Work It WeWork
WeWork Labs, the coworking space for early-stage startups, which moved to 17,000 square foot space in March, is planning on doubling its size. By July, the incubatorish offices will occupy both the third and fourth floor of 175 Varick Street. Applications are welcome for June, but it’s already at capacity now with more than 100 startups, including Longreads, Fitocracy, Scrollkit, and Material Wrld.
Work It WeWork
WeWork Labs, the 50-person coworking experiment that at times seems more like an incubator, currently located at the Soho location of coworking network WeWork, will be moving to 175 Varick Street in February 2012. ”We hope to take the current incubator format to the next level and will accommodate and mentor hand-selected tech companies in their different stages of growth,” Onepager cofounder and WeWork Labs handyman Matt Shampine told Betabeat by email.
the startup rundown
STYLECASTER RAISES FUNDS. “Announced today, we’ve raised $1 million in a small bridge round, in order to bring in Facebook, MySpace and Zynga veterans as investors… we’re going to completely revamp our flagship site StyleCaster.com, and offer new, even more social products and features.”
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEMO NIGHT. Is tonight (and $10, why?)
NEW WORK CITY. Hit 100 members.
WEWORK LABS. Has an important announcement to make tonight about the future of the coworking space. (We hear it’s good news.)
the startup rundown
SHARE AND TELL. Skillshare is testing out “courses,” similar to the multi-part classes and certification programs at General Assembly. The first trial course is being run by CEO Mike Karnjanaprakhorn called “Launching Your Startup Idea.” “We’re looking to expand our class types so it’s not just one-off-classes,” he said.
IDK WE MIGHT GO. Does anyone else here hate Plancast? Betabeat does! We also hate Google Calendar! So much clicking! So it was of great interest to us to see that WeWork Labs-based startup Tentative.ly has soft launched to let you easily bookmark events across the web.
CAPTURE THE FOURSQUARE. From New Work City and New Zealand startup Snapr: “We are launching a new app – Capture the Flag “The Mobile Photosharing Game of World Domination” that’s built off our API and takes advantage of our soon to be announced location based gaming features. You can see a demo for the game and download the app here: http://capturethefl.ag/. In the game people join teams and then check in photos to win territory.”
Last week, New York-based e-coupon organizer CityPockets announced the acquisition of the month-old, one-man start-up Dealburner, a real-time SMS notification for daily deals based on the Foursquare API. DealBurner was created by Jason Fertel after he and his two co-founders decided to abandon their group-texting start-up Freespeech, which seemed doomed despite sending half a million texts a day just because there were so many bigger start-ups doing the same thing. Both CityPockets CEO Cheryl Yeoh and Mr. Fertel worked out of the Soho co-working space WeWork Labs, which has seen companies formed, funded by angel investors and accepted into incubators since it opened in April.
Betabeat caught up with Ms. Yeoh to ask about plans for DealBurner.
. . . You gots to put a shingle up to attract the start-up talent. With a 1.7 percent acceptance rate for its last class, TechStars NY already bested the Ivy League at its own game: the enviable aura of exclusivity. But New York’s glut of incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces—all loosely-organized around the goal of mentoring, housing, funding and growing baby start-ups into big companies—have led to a noticeable distinction between the varsity and JV leagues of support networks. Admission into TechStars vaunted ranks, of course, comes with $18,000 in funding—and exposure. And even General Assembly is known for having VCs saunter-through its effortlessly cool coworking space, which has led to some investment deals.
A side project we counseled to turn start-up is headed to San Francisco to join the elite incubator Angelpad, founded by ex-Googlers in 2010. IDoneThis, the productivity hack from Walter Chen and Rodrigo Guzman, told us a month ago they had applied to a few incubators–including New York’s brand-new Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator–but it seems they’ll be shipping off to Cali even though “New York has been good to us.” We look forward to hearing dispatches from the relatively new incubator, which mostly selects start-ups run by more experienced entrepreneurs, and to enjoying the sandwiches at their celebratory open sandwich bar party next week.
Fitocracy founders Brian Wang and Richard Talens, flexing at Betabeat’s request.
Fitocracy, which tracks workouts and turns personal fitness into a social game, has had a good six months. The two-person, bootstrapped start-up has users foaming at the mouth for invites–and we’ve got some!–and they’ve just hired a third developer to join the team working out of WeWork Labs. “Every time we’ve introduced Fitocracy to a forum community, people go nuts for invites,” co-founder Brian Wang wrote on Quora yesterday in a call for angel funding.