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

An App for That

Uber Is Delivering Air Conditioners This Weekend To New York’s Laziest

Need these guys? There's an app for that. (Photo via Getty

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. Read More

Silicon Alley

Tech Boot Camp: Dutch Startups Will Learn to Make It in NYC

Pauline van Dongen, a Dutch designer that makes tech-influenced couture, will be among the startups  visiting New York in June to pitch their companies. (Photo via Pauline van Dongen)

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. Read More