Buy Local

Shopping Sites According to Their VCs? First Round Capital Showcases Exclusive Deals From Its Portfolio

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Here’s a novel idea for flexing your consumerist impulses on Cyber Monday: organize your shopping by a company’s cap table. For Cyber Monday, First Round Capital, which specializes in ecommerce, has set a site that shows off exclusive deals from portfolio companies like Birchbox, Chloe & Isabel, Refinery 29, Hotel Tonight, UrbanSitter, TaskRabbit, DogVacay, One Kings Lane, and more.

Honestly, we’re surprised New York techies haven’t already set up a buy local site that encourages only shopping at startups for Christmas. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Poach Motel and More @FakeDaveTisch Guesses


POACHER KING. In the course of researching a story about poaching etiquette—o, the ham-fisted ways of recruiters with unlimited InMail!—Betabeat learned of a notoriously aggressive recruiter who is a known poacher. “It is an individual male who has his name in the title of his company, it’s a very small company more prevalent in New York,” a source told us. Guesses, Betabeasties? Perhaps Dave Carvajal of Dave Partners, or Paul Daversa from Daversa Partners: “Daversa Partners is exceptional at the three things that drive legendary search work: we partner with the companies that dominate the market; we consistently capture the attention of game changing executives; and we close the unrecruitable candidates.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Fake Twitter Edition


WHO FAKED A TISCH? Betabeat was considering “The Real Dave Tisch” as a headline for this week’s profile, among other puns and permutations (a friend of Mr. Tisch’s submitted “a Tisch named Wanda” via Mr. Tisch–makes no sense, looooooove it). So today we started wondering: who is @fakedavetisch, the occasionally-harsh but very funny parody Twitter account? We started poking around–but the secret is being held close to the vest. “Dave Tisch????” suggested one local VC. “Just joking.” We know it’s not the Tischster–he didn’t know who was behind the account himself until after the most recent demo day–but he did give us some clues. It’s three people: two employees of VC firms, one entrepreneur; two are female, one is male. One moved out to San Francisco. Hmm…

Phineas Barnes: The VC’s tweets are stylistically similar, and @fakedavetisch tweeted to his #todayskicks app. “But pretty sure Phineas doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” one VC countered.

Caren Maio: We got a tip that the Nestio CEO and TechStar could be the brilliant mind behind the snark. “Haha no, I’m not…but please let me know when you find out! I’ve been trying to figure it out for months,” she told Betabeat in an email.

Phoebe Espiritu: The hackstar doth protest too much, wethinks… “Nooo keep @fakedavetisch‘s identity secret! It would be like unmasking Batman!” she tweeted. Sounds like something @fakedavetisch would say, we countered. “No! I wish! otherwise I’d give myself hugs and hoodies all the time!” she said.

Sarah Tavel: The Bessemer VC just moved out to S.F. One source said she’s too much of a straight shooter; another claimed she “wasn’t around for TechStars.” But we’re not so sure… Read More

Local Flavor

Sneakerhead VC Builds Sneakerhead App for Sneakerheads (Who Wanna Show Off Their Kicks)


At a certain point, naming your blog after your obsession just doesn’t cut it anymore. First Round Capital’s Phineas Barnes, who blogs under the URL Sneakerhead VC debuted a truly Made in NYC app today with help from peeps like Amanda Peyton, Foursquare’s Eric Friedman, and HackStar Rebecca Zhou.

The app is called Today’s Kicks and sounds sort of like an Instagram for sneakers. To populate it with pics, Mr. Barnes pulls every image from the Twitter hashtag #todayskicks, which he started back in 2007 (the domain name was already in use). In keeping with the All Things Social revolution, users can “love” images (liking is for suckers, ya heard?) and a “Retweet” button to spread the images far-and-wide. Indeed, Betabeat’s Twitter feed was blowing up with  shoe porn this morning. Read More

Talent Crunch

Emerging Talent Pool for New York Start-Ups: Freshly-Failed Entrepreneurs


On his blog Sneakerhead VC, First Round Capital’s Phineas Barnes bemoans the plight of a friend who, after being forced to shutter his start-up, reverted back to his corporate ways. With a heavy heart, Mr. Barnes reports that the former founder will be, “joining a big company as some kind of VP of something.” He beseeches his readers not to let this kind of tragedy happen again:

“Having to give up on your company sucks for a month or two and it hurts forever, but it is not failure – if these teams are absorbed back into the world of cubicles and are allowed to return to the jobs they walked away from in the first place, that will be failure, and failure at the community level. When you meet the founder of  a failed business, reach out your hand, pick them up and do everything you can to keep them involved in our community… because our community depends on it.”

Mr. Barnes’s plea reminded us of a reoccurring theme we’d heard while reporting on New York’s geek gap. In “Raiders of the Last Nerd,” this week’s feature on tech recruiting, Kinda Sorta Media’s Rex Sorgatz offered Betabeat an ominous-sounding take on the struggle to hire local talent, “If you want a CTO, you have to go to, like, Tel Aviv.” But we didn’t have the space in the paper to really delve into why.

In his experience, Mr. Sorgatz said it wasn’t so much that New York was short on rockstar coders. Rather, it’s a side effect of the entrepreneurial bug gone viral. “People now run four-person companies where they may have otherwise led a five-person tech team in a twenty-person company.” (Is this a good time to say we told ya so? No? Okay, just checking.) Read More