“I thought this was gonna be like a real funeral,” Betabeat’s date complained. Her confusion was understandable. The invitation for Friday night’s Startup Funeral–a sort of reverse launch party for failed startups–instructed us stop by the “New Work City Funeral Home.” So we were a little surprised, upon entering the dim second-story loft off Canal Street, to find a DJ spinning hip-hop as guests milled about the Chinatown coworking space in business casual–save for a veiled woman and a dude in devil’s horns.
We didn’t spot any condolence casseroles, but canapés sat on trays next to bowls of punch and pink paper lamps hung from the ceiling. On the Western window, a large screen bore the Wifi password.
Startup parties tend to focus on the positive. Launches, app releases and acquisitions, oh my! It’s a freaking party, after all. But the flip side also deserves to be commemorated. With booze. So goes the logic behind Startup Funeral. “Join us as we pay respects to our dearly departed startups who have left us for the deadpool,” says the site, with a link to an event on September 21st that promises to do just that.
The wickedly clever idea was masterminded by Android developer Kevin Galligan, who then teamed up with four of his fellow entrepreneurs out of New Work City, a co-working space in Chinatown: Leo Newball, Jr., Jason Kende, Valerie Lisyansky and Jason Nadaf. “Work time: 45 minutes; Discussion Time: 2 months+,” Mr. Newball told Betabeat by Gchat when we asked how it took them to build the site.
Founders representing the deceased startups will have a chance to speak for five minutes about whatever they want–lessons learned, plugging their new venture–but the aim is to have a good time. “So the idea [for] Startup Funeral started as a Viking funeral–drinking with a burning effigy as they would in the grand old times when the Vikings ruled the sea. Then the idea morphed. Why not an Irish funeral? Why not a marching band?” Mr. Newball explained. “We want to be clear it’s primarily a party; the learning experience is way down the list.”