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Late Friday afternoon, the Chelsea offices of Quirky–past the High Line and across from the Porsche dealership–looked like they’d been abandoned in a hurry.
The front desk: unmanned. Tables in the spacious central meeting area: covered in papers but utterly empty. In search of our assigned guide, Betabeat wandered inside the startup, which marries the Read More
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Quirky isn’t resting on the laurels of that recently announced $68 million series C. Apparently hellbent on setting a new land-speed record for collaborative product development, the company is partnering with Fab.com to bring a brand-new line of Apple accessories to market by roughly the time the latest devices ship later this month.
Hold on to your hats and synchronize your watches, tinkerers, because it’s going to be a crazy 48 hours.
There must be a whole lot of you noodling around with an inventive notion in the back of your noggin. Two major VC firms have just made a bet to that effect, investing a whopping $68 million in social product development startup Quirky. Andreessen Horowitz led the series C, with Kleiner Perkins participating. Mary Meeker Read More
Master merchandiser Rachel Shechtman is treating the launch of her new store not unlike the launch of a startup. To that end, the stealth shop, which was hidden behind an installation by the artist JR, launches today at 144 Tenth Avenue at 19th Street, “in beta” with the e-commerce component to follow in February.
“I kind of geek out around new business models and I think the future of the physical retail environment are gonna become less about consumption and more about content and community, so that’s what we’re doing.” said Ms. Shechtman, who founded her own retail consulting group Cube Ventures in 2003, and has offered an amalgam of marketing, merchandizing, and business development to clients like Gilt Groupe, Tom’s Shoes, Bliss Spa, and AOL.
“The concept,” she explained, “Is a space that has a point of view like a magazine, but it changes like a gallery and it sells things like a store.”
In front of a packed house, Jeff Glasse grasped a mike at the Village Lantern down on Bleecker. “My brother’s in the army and he’s always sending me pictures of himself—pictures of him and his cub pack, whatever you call the other guys he’s with,” the standup comedian said. “In every picture he sends me he’s wearing camouflage. I don’t really have the heart to tell him that I can see him, in these pictures.”
There was peal of laughter from a woman in the crowd.
Stand-up is a sideline for Mr. Glasse, whose website home page features two portraits of him. On the left Mr. Glasse is dressed in all black, a microphone in one hand, his other hand out in a “What’s the deal with…” shrug reminiscent of Jerry Seinfeld. On the right Mr. Glasse is standing in front of a white board, wearing glasses, holding an iPhone with a strange looking video camera attached. “I’m a comedian. I’m also the CEO of a tiny new company,” reads the website’s banner. “Which one makes me more pathetic?”
That self-deprecation is Mr. Glasse’s own form of camouflage. A student of 17th-century literature at Princeton, he worked in video production for ESPN and the United Nations before founding, DIGIT, a company that helped pioneer the field of interactive exhibits for museums. These days Mr. Glasse is is the co-founder and CEO of Kogeto, a small New York startup trying to revolutionize the way people shoot and watch video by producing the world’s first affordable, handheld, panoramic video camera.
Quirky, a crowdsourced creation platform, just raised $16 million. What numbers were those venture heads looking at when they opened their wallets? Well Quirky recently partnered with Bed, Bath & Beyond, and company says this has spurred big growth.
Since the start of 2011 it has expanded its user base by more than 40 percent to over 78,000.
The average number of ideas submitted in each weekly round has doubled from 114 to 227. A show about the company is about to air on the Sundance channel, so expect that growth to increase.
Without so much as a blog post, local start-up Quirky nearly doubled its venture backing, closing on a new $5 million round.
Quriky is part of a cadre of New York start-ups taking advantage of advances in 3D printing and the power of social networks to fuel crowdsourced funding.