Start-up School

HappyFunAcademy Teaches Liberal Arts Grads Front-End Web Development, Ends Their Happy Fun

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There’s a growing pool of high paying tech jobs and never enough decent talent to fill them. Here in New York City, if you majored in Psychology or Art History and aren’t thrilled with how that’s going financially — looking to pivot, as they say — you can attend one of many coding schools for a quick intensive. Now, there’s yet another school vying for NYC’s tech hopefuls.

HappyFunCorp, a real software engineering firm with real offices in Brooklyn, is opening a front-end coding school called HappyFunAcademy. The name doesn’t have the same maker-y vibe as General Assembly or Flatiron School, but HappyFunCorp is betting that its impressive list of clients and promise of hands-on experience will “up your command line game,” as their site says. Read More

Clean Tech

Techies Asked to Fix NYC’s Ancient Power Grid, Actual Rocket Scientists Needed

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In a dark conference hall lined with carafes dripping coffee unworthy of the name, a group of engineers, academics, brokers and analysts gathered around a dismal pile of spreadsheets. You wouldn’t think you were at Google’s New York headquarters, except that Google representatives were on standby to make sure no one ventured from the hall into the rest of the building.

Hefty stacks of NYC’s utility infrastructure data awaited them. This hackathon’s mission: to solve the problem of energy inefficiency in New York City. The event was a “Data Jam” — a fun and bouncy term for a big data hackathon — organized by energy data startup EnerKnol as a part of New York Energy Week. Read More

Startup Food Chain

Introduce Your Bowels to AccelFoods’ New Class of Hipster Snack Startups

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We can see how a group of startups giving a Williamsburg-style hipster update to muesli or making caramels out of coconuts might have trouble taking off at first. Luckily, companies with off-key ideas for the future of food are getting a helping hand from AccelFoods, a New York-based accelerator that focuses on food startups.

AccelFood debuted their new class of four startups today, including a mushroom tea startup (“become a funguy”) and Cocomels, which are the Vita CoCo of candy. The would-be disruptors will receive initial investments of up to $40,000, with up to $200,000 coming their way by graduation. Read More

NYU Tech

NYU Opens Gaming Incubator to Turn Art Students Into Entrepreneurs

One Game Center project called Soft Body is like a traditional shooter, but with "painting" as a core mechanic. (Screengrab via NYU)

NYU Game Center, a young graduate program for game design, is launching an incubator for game development startups this summer in Brooklyn MetroTech Center.

The first batch of games are made up of the most commercially viable thesis projects from this year’s graduating Game Design MFAs. But the Game Center is a part of Tisch School of the Arts, so the students from NYU are less often business-savvy entrepreneurs, and more often artists and design creatives. Read More

It's the Cops!

LAPD Adds a Couple of Drones To Its Arsenal, Tells Public Not To Be Alarmed

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When drug runners started using drones to scout out marijuana growing fields that were ripe for the raiding, it was only a matter of time before the police nabbed a couple for themselves.

The Los Angeles Police Department recently added two small camera-equipped, remote control helicopters to their arsenal, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend. The drones were a gift from the Seattle Police Department, who quickly changed their minds about the drones as soon as everyone in Seattle freaked out about having little police helicopters flying around. Read More