The Start-Up Rundown
What happened/is happening this week in New York tech?
COME ONE, COME ALL TO THE HACKER TOWN HALL. Want to hang with hackers outside of a grueling 48-hour hackathon? “We’re trying to do something special with the Hacker Townhall,” organizer Brandon Diamond said in an email blast asking hackers to spread the word. “We want to help hackers get to know the activities and groups available within the city (and to get to know one another, too). Think “activity fair” meets “cocktail party” meets “free beer and pizza.” See?” You can next Thursday at General Assembly. Dress code? “Tremendously casual.” Also, be a hacker or GTFO.
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Shelby.tv founder Reece Pacheco was reportedly fielding offers for $200,000 in funding minutes after getting offstage at the TechStars NY demo day.
The company was initially aiming for a $500,000 seed round, but has since graduated to a what Onswipe’s Jason Baptiste calls a “series Awesome”.
Betabeat learned today that Shelby.tv plans to double Read More
UPDATE: Mike Arrington personally apologized for the blunder on TechCrunch: “Yes, there is nothing you can say to make us feel worse. And, yes, we can never make fun of anyone doing this again without pointing back to this post.”
ORIGINAL POST: Exactly 452 people applied to the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. How do we know? The organizers just sent out a blast email thanking applications for their submissions, everyone cc’ed in plain sight. “Our industry-wide nightmare of publicly disclosed email addresses continues,” says the source who passed the email along. Applicants have now been flooded with reply-alls from others joking and venting about the massive bcc fail; more than 27 responses and growing, we hear.
Osama bin Laden was the talk of Twitter today, wasn’t he, and we regret to say none of these rumors are bin Laden-based. However, they are mostly about tech! Read on for office angling, kittens, and the petty trials of internet mad men.
OFFICE SHUFFLE. Many tenant shakeups at the NYU-Poly incubator today, we hear from a source, “mainly because the biggest tenant, Ecological, moved in to their own office.” Finally–Ecological announced its intention to move months ago; companies had been itching to move into their old space. The freshly be-officed start-ups include Weeels (carpooling, “social transit”), BestVendor.com (social recommendations), and ”Two Lines and a Dot,” a consulting company that uses NYU-Poly students as labor. “Not really a tech company, as I understand,” source tells us.
This should make some nerds rejoice: Forrst, the Tumblr for coders, just announced an overhaul of its highly-exclusive invite system. “Folks who should be in the community have been subjected to increasingly unreasonable waits—sometimes up to a few months,” the New York-based start-up blogged this afternoon. The wait list had stretched to 13,000 strong–almost half Forrst’s 27k userbase, founder Kyle Bragger told Betabeat.
TechStars alum Nick Tommarello can’t work in the cold, so it only makes sense that he would organize a start-up hackathon on an equatorial beach, right? This morning Mr. Tommarello, along with Nick Plante, Greg Belote, Zach Iglis, and “a few others” launched Startup Workaway, a ten-day trip for 20 “developers, designers, engineers, & biz guys” who want to “get stuff done” for eight hours a day in a beautiful house in Costa Rica.
A wild night of online speculation and celebration kicked off around 10:30 pm with a tweet from Keith Urbahn, chief of staff for Donald Rumsfeld.
“So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.”
MEGARUMOR: It’s gorgeous outside!
This week’s Friday rumorfest is keeping in step with spring. Investors are sprouting up like tulips! It’s an investor invasion! On with the visiting dignitaries, angels, early-stage and growth VCs:
WE NEED A VERY OPEN OFFICE. We perked up when we saw this email on the New York Tech Meetup list, titled “Early-Stage Venture Capital Fund seeking large office near Times Square/Penn Station.” Near Betabeat, you mean?! “Size: Approximately 5,000 square feet. Location: Must be walking distance from Times Square/Penn Station. Setup: we need a very open office, with glass walls and the ability to host numerous outside events for entrepreneurs and investors. We also need fridge, microwave, bathrooms, etc. in our vicinity. Strongly prefer to share a building with other companies in the NY startup community.” Yeah, you must be new here. Are there any early-stage start-ups in the middle of Midtown? The VCs also want to pay $30/square foot–cheap for the area, which averages around $40 asking, but doable according to The New York Observer’s ace real estate desk.
Facebook prefers to keep things discreet, thank you very much. The social network is arguably the hottest tech company to work for right now, so it can probably demand whatever nondisclosure clauses it wants, whether it’s preliminary talks with a potential recruit with a clever Tumblr or post-hire details from Daytum’s Nicholas Felton and Ryan Case, now part of Facebook’s design team. The Daytum founders sent over this officious “FAQ” on the move.
There is a hackathon every damn weekend now, and yet registration for TechCrunch Disrupt is blowing up, organizer Tarikh Korula told Betabeat. “Oooh, no time for a call today, unfort. The signups this year have been off the Richter scale–much faster than we’ve seen in the past two hackathons we’ve done,” he said in an email. “I posted early registration to these two lists and we had 100 signups before the article went live. We got a couple hundred more after that.”