The Real TechStars of New York
You didn’t think the TechStars fun ended with last week’s after-party at Marquee, now did you? Shelby.tv, the startup that entered New York’s inaugural class as Homefield (a web-based video platform for coaches to share game footage) before pivoting towards a larger market (a channel for web videos) is out of alpha and ready to show users what it can do.
Online and in its spankin’ new iPhone and iPad apps (no beta invite necessary), Shelby.tv aggregates web videos from your Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds into a single “instant on” channel, kinda like regular TV.
Fans of the TechStars show likely remember Shelby CEO and co-founder Reece Pacheco as the broad-shouldered, good-natured dude who’s “I’m an athlete” refrain was immortalized by the producers at Bloomberg.
Betabeat talked to Mr. Pacheco about why Shelby is a “crazy bitch,” jam sessions at its Union Square offices, how Shelby gets smarter the more you use it.
The Real TechStars of New York
Entrepreneur-turned-investor Mark Suster has already dispensed email advice for “us sarcastic bastards who have slitting tongues,” but on this week’s episode of TechStars he gives David Tisch a run for his money on the real talk/insult-o-meter, to some amusing ends. (Check out our top five list after the end.)
In Episode Four, Mr. Tisch is trying to prepare the teams for Demo Day and “access to a room full of money,” in some cases by throwing ping pong balls or fake cash to see if he can distract them. He also encourages them to “try your best to get a third of what you’re looking for soft circled,” so they can present with some momentum. The VC weather report might be frothy, but not all the teams are finding it easy.
Real TechStars of New York
Although the tongue-in-cheek excitement of a reality show that substitutes David Tisch for Heidi Klum and Bloomberg for Bravo was lost on some people, exactly no one in the packed house at Fiddlesticks in the West Village last night seemed to give a hoot. They were too busy watching their friends–and themselves–show up on teevee for the New York tech scene’s illustrious small screen debut.
RRE Ventures footed the bar tab for a breathing-room only crowd that included the grinning founders of TechStars companies like OnSwipe’s Jason Baptiste and Shelby.tv’s Reece Pacheco, along with the usual suspects like GroupMe’s Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht and Aviary’s Alex Taub, and the adorable “Bubby” Tisch, the eldest of the three generations in attendance, who gamely sat near the screen in over-sized glasses watching her grandson getting the f7$%ing bleep bleeped out of him on Bloomberg TV.
Real TechStars of New York
New York’s tech set has finally hit the big time, you guys! At 9 p.m. EST tonight, TechStars new reality show premieres on Bloomberg TV. And the vaunted ranks of IRL housewives, spray tan-happy Italian-Americans, and people with something to lose have nothing on the drama of trying to fund, launch, scale, keep afloat–and especially name–your startup.
In fact, by our count, since January, the TechStars New York inaugural class has already had four name changes, one big win, one pivot, one abandoned idea, and one fail.
If you think about it, the reality show format is a natural fit for a seed stage accelerator like TechStars. Like America’s Next Top Model and American Idol, you have the desperate audition to actually make it on the cast, only with PowerPoint decks instead of strutting and singing. Then once you’re in, your work is constantly being scrutinized by a panel of experts, which makes David Tisch the Heidi Klum (albeit with a filthier mouth) to Roger Ehrenberg’s Nina Garcia. But as every reality show “winner” can tell you, getting anointed by the powers that be doesn’t necessarily guarantee success in the real world.
But you didn’t think Betabeat would let you wade into the expletive-laced, frothy territory on your own, did you? Here’s what you need to know before the premiere.
Web TV Wars
Techstars NY graduate Shelby.tv has been pretty quiet since raising $1.5 million in July. But today the young start-up, which aims to provide an immersive experience for watching, sharing and discovering web video, announced that content from the typically isolated Hulu will be available on Shelby.tv. Videos from IAC’s College Humor also came online today, along with Tumblr integration.
Start-Up Fairy Tales
Around the time that on-fire TechStars start-up Shelby.tv was closing its $1.5 million round, co-founder Joe Yevoli walked. It wasn’t that he didn’t have faith in the product; he didn’t have a falling out with the team. He just… wasn’t feeling it. “Truth be told, I don’t watch a lot of web video,” he wrote on his blog today. “But right now if I watch a web video it’s something specific. And, if I miss something, I’m fine with it.” And there was something else: HomeField, a web-based video platform for coaches to share game footage, the precursor to Shelby.tv, was being neglected as co-founders Dan Spinosa and Reece Pacheco found their time sucked away by the social video site.
The Start-Up Rundown
The start-up week starts Wednesday:
VIDEO LAUNCH. General Assembly-based VHX.tv, launched by Vimeo alum Casey Pugh and Know Your Memester Jamie Wilkinson about a month and a half ago, is in public beta as of yesterday. The app, which creates a curated stream of video based on links your friends share on Twitter, Tumblr and the rest, has a better looking interface than TechStars-hatched competitor Shelby.tv and more channels , verticals, or filters, whatever you want to call them–but unlike Shelby, doesn’t put emphasis on who exactly shared what. “Coming soon: mixtape-style playlists, an API for developers, and iPhone, iPad and Boxee apps,” the company teased.
Meanwhile, Blip.TV and YouTube are ramping up efforts to suck users into web television with the same enthusiasm previous generations had for television-television.
Happy holiday weekend, rumor city.
CASH STARS. TechStars alum Shelby.tv just signed term sheets for its first round of funding, which the company had doubled to $1 million due to a surplus of investor interest. They’re looking for two engineers, we hear, and already have their eye on someone special.
HASH SLASH. Overexposed New York start-up Hashable quietly laid off two engineers about a month ago and replaced them with non-technical interns, Betabeat learned today. The company is making a full-court press on the publicity front though, springing for a Promoted Tweet during all three days of TechCrunch Disrupt.
Shelby.tv founder Reece Pacheco was reportedly fielding offers for $200,000 in funding minutes after getting offstage at the TechStars NY demo day.
The company was initially aiming for a $500,000 seed round, but has since graduated to a what Onswipe’s Jason Baptiste calls a “series Awesome”.
Betabeat learned today that Shelby.tv plans to double Read More