Web TV

Dave Tisch, Alexis Ohanian and Other NYC Tech Favs Cameo in Hulu Dramedy Leap Year

Lights, camera, Tisch! (Photo: Leap Year)

When the Techstars reality show on Bloomberg TV gets too intense (What will happen to To Vie For!?!), award-winning producer Wilson Cleveland has a solution for you. His web series Leap Year, presented by Hiscox Insurance, chronicles the personal and professional lives of several employees at a startup called C3D, which is “like Skype with holograms.” The show follows the ups (but mostly downs) of building a startup, with a wry comedic voice and plenty of inside jokes for the tech set. In fact, the show garnered so many Startupland fans that a couple of  New York’s better-known tech glitterati make appearances in this season.

Today, Mr. Cleveland and the Leap Year team released an episode featuring none other than Techstars cofounder Dave Tisch, Shelby.TV cofounder Reece Pacheco, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and Change the Ratio cofounder Rachel Sklar. Quite the star-studded cast. Read More


Gary Sharma’s Internet Week 2012 Highlights (Nerd Proms, Rooftop Parties, Will Arnett DJ’ing, Michael Stipe Sightings ‘n more!)


Aol’s Andrea Hong, GroupMe/Skype’s Steve Cheney, TechStars’ Justin Overdorff, Shelby.tv’s Chris Kurdziel and Lauren Appelwick, American Express’ Meghan Paul, Acquaintable’s Joel Rodriguez and Greycroft Partners’ Alisa Richter posing at the always epic Webutante Ball @ Internet Week 2012. (Photo: Nick McGlynn / This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), Founder & CEO of GarysGuide 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@garysguide.com.

“I think I just ran into Michael Stipe!”
“Get outta here. Srsly?”
“Well it looked like him.”
“Wait, who’s Michael Stipe?”
“The lead vocalist for R.E.M.”
“Hmmm, are you sure you saw Michael Stipe?”
“Well he was bald and looked familiar.”
“Maybe you saw Moby. You sure it wasn’t Moby?”
(We all peered into the crowd gathered at the Hard Candy Shell party scanning intently to see if we could spot a familiar, bald rockstar.)

Welcome to Internet Week 2012, y’all! Where the young & the restless mingle with the bold & the beautiful mingle with the rich & the famous all brought together by the seductive beauty and power of this thing we call the Internets! :)

With over 500 companies and 40,000 attendees, Internet Week (now in its 5th year) is billed as a celebration of the city’s thriving Internet industry and community. As festival co-chair David-Michel Davies (a.k.a. dmd) pointed out, it’s the web, not TV, that is driving the conversation today and is the hub of all things pop culture. And New York is very much a big part of where innovation on the web is happening. “New York is an exceptionally entrepreneurial city,” Mr Davies pointed out. “People come here for opportunity, and it’s been like that since the city was founded.”

Well, you know what they say. Mo’ innovation = Mo’ Companies = Mo’ Money = Mo’ Jobs! :) Yes, I can get behind that. (Also it’s been two months since all the partying + boozing + schmoozing + debauchery of SXSW and things have been a tad slow lately. Internet Week, you’ve arrived just in time!) Read More

Shut Up Nerds

New York Tech, Stuck at No. 2, Still Shaking Pom-Poms


Over the last few years, the rhetoric in Silicon Alley has started to sound like a Bring It On sequel. The rhetoric is dominated by two themes: boostery New York exceptionalism—in September 2009, the high-profile investor Fred Wilson gave a talk called “NYC’s Startup Scene: What makes it special?”—and the David and Goliath narrative, with Silicon Valley as the reigning champion versus New York as the cool, scrappy young challenger. Read More

The Daily Muse, Riding Big Growth, Preps For Y Combinator

Kathryn Minshew

Kathryn Minshew never had much luck with tech incubators. “My first company I applied to a whole bunch and got rejected.” So with her new venture, The Daily Muse, a content and career site for young professional women, Ms. Minshew was planning to skip the applications and focus on bootrapping her firm. “If it wasn’t for Rachel Sklar and her post about getting your name out there, I never would have applied to Y Combinator.” (That Sklar, always changing the ratio and changing minds.)

The Daily Muse decided to apply and prepped with  local YC alumni. “There is a very specific culture and interview process at Y Combinator. It’s like a college, you need to know the culture.”

Boom, accepted, which means another thing on their already very full plates. “We just had 100 percent growth month over month in our traffic. We’re trying to hire new staffers. Now add moving to California into the mix,” said Ms. Minshew.  Read More

XX in Tech

Rachel Sterne Gets the Vogue Treatment as the ‘Kate Middleton’ of New York Tech

via Vogue and a scanner.

Exactly a year after Anna Wintour sprinkled her glossy fashion dust on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Vogue has decided to switch its gaze from women in New York politics to women in New York tech.

After taking a gander at Silicon Alley’s female founders, investors, and stalwarts, the magazine opted to profile New York City’s social media-savvy chief digital officer (or “head nerd” in 4 Times Square parlance) Rachel Sterne for being “the face of a new era of digital governance.”

The feature, which isn’t available online (Bad, Conde! Stop that!) says, “Sterne is part of a new generation of bright, attractive women who are turning Silicon Alley into less of a boys’ club.” We’d quibble with Vogue‘s  notion that women judged on their relative attractiveness makes it less of a boy’s club. But hey, it’s Vogue, which means we get references to Ms. Sterne’s “willowy, six-foot frame” and “striking figure.” Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: a Bot, a Spy, a Small Step for Diaspora and a Tiny Launch

StepStruder MK7 (makerbot.com)

So the big news from the last week: TechStars is now 100 percent more Y Combinator, having raised a new fund from investors so it can give every graduate a $100,000 convertible note. But, did anything else happen?

3-D WHAAAT. “MakerBot Industries announced today the launch of yet another innovation to 3D printing, the MakerBot Stepstruder MK7. The most compact and reliable extruder to date, the MK7 produces the most detailed prints ever created on the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic.” Woot!

OPENING UP. Canv.as is, the second image-based startup from Christomoot Poole, is in public beta now (as is Google+). Alpha invites went out for Diaspora, that New York expatriated startup still occasionally poking at the fringes of our awareness. But Canvas still has a complex domain and the Twitter handle is @canv_as. Ick! Read More