Every day, we hear more from investors and founders about the growth of the New York startup ecosystem — hell, it seems like there’s a new Demo Day every time we get back from the last one. And wherever there are promising startups to fund, you can bet the money will follow.
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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.
Startup Food Chain
Here’s more #tech for your nightlife.
HouseTab, which publicly launched last week, changes the way users pay for food and drinks at restaurants and bars. From buying drinks for nearby strangers to sending friends meals from halfway across the world, the app has so many functions, it’s hard to keep track of them all.
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.
It's the Cops!
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.
An App for That
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.
Ah, the first days of summer, when haven’t installed your air conditioner, and therefore spend days and days sweating through bed sheets until you can’t take it anymore. But maybe it’s not that you’re too lazy to drag your AC out from the floor of your closet — maybe you don’t even own an AC.
In that case, Uber has you covered. For the next three weekends, Uber is teaming up with product design company Quirky to deliver air conditioners to New Yorkers to help promote Aros, Quirky’s new smart air conditioner. You just punch in the code UberCOOL into the Uber app you already have, and pony up $300.
Made in NYC
London, Beijing, Tel Aviv — these are the cities most commonly associated with thriving startup ecosystems abroad. But one country demands not to be left out of the running as a top-of-the-list hotbed for global innovation: the Netherlands.
In two weeks, the nation that claims such inventions as WiFi and the CD-ROM is bringing a group of their top startups to New York City to convince the world that Amsterdam is the next destination for tech innovation. The Dutch Consulate in New York is sponsoring 11 companies for a five day tour. They’ll meet with VCs, tour the offices of major New York tech companies, and spend two days at Brooklyn’s Northside Festival.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office officially announced the sale of the new “.nyc” domains last week, hyping the release alongside city officials and borough chiefs. But Mr. de Blasio isn’t the first New York mayor to take a shot at selling New York on “.nyc.”
That honor belongs to the late Ed Koch, who was the champion of New York’s digital real estate long before City Hall was on board. In 2009, Mr Koch was hired by DotNYC LLC, one of the first companies who tried to sell the city on having its own domain name.