Closing Time

Soho TechLabs Shuts Down Social Travel Site CasaHop

(Photo: Mr. Berry)

Back in April 2012, the HuffPo cabal-backed Soho TechLabs launched a social travel site called CasaHop that allowed users to “connect with people worldwide to trade homes for vacations and more.” Now, Soho TechLab’s CEO Paul Berry told Betabeat that the incubator is shutting down CasaHop in order to focus more on RebelMouse, a tool for building social webpages that has seen explosive growth in recent months.

“CasaHop never gained the traction it needed,” Mr. Berry told Betabeat by phone. “The timing was off. Airbnb is really in a winner takes all situation in this area. I hope one day someone is going to break out and make this an enormous idea because I love home exchanges, but too few people feel comfortable with other people staying in their place while they’re away.” Read More

2013

‘Think Before Including Emoji in Every Text:’ NYC Techies’ New Year’s Resolutions

(Photo: DeviantArt)

2012 was quite a year for the New York tech community. Several NYC startups scored monster exits, while others raised millions to up their chances of scoring a ping pong table for the office. Whether or not that hotly debated bubble bursts, we imagine 2013 will be another exciting year for NYC’s tech set. Here are some New Year’s resolutions from some of the NYC tech community’s boldest names. Read More

Launches

RebelMouse, Former HuffPo CTO Paul Berry’s New Startup, Debuts Today

Welcome, welcome.

Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry has been working on a new startup since January, when Betabeat broke the news that he was leaving HuffPo. We knew it would be called RebelMouse and that it was a “social platform.” But we didn’t know much else about the stealthy site until today, when RebelMouse launches to the public.

RebelMouse is an easy personal website builder similar to About.me, which pulls in information from sites like LinkedIn and WordPress, where a user may already be established. RebelMouse does the same for social sites—the goal is to be your “social front page.” Read More

Stealth Mode

HuffPo Cofounder Ken Lerer’s Stealth Video Startup Has a Working Name: Planet Daily

Mr. Lerer (lererventures.com)

Do the guys over at Soho Tech Labs ever sleep? It would appear that the answer is no. Not only are they busy incubating social home exchange service CasaHop, which soft launches this week, but they’re also working on a video news startup aimed at the “Jon Stewart set.” Today, RebelMouse CEO and ex-HuffPo CTO Paul Berry told Business Insider that the previously-unnamed video startup has been giving a working title: Planet Daily. Read More

The Incubators

New Startup Incubator Soho TechLabs Is Hiring [UPDATED]

soho tech labs

Soho TechLabs, the fledgling startup incubator formed by several Huffington Post refugees, announced via an inaugural tweet today that they’re recruiting early founders and employees. The company, backed by Lerer Ventures, was originally announced in Ad Age in January; it will be lead by a team of ex-Huffpoers, including founders Paul Berry, Jonah Peretti and Ken Lerer, as well as former Huffington Post president Greg Coleman. As we previously reported, the new incubator will be housed at 560 Broadway, the current home of Lerer Ventures. Read More

Personalities

Jonah Peretti’s Meme Streak

20 Photos

'Going Viral'

Jonah Peretti’s office has two glass walls, two white walls and no decoration except for a giant, multicolored rectangle, with blue and violet hues fading upward and coalescing into a tight little rainbow wheel at the top. The Brooklyn artist Cory Archangel, a friend of Mr. Peretti’s, makes these “gradient paintings” with one click in Photoshop, blows them up and sells them for lots of money, Mr. Peretti said. It is, in his words, “kind of a joke.”

Mr. Peretti, 38, a navy-eyed, wavy-haired nerd-king with a machine-gun giggle, was a cofounder of the Huffington Post before he moved on to other things. He likes these gradient paintings a lot. His Twitter page is also a gradient. Mr. Peretti, a career mischief maker with a “great, sort of trollish sense of humor,” as one former employee put it, likes jokes best when they’re subversive. He’s infamous for arguing that Mormonism is superior to Judaism because of its growing numbers, a shtick he uses in presentations. As a grad student at MIT in 2001, he ordered a pair of custom Nikes embroidered with the word “sweatshop,” extracting a series of awkward emails from an unlucky customer service rep. He forwarded the emails to a few friends, who forwarded them to their friends, and so on. Literally millions of people have read them. Read More

Virality

Former HuffPo CTO Paul Berry Building New Startup and Incubator With Lerer Ventures

Tech Wiz, Poach Perfect

The news broke today that Paul Berry, the longtime CTO of Huffington Post credited with their legendary SEO and early adoption of social networking tools, was leaving the company. Betabeat has learned that Mr. Berry will be reuniting with the old gang, Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti, as he builds out a startup called Rebel Mouse and a new incubator focused on viral and social startups.  Read More

Goooood Morning, Silicon Alley! Gary Sharma’s Picks for the Week of Halloween: The Multi-Million Dollar Edition

garysguide

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), Founder of GarysGuide, Mentor at ER Accelerator and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.

Just Peachy
It starts off innocently enough with buzzwords like platform, brands, game mechanics, engaging clients, social graph … yada yada yada … being thrown about. And then suddenly this … “We’ve been thru a ton of together. I know her mood swings, I know when her blood sugar gets low.” Wait, whaaa…? Yup, thats Betabeat’s very own new reality show, of course. ;) It’s called “The Pitch” and as Betabeater Ben Popper recently tweeted, it’s got everything from college seniors and corporate bankers to toy makers and fashionistas trying their hand at the startup lifestyle. And yes, plenty of baseball metaphors. So go grab some popcorn, lean back and press the play button already.

Deals, deals & more deals
As always, we got a bunch of cool deals for y’all including classes at General Assembly, the Raise Cache tech fashion show, 500 Startups Warm Gun conference and more.

And now, lets take a peek behind the curtains to see who’s performing (and who’s showboating) in the Flatiron production of Silicon Alley this week… Read More