startup rundown

Startup News: Lerer Ventures Looks for a Hustler, Branch Steals From Twitter, BaubleBar Gets Brick and Mortar

(Photo: twitter.com)

Non Hustlers Need Not Apply Lerer Ventures is looking to hire a new analyst. The job requires one or two years of experience at a venture backed startup or major tech company. You have to also be “a sweet and cool person,” so no mean losers need apply. According to the listing, they’re looking for “A hustler and/or hacker who works smart.” We’re sending this to Cassidy right away.

Playing Hooky Not Cool On Friday, AT&T and NYC Digital will kickoff a hackathon designed to help Mayor Bloomberg’s Truancy Task Force. Designers and coders will be given the challenge to create a mobile app to keep kids in school. The first prize is pretty sweet and includes $2,500 in Gift Cards for the team to split, a $5,000 donation from AT&T to the team’s choice of non-profit organizations, and one year of the “Small” service from Github for each team member. No word on whether college dropouts are allowed to compete. Read More

It's a Zuck Zuck Zuck Zuck World

Facebook Would Like You to Give It Some Money, Starts Selling Actually Desirable Things

Facebook Gifts

Remember when Facebook was a world-changing social network–uniting families, friends, and that girl who moved away in the third grade across space and time? And then remember when Facebook was a punchline, trying to get you to pay real money for the virtual equivalent of the flair buttons on a TGIFriday’s vest?

Well, now, Facebook is also partly an e-commerce play–like say Amazon or Pets.com. Today, the company began launching a new segment called Gifts, which allows users to buy and send real-world items, tied to the life events you post on Facebook. It’s a gentle reminder that when free consumer web startups say, “Don’t worry about monetization, we’ll find a magical third way later,” what they mean is: “Let us pretend just a little while longer, please.” Read More

Disrupting Your Face

Watch Warby Parker’s First TV Ad, Targeted Exclusively to Hipster Homes

(Photo: Warby Parker)

All that company-subsidized beer pong must be inspiring. Warby Parker*, the online glasses retailer, has decided to expand its marketing efforts to the small screen. Rather than just promote their $95 try-at-home model on the web or through cool kid pop-up stores and kiosks in Standard hotels, the company is investing $250,000–a small fraction of its $50.3 millon in VC funding–in a small-scale, highly-targeted TV ad strategy.

The New York Times reports that the company is saving money by sending the ad, featuring anthropomorphized eyeballs riding on unicycles, to its (very) particular target market: Read More

Fresh Capital

On the Heels of Three Exits, NYC’s Thrive Capital Raises $150 Million Fund

(Photo: Crunchbase)

Thrive Capital, the New York-based venture capital firm helmed by 26-year-old Josh Kushner*, announced today that it has successfully raised a $150 million fund for early and later stage startups. The news comes almost a year to the day after Thrive announced a $40 million raise from investors like Princeton University. The fresh $150 million comes from a slew of some of the same investors, including Princeton, Wellcome Trust and Hall Capital Partners. Read More

New Offerings

Where Magazines Fear to Tread: Beautylish Expands from MakeUp Tutorials into Ecommerce

So many eye shadows!

After two years of building a community of makeup nuts around cosmetic content, startup Beautylish is ready to monetize. Today the company launches an ecommerce offering, so fans of their YouTube tutorials need no longer rustle up their new favorite eyeshadow colors via their own Google searches.

Founder Nils Johnson may be best known for his work as an angel investor, putting early cash into companies like Warby Parker and Everlane, but Beautylish is his very own bouncing baby. 24 months in, the site receives more than a million monthly uniques and has almost as many Twitter followers as beauty beast Sephora. Makeup artists active on the site include Billy B., who works with Lady Gaga.

Funding to date stands at just over $2 million, from investors like Ron Conway, Max Levchin, Steve Chen, and Jeremy Stoppelman. Read More

This for That

Is This ‘Warby Parker for Hearing Aids’ Disruptive, or Too Good to Be True?

audicus feature

Audicus isn’t the first company to sell hearing aids over the Internet, but it’s aiming to be the most stylish. The New York-based startup launched a redesign last week with a mixed metaphor—”Audicus Brings a Fresh Breath to Hearing Aids”—and the ambitious goal of bringing cheap, attractive hearing aids to the masses.

According to Audicus, only 25 percent of Americans with hearing loss use hearing aids due to the fact that they’re embarrassing and expensive. “Audicus addresses both these issues. It makes hearing aids cool and discreet, while bringing down the price by up to 80% through its novel online model. As such, it aims to take on a dusty industry that has been slow in innovating, and in the process make hearing technology far more accessible,” says a press release. Read More

Most Fashionable Techies

Well-Dressed Entrepreneurs Enchant AskMen

Fashion icon? (flickr.com/shankbone)

Dapper dudes, unite: AskMen published a slideshow today of the “Most Stylish Entrepreneurs,” and many fashionable New York businessmen made the list. Hey, at least we’re finally objectifying dude techies the same way we usually do ladies?

“Here is what happens when ambition meets fashion,” declared AskMen in a post partially sponsored by Dell. You’re totally dying to know who made the list, right? Read More

Definitions

When Is a Tech Startup Not a Tech Startup?

rent the runway

We frequently face this question here at Betabeat: What makes a tech startup a tech startup? All young businesses are startups, and a vast number of new businesses use technology or the Internet. So as a tech blog, how do we decide who to cover? Is Warby Parker a tech startup? Is Bonobos? Is Rent the Runway? All are lightweight on the tech side but have investment dollars from venture capitalists that specialize in tech.

the startup rundown

Startup News: Time’s NYC 10 in Tech, Rx Sunglasses Online and Amazon’s Hot Sister

(Source: Warby Parker)

PERFECT TEN. Last Wednesday Time Inc. brought together editors from many of their news properties to bestow upon us the “10 NYC Startups to Watch.” Only in the startup picking game since lat year’s Internet Week, Time Inc. has already picked winners like GroupMe, which was purchased by Skype for a supposed $85 milion.

The startups that made the cut for 2012 are Adaptly, a social advertising platform; Art.sy, the Pandora of art; Codeacademy, an interactive self-paced tool to learn to code; Enterproid, a mobile platform to segregate work from personal information on a single mobile device; Fab—you already know what Fab does; Fancy Hands, a provider of virtual personal assistants; Loosecubes, a matchmaker for workers and workspaces SideTour; a community marketplace for booking and hosting adventures, Stamped; a five-star-only mobile rating app and Truth Art Beauty; an online platform where users can custom-create skincare blends.

FOUNDER POWER. This Friday Women 2.0 is hosting their New York Founder Friday at 16 East 34th Street. Featured founders Cheryl Yeoh of CityPockets and Eloise Bune of GraciousEloise will begin speaking at 7 p.m. but the event will kick off at 6 p.m. with an introduction by Matt Wolfrom of Makovsky and Company, the event’s sponsor. Founder Friday is free, and open to people of all genders, unlike the LOL-inducing “Jews against the Internet” rally, which is $10 and closed to women. Unfortunately, Founder Friday is already at capacity. Add your name to the wait list and cross your fingers.

RALLY IN THE ALLEY. The Association for a Better New York Foundation and Mayor Bloomberg honored the city’s technology leaders in Union Square last Thursday including Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley, Greycroft’s Alan Patricof, ideeli CEO Paul Hurley and NYTM cofounder Dawn Barber. The Lew Rudin Founder’s Award went to New York City deputy mayor for economic development Robert Steel. Read More

All the jobs

Don’t Worry If You Missed the NYC Startup Job Fair, There’s Still The Internet

10 Photos

7 World Trade Center

The NYC Startup Job Fair was packed with tons of New York City tech companies and startups on the hunt for that oh-so-hard-to-find tech talent, specifically engineers and developers. Hopeful applicants, some fresh-faced, some not so much, squeezed past each other picking up job descriptions and dropping off resumes and business cards.

All photos by Ben Weitzenkorn. Read More