Silicon Alley U

Christine Quinn Introduces a Cheaper Computer Science Option for NYC Students

The crisp Ms. Quinn.

It was merely mid-morning when Betabeat arrived at enterprise-focused accelerator Tipping Point Parters for a presser, and already everyone in attendance seemed to be wilting. The exception: City Council Speaker (and, let us not forget, mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn, who looked downright jovial. Perhaps she was just that excited about her coming announcement.

Or perhaps she was simply thrilled to be wearing what looked like seersucker, while the rest of us suffered in the heat.

We were gathered into a rather claustrophobic–but very well air-conditioned–startup space, complete with white lighting fixtures and random whiteboard. The occasion: The creation of two new programs meant to feed engineers and other much-needed tech talent into the city’s startup sector. Read More

The Third Degree

Q&A with Pivotal Labs on the EMC Acquisition: ‘We’re Committed to Working with Startups’


Pivotal Labs finally made the news official yesterday: the pioneering agile development consultancy known for its influence on startups like Twitter and Square would be acquired by EMC Corporation, a publicly-traded corporation with a market cap of $59 billion that manufactures and sells cloud and storage hardware and helps IT departments move to the cloud. (If that tune sounds familiar, it’s because Om Malik broke the story last Friday.)

The size of the deal wasn’t disclosed, EMC said it was an all-cash transaction that wouldn’t be material to its 2012 finances. Pivotal will remain a separate legal entity and is contemplating global expansion. Along with the acquisition, EMC announced that its Greenplum division would be open-sourcing a Big Data platform called Greenplum Chorus and then hosted a Webcast to explain how these changes would help EMC go “social, open, and agile with Big Data.”

As to expected from a Fortune 500 company, EMC’s jargon was a little hard to parse. We weren’t the only ones scratching our heads at what, exactly, this would mean for Pivotal and its fast-growing Union Square office. So Betabeat talked to Edward Hieatt, principal and VP of engineering, who is based in San Francisco but oversees its offices in Boulder and New York, to find out how the acquisition will affect its clients and engineers, more commonly known as “Pivots,” and what a corporation with $20 billion in revenue knows about being agile. Read More


Pivotal Labs Purchased by EMC: ‘Same Pivotal, Increased Velocity’

Screen shot 2012-03-19 at 9.33.06 AM

Last week, Om Malik broke the news that Pivotal Labs, which is based in San Francisco but has an outpost in Union Square, was in talks to be acquired by a major technology company. At the time, a source told Betabeat that Pivotal had been contemplating a sale for years. “The thinking behind this move, is to scale pivotal to Sapient levels of huge,” another source familiar with Pivotal told Betabeat.

Well, late Friday, GigaOm got the exclusive: EMC Corporation, a publicly-traded Fortune 500 company that helps IT departments “accelerate the journey to cloud computing,” bought Pivotal Labs, the agile development pioneer known for its work with Twitter. (Startups bring in their tech team, who get paired with staffers called “Pivots,” who teach them agile development while working together on their product.) Read More


Sources Say Pivotal Labs Has Been Contemplating a Sale For Years, Wants To Scale to ‘Sapient-Levels of Huge’

Pivotal NYC (via foursquare/connellmcgill)

Update: Pivotal Labs was acquired by EMC Corporation.

Late Monday night, Om Malik, GigaOm’s top (and only, as far as we know) Om, broke the news that Pivotal Labs was in talks to be acquired.  The San Francisco-based company, which Mr. Malik described as “one of the smartest Web consulting firms, known for its pioneering work in agile development,” he said, is “in talks to be acquired” by a large technology company.

Pivotal currently has offices in San Francisco, Boulder, and, of course, its beloved local outpost in Union Square, which frequently hosts Skillshare classes and, until recently TechStars NYC. Pivotal has an interesting business model. It helps technical teams from clients like Groupon, TaskRabbit, and even Best Buy and the Associated Press by working in tandem with Pivotal staffers. After a few months, they leave with progress on their product and training in agile development so they can do it all over again.

“The thinking behind this move,” a source familiar with the company told Betabeat, “is to scale pivotal to Sapient levels of huge,” adding that Pivotal SF was up for sale. (Sapient is a publicly-traded interactive services agency.)

Another source familiar with the company, who also requested anonymity, mentioned Sapient randomly as well. The source said he had talked to former VP of technology Ian McFarland about selling Pivotal numerous times “through the years.” Read More