startup rundown

Startup News: Bloomberg Wiring up NYC and Canadians Make Sweet Love to Songza

Mr. Bloomberg. (Twitter)

Time Warner Still Sucks On Friday, Mayor Bloomberg made a big move toward ing promise to expand broadband in New York. He launched ConnectNYC, a contest for small businesses that will award free fiber cable wiring (overall value of up to $12 million) to 240 local businesses across the five boroughs over the next two years. But will it make slow cashiers go faster?

All Your Dwollas Belong To Us Dwolla, the way to pay people via smartphone, just rolled out a cool feature called MassPay. It allows you to pay up to 2,000 people at once, which is great for business owners or degenerate gamblers who have a lot of friends. Payments under 10 dollars are free, while anything higher than that requires a small fee of 25 cents per transaction. Parking Panda, VHX and Major League Gaming have all pledged to start using the service immediately. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: We Can’t Stop Turntabling

rumormonger

TURNTABLE.FM PARTY CRASHED! On Thursday, New Work City had the rockin’est Turntable.fm DJ-off and techie dance party north of the Mississippi, we’re told, despite a miscommunication in the Pepsi delivery. Turntable’s cutesy avatars were cut out and pasted on the wall behind the DJs, which included Shai Goldman, bringer of dance beats as well as Silicon Valley Bank sponsorship. “Had almost 200 people, got crashed by drunk, obstinate Obliterati around midnight,” says one attendee. “A woman who claimed be society columnist for WSJ showed up with 10 people and pretty much demanded entry. Mind you, it’s $30 at the door to get in for open bar. Women from Zaarly also showed up part of this cadre of drunken ‘VIPs’,” he scoffed. Video here, photos here. Read More

Talent Crunch

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

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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