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You Have Until Midnight Tonight to Vote for Your Favorite Startup for The Pitch

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Twenty New York startups are competing to be featured in the second season of our web series The Pitch. But only 10 will move on for a chance to pitch investors–Steve Schlafman of Lerer Ventures and Nikhil Kalghatgi of SoftBank Capital–and win funding for their idea. And you get to decide!

Check out the slideshow and vote for your favorite startups to make it to the next round. Read More

Betabeat Beat

Betabeat Had a Party Last Night to Celebrate ‘The Pitch’

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Thanks to everyone who stopped by Soho House last night to celebrate the end of our web series, The Pitch. According to some people, that place is like an incubator with pricier snacks.

If we had to Techmeme party conversation, SXSW and AOL’s endless ousters would be at the top of the page. We talked to Scott Kidder, director of editorial operations at Gawker Media, about whether this would be the year Austin implodes under the weight of all those overbooked hotel rooms. We asked Texts From Last Night cofounder Ben Bator about the early years of pilfering texts from friends’s cellphones. We discussed Kickstarter’s bonkers growth with Laughing Squid primary tentacle Scott Beale, and registered a vote in favor of pseudonymity with soon-to-be second-time author Cole Stryker.

Afterward, we ran into the real life version of a character from The Social Network, which, we think, now qualifies us as Winklevii-adjacent. Now we’re gonna put on our sweet, sweet Betabeat headphones and drown out the rest of the bullpen. No more dilly-dallying, we’ve got a paper to close. Read More

The Pitch

The Pitch Finale: Olapic, Dibsie and Markover Compete For The Big Prize

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After seeing pitches from eight New York startups, Lerer Ventures narrowed it down to three finalists: Olapic, Dibsie and Markover.

In this episode Ben Lerer and Steve Schlafman, a principle at Lerer Ventures, sit down with the finalists to get a sense of how they have progressed over the month since the first pitch. “That’s like a year in early stage time,” notes Ben. Read More

The Pitch

The Pitch, Episode Nine: Salido – Investing in People, Girlfriends as ‘Props’

There is nothing Shom Chowdhury likes less than getting stuck with more than his fair share of the tab. Salido, the next generation point of sale service he created with his brother Shu, is meant to address that through tablets and smartphones. If you show up late to a meal and missed a couple hundred bucks in bottle service, no problem. Using Salido you can check in to see exactly what your share is and pay right from your phone. Read More

The Pitch

The Pitch, Episode Eight: Dibsie – Browsing for a Big Idea

Dibsie is a dynamic shopping catalog that learns users’s tastes and then surfaces products based on that data. It was founded by Garren Givens, Dylan Fareed and Scott Poniewaz, who previously worked together on CampusDibs, a daily deal site aimed at the college market.

Learning a user’s preferences in order to recommend him or her better products is a space that has seen a lot of activity in New York recently. Hunch was acquired by eBay to power just that sort of highly-personalized experience. Meanwhile, The Fancy just nabbed a $10 million investment from the biggest fashion brands on the planet to connect users’s taste in web surfing with luxury e-commerce.

Dibsie wants to play with both those models. Like eBay, it will be in part a self-serve platform, where small businesses can go to upload their products alongside more established brands. The company launched at the New York Tech Meetup in August and since then have added hundreds of small businesses that use Dibsie as a platform for their offers. Read More