startup rundown

Startup News: Birchbox Preps for Cyber Monday

birchbox - rebecca taylor

Cyber Monday out of the box That glorious, pajama shopping-enabled holiday, Cyber Monday, is less than a week away now. And Birchbox is rolling out several ways to take advantage of their deals for the occasion. First up, they launched their shopping app last week so you don’t even need to support the weight of a laptop while buying presents from your couch. Next, Birchbox is generous enough to give you a Rebecca Taylor-designed makeup pouch when you spend at least $55 on other stuff. So, not every present has to be for someone else. And finally, they’re instituting a points system for the day that can get you up to a $30 value when you spend $100. Sounds like it’s time for some extra fancy smelling face goop! Read More

Bro No

Outraged San Franciscans Trying to Ship Douchey Startup Founder Back to New York

(Photo: Twitter.com/arnie)

Startup founder Peter Shih ignited a West Coast firestorm yesterday after publishing a rant to Medium (now deleted) entitled “10 Things I Hate About You: San Francisco Edition.” It was a clumsy, failed attempt at “humorous satire” that read like an entitled douchebag flippantly complaining about serious systemic issues like homelessness. (We’re sure the defunding of San Francisco mental health facilities hasn’t contributed to the amount of mentally ill homeless citizens at all, for example.) Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

Columbia English Majors, Ashton Kutcher Wants YOU for His New ‘Consumer-Oriented’ Startup

(Photo: Venture Village)

Who says majoring in English is worthless? A leaked job listing from a Columbia English major listserv obtained by Salon proves that even professional wordsmiths can delve into the star-studded startup world. You could toil away at a publishing company for $25,000 a year, or you could work at the hot new startup from self-described brainiac and actor/investor Ashton Kutcher. Read More

Philanthropy and Tech

Too Busy (or Lazy) To Volunteer? Exec Lets You Pay Someone to Volunteer for You

(Photo: Exec)

Sometimes when we pass a homeless person on the way into our multi-million dollar luxury Chelsea apartment, or our driver takes us through the island slums to get to our private beach on St. John’s, we suspect that we should probably think about giving back a little bit. People are, like, poor, you know? But the problem is that we’re frequently so busy being the CEO of a Very Important Venture-Backed Startup that we don’t have the time to go volunteer somewhere.

For that, we are thankful that Exec exists.

The San Francisco-based startup is a lot like TaskRabbit, minus the price bidding for each task. All execs make a flat rate fee of $25/hour, and you can hire them to do everything from personal shopping to cleaning to research. Starting today, you can also hire them to volunteer for you. Read More

Political Animals

Meet the Tech Nerds Trying to Get Mitt Romney (and Others) Elected

Canvassing means no AC. (Photo: flickr.com/labor2008

Now, what does this sound like to you?

One recent morning, 14 job candidates filed into his fourth-floor office in Alexandria, Virginia, where a wiffle ball net is stowed in the lobby and a pirate flag hangs in the conference room. How many might he hire? “Fourteen, if we like them all,” he said.

If you guessed “a venture-backed consumer Internet startup,” you are incorrect. (Thanks for playing; better luck next time.) Read More

Techies Be Snackin

Silicon Valley Favorites Cater2Me Expand to New York, Want to Feed You

Note the "lunch" sign, in case someone was confused. (Photo: courtesy of Cater2Me)

Founded a year and a half ago in San Francisco, Cater2Me quickly found its niche feeding the ravenous techies of Silicon Valley, nabbing clients like Dropbox, Square and Klout. “You can call it the Google effect, if you want,” cofounder Alex Lorton told Betabeat, and “that idea is becoming the norm in New York, as well.”

Hence the company’s decision to expand to New York City. The service just launched yesterday, but it sounds like Mr. Lorton is already halfway to going out for the cheerleading team.

“I think it’s cool to be part of the expansion of Silicon Alley, to use the phrase, to be part of that startup community,” he said. “People in startups are, I think, more willing to embrace something that’s new, something that’s initially not as tested.”

Well, hopefully it’s not that untested. Read More