Expert Thoughts

Forget Silicon Valley: Tech CEO Explains What’s So Great About New York

Shafqat Islam

In the 19th century, immigrants would come to New York City with the dream of finding a city where the streets were paved with gold. While precious metals may not actually line these streets, there is no doubt that it’s a city where dreams are made. In 2010, when we moved NewsCred’s headquarters from Switzerland to the US, we had to decide where to settle down. San Francisco was the obvious answer. But we ended up choosing New York, and I’m always happy to explain the many reasons we’ve chosen to call this city home. Read More

Content Is King

NewsCred, One of the First Startups Out of General Assembly, Acquires Daylife and 3X the Office Space

NewsCred's new office at 24th and Broadway.

“I’m in a cavernous conference room. So if I sound like God, it’s because that’s what my voice actually sounds like,” NewsCred founder Shafqat Islam told Betabeat over the phone from the company’s new Flatiron headquarters last week.

Mr. Islam’s company, which licenses and distributes content to publishers (like Conde Nast, Business Insider, Forbes, and the Chicago Tribune) and brands (like Pepsi and Johnson & Johnson), was one of the inaugural startups to have a permanent home in General Assembly, along with now familiar names from Startupland, like SeatGeek, Yipit, and Art.sy. “We sat right next to Fashism, they used to do fashion shoots in the office right next to us,” he said. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Eric Schmidt’s BlackBerry Problem, a Foursquare Stalker & Sheryl Sandberg’s Frenemy

bloomberghipsterglasses2

If your week was as hellish hectic as ours, you must be in need of a stiff drink. Pour yourself a cocktail and get comfy: here comes this week’s rumor roundup.

Step Away from the Crackberry! In case you missed all the Instagrams, Mayor Bloomberg performed some titillating acts of Startup Theatre on the stage at Gracie Mansion Tuesday night. The crème of tech society, including MakerBot’s Bre Pettis, General Assembly’s Adam Brimer, Yipit founder Vinny Vacanti, Google trends & insights editor Caroline McCarthy, Sailthru’s Aubrey Sabala, chief digital officer Rachel Sterne Haot and her husband, LiveStream founder Max Haot, gathered on the lawn for canapés and cocktails to celebrate NYC Connects 2012.

To enhance his usual Silicon Alley cheerleading, Mr. Bloomberg opted for props on the podium, like an array of Warby Parker sunglasses and a Seamless delivery guy, who shlepped takeout up on stage. The spotlight was enough to lure Seamless CEO Jonathan Zabusky out of Twitter hiding. Besides one of the guests complaining about a scripted “Hello world” joke that fell short, everyone seemed to eat up the promotional opportunities. Read More

Venture Capitalism

FirstMark Capital Quietly Announces $225 M. Oversubscribed Early Stage Fund

Mr. Lenihan (via firstmarkcap.com)

Guess nobody polled FirstMark Capital for that recent survey about pessimism around the venture capital market for 2012. While their peers report dwindling faith in their ability to raise funds to invest, FirstMark reported yesterday that it had closed an oversubscribed $225 million early-stage fund.

Perhaps that’s why the New York-based venture capital firm opted for a subtle announcement: a blog post that, by the looks of it, has only been picked up by the New York Post and the Dow Jones Wire. Read More