startup rundown

Startup News: Brooklyn Tech Triangle Seeks Master Plan; Reuters is Now Distributing Animated Content

"Master Your DSLR Camera:" now available for iOS from Open Air Publishing.

Animated news Reuters has announced the launch of an exclusive partnership with Next Media Animation. Starting this week, Reuters will offer around 20 animated news stories a week produced by Next Media Animation News Direct service, intended to offer visual chronologies of events not captured on video—such as the sinking of the Costa Concordia—as well as present clear illustrations of more technical news.

Master plan The Brooklyn Tech Triangle is seeking proposals for an area-wide strategic plan to support the growing tech sector, which is expected to nearly double in the next three years. Objectives of the designated planning team include improving transportation between the tech triangle and surrounding communities and developing implementable land-use strategies. An information session for potential respondents will take place on July 20 at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership office; proposals are due August 10.

How-to Open Air Publishing, an innovative digital publisher which produces interactive how-to ebooks for iOS, including Master Your DSLR Camera and The Better Bacon Book, just raised $800,000 in seed round funding from Digital Entertainment Ventures, SV Angel, Charles River Ventures and 500 Startups. Read More

Do It For Me

TaskRabbit Launches Public API So You Can Outsource Tasks From Other Platforms

A TaskRabbit person.

TaskRabbit, the happy-go-lucky, hakuna-mata-chanting startup leading the charge for the new do-it-for-me economy, just released a public API to make outsourcing your dirty work even easier. (For the uninitiated, TaskRabbit is part of a growing number of startups that let harried urbanites posts tasks they don’t have time for. Nearby “Rabbits” then bid on completing them.)

The API opens up that peer-to-peer outsourcing function beyond just the TaskRabbit website or mobile app. “Third-party applications around the world now have the ability to integrate with TaskRabbit’s API, allowing their users to seamlessly outsource their to-do workflow via TaskRabbit,” the company wrote on its blog.

As part of the rollout, TaskRabbit also announced three partnerships, including one with YouEye, an online user testing platform, one with Producteev, a task management app, and one with Astrid, the personal organization and group collaboration app. Read More


French Startups Take Refuge in New York

Mr. Abehassera.

We won’t attempt to spell the way Ilan Abehassera pronounces the word “entrepreneur.” It’s as elaborate, grand and guttural as you’d expect from a French native, but you can tell he’s holding back a bit, Americanizing the consonants and clipping his vowels just slightly. It’s probably unconscious; the entrepreneur has been in the U.S. for eight years, most of them in New York. “NYC Entrepreneur” is the title of his website. He is the founder and CEO of productivity suite Producteev.

It’s funny, the tech industry is so obsessed with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. “I’m an entrepreneur,” says Justin Timberlake in the Social Network, with a cocky half-smile, as he pulls a shirt over his head after bagging a Stanford hottie. It’s a favorite descriptor in Twitter bios and LinkedIn pages. Lately, nothing is sexier than “an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.”

We forgot it was a French word, we admitted. Mr. Abehassera laughed. “I don’t know why though, because you have much better entrepreneurs than in France,” he said. Read More