Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart

10Gen’s Brandon Diamond Tells Us Why New York City Needed a Hackers Union


At a town hall for NY Hackers this week, its founder Brandon Diamond announced the creation of the Hackers Union, a unifying non-profit resource for all engineers in New York City.

“We’re still sort of in the early stages of a self-sustaining engineering culture like you might find in San Francisco,” said Mr. Diamond, who also serves as associate director of NY Tech Meetup and a database kernel engineer at 10Gen (the company behind MongoDB). “Our goal is not to become the next big meetup. We want to consolidate all the activities into a central hub.”

The effort has already attracted a potential sponsor–a hedge fund, no less. Read More


New York Tech Meetup Going All Pro On Us

It’s the Jessica Lawrence era! Since the New York Tech Meetup hired a managing director, we’ve noticed upgrades to the website, including the fact that NYTM is now posting agendas before the event with the names of apps and their presenters, an improvement over the paper agendas we used to get at the door. There’s also now a video archive, although the Livestream is still not working.

Demos on deck range from food, drinks, stories, tasks and an “open source framework for creating machine vision appliances.” Sweet! We’ve written about some of them before–Gojee, CalorieCount and Onepager–but others are news to us. Full lineup is below. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Ninjas in the Mountains and Assassins in the Clouds


D FORMA. General Assembly-based mobile chat facilitator Opinionaided, which raised a $1.2 million round announced in March from General Catalyst, DFJ and SoftBank, among others, is about to announce some fresh capital. On Thursday, the  company plans to announce another round of funding from “a veritable who’s who of VCs and super angel investors,” which it will use to scale the service. Can Opinionaided succeed where so many variations on spontaneous social connections have failed?

HOSTILE TAKEOVERS. Members of the New York Tech Meetup were surprised to see that organizer Nate Westheimer had stepped down along with managing director Jessica Lawrence and other long-time officials. “We’re not sure why this happened, but we wanted to assure you that a leadership change is NOT taking place,” Ms. Lawrence told members, eventually explaining that the change had been due to “a glitch in how we were managing our Meetup.com account.” The tech group seems to be experiencing difficulties, as the promised redesign of nytm.org is behind schedule and probably won’t be out for at least a month or two, although the WordPress site has been reskinned. Who’s redoing the site? Betabeat asked. Maybe it’s Mr. Westheimer’s stealthy next project! “Can’t announce that yet,” Ms. Lawrence said. “Because it isn’t 100 percent confirmed.” Read More

Tech Meetups

There Is Now a Meetup for New York Venture Capitalists With Preteen Kids


Is it possible for a networking event to jump the shark? If so, meetups may be very close.

In Adrianne Jeffries’ feature this week on start-up fever affliciting New Yorkers with a bad case of  wantrepreneurship, we listed what we thought was already a high number of networking spinoffs from the original New York Tech Meetup. Dumbo Tech Breakfast, UWS Startup Meetup, and the New York Technology Bathhouse Meetup come to mind. But none of the options on that growing list meets the particular specifications of ff Venture Capital’s David Teten. He and venture partner Mike Yavonditte from Hashable are launching “a periodic Meetup for people who work in the innovation community and who are parents of pre-teen children.” Sorry, Fred Wilson, your kids are too grown.

On Business Insider, Mr. Teten writes, “We envision organizing activities that our kids, partners, and we will all jointly enjoy.” Read More

Silicon Alley Redux

Fever Pitch! New Yorkers Go Starry-Eyed for Start-Ups

nytm illo

“I can’t tell you the whole idea.” The Internet entrepreneur on the other end of the phone sounded panicky. “It’s going to sound ludicrous and ambitious, more ludicrous and ambitious than most.”

The voice belonged to a 27-year-old Stanford law student—“just about the oldest you can be where I cannot remember not having a computer”—who was in New York last week to talk to people about his new concept for a website.

He gave a few vague descriptors that could apply to half the start-ups in New York.

“I definitely don’t want it in the newspaper,” he said. “I’m worried that even little sign posts toward what I want to build are dangerous.” Read More


Why Silicon Alley’s Spat With the City Is Actually Good News

Can't tell if I really like you, or am slapping you in the face.

In recent months, New York’s City’s Economic Development Corporation has become increasingly involved in the booming New York tech scene.

The city greatly expanded its second annual Big Apps competition, Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steele stopped by Google’s offices to announce that the city is wooing a top-flight engineering school, and the EDC even hosted Read More