of drunken ‘VIPs’,” he scoffed. Video here, photos here.
When it comes to capitalizing on the hype-y/fun tech news of the moment, New Work City is unparalleled. The co-working space that brought you the fake Color decks and Color.xxx launch party is hosting the first (that we know of) live Turntable.fm event. “Five DJs. Five Laptops. One Night of Collaborative Jams.” NWC is accepting applications for the DJ spots and will select five lucky turntablists to play music for the night. On the site, avatars start bobbing their heads when users “awesome” a song; at the party, guests will vote by dancing. If no one’s dancing, the song gets skipped, making this dance party as democratic as it is hip.
At Wednesday night’s New York Tech Meetup, Jessica Lawrence took the stage for the first time as the organization’s first employee.
This is a big deal. There will be much talk of the significance of her hire, in particular the fact that, yes, she’s a woman running an organization dominated by men. But it goes deeper than that.
New Work City’s Tony Bacigalupo and Sara Chipps won the internet yesterday with their fake slide decks for the $41 million mobile social photo sharing app Color. The decks were circulated around the New York City tech Twitters and then made their way to Hacker News and then to TechCrunch; the team at Color even gamely retweeted it.
But NWC’s not done yet. The joke continues with a real party for the fake Color.xxx, Color’s brutally honest alter-ego, which already dropped an Android app, Color.xxx (which is easier to find in the app store than the real thing and has 5/5 stars compared to the real app’s 1.5/5 stars).