On the Town

Chilled-Out Mayor Bloomberg Throws a Party for the Tech Crowd That’s Really More of a Send Off

All the gang's here!

Last night at Gracie Mansion (or out in the yard, to be more specific), Mayor Bloomberg looked about as relaxed as this reporter has ever seen him. The occasion was We are Made in NY, billed as “a celebration of New York City’s tech community.” He laughed, he cracked wise, at one point he propped an elbow on the stage’s railing and leaned like a Guys and Dolls extra.

Guess a mere 92 days left on the clock will chill a guy out–not to mention this audience of techies was about as friendly a crowd as he’ll find these days. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Randi Zuckerberg Isn’t the Only One Casting for a Startup Reality Show in New York

800px-Randi_Zuckerberg_WEF_2012

Randi, Can You Hear Me? Yesterday evening, Betabeat attended a Bravo casting call masquerading as a networking event. An email passed around the technoscenti sought locals “who have a full time career and full time lifestyle” to possibly maybe star in an New York spin off of Randi Zuckerberg‘s much-maligned show.

But we hear Ms. Zuckerberg may have some competition. A source mentioned that MTV is also working on a startup reality show rumored to be produced by peripatetic Foodspotter Soraya Darabi and “a Reddit cofounder.” Ms. Darabi told Betabeat she was “not involved” in the project and Reddit cofounders Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman did not immediately responded to our inquiry, so it’s hard to say if that was just wishful thinking. However, an independent New York City-based casting director–not the lovely gentleman from last night!–confirmed that “There’s a bunch of networks” currently testing reality programming about startups, including MTV and possibly CNBC. Read More

Foodie Frenzy

Foodspotting Loses Amy Cao, But Gains 1 Million Downloads in Five Months

amycao

Less than a year after Foodspotting cofounder Soraya Darabi stepped down from her day-to-day role, the company has lost another prominent representative of the brand. Last month, Amy Cao, head of community and social media at the food guide, opted out of the startup for the freelance life.

Ms. Cao, the consumate foodie behind sites like Amy Blogs Chow and Stupidly Simple Snacks, was very much a public face for the startup–so much so that the tipster who told us she left mistook Ms. Cao for one of the startup’s cofounders. Ms. Cao did not respond to a request for comment from Betabeat. But according to her LinkedIn profile, she is now freelance social media and community director for startups like Levo League and Consmr, which demo’d at last night’s New York Tech Meetup. Read More

Input/Ouput

Soraya Darabi Steps Back at Foodspotting, Eyes Bigger Role at ABC

foodspotting cofounders

Soraya Darabi, public face and retroactively-named co-founder for the Bay Area start-up Foodspotting, has effectively left her daily role at the company.

Ms. Darabi, who has more than 429,000 followers on Twitter and a strong personal brand as a tech-savvy marketer, was brought on to get publicity for Foodspotting. And she did it well, evangelizing the service by word of mouth, on Twitter and through myriad interviews with outlets from Betabeat to Mashable (“How Soraya Darabi Put Foodspotting on the Map”) to New York magazine.

But Ms. Darabi had little input on product, sources close to Foodspotting told us, and she seemed less enthusiastic about Foodspotting as time went on and the service had trouble gaining traction in the face of threats from competitors as intimidating as Foursquare. Read More