They're Watching

Williamsburg Now Just Trolling the Styleblaster Spycam

(Photo: Styleblaster)

Styleblaster, a project installed by a handful of Brooklyn-based technologists that uses a camera to chronicle the sartorial choices of Williamsburg residents and upload the photos in real-time to the web, has quickly devolved into trolling.

When a Daily Dot commenter used Google Maps to sleuth out the address, it spread across the internet lightning-fast. The camera is situated in a window at 234 Driggs Ave., a block from the Bedford Avenue stop. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Brooklynites Can Now Learn Kickstarter at The Yard; DuJour Debuts

(Photo: The Yard)

No Sleep ‘Til Back in July, Betabeat revealed that Williamsburg-dwelling coworking space The Yard would be launching a General Assembly-like roster of classes–and at “Brooklyn prices,” no less. Well, the curriculum site is now live, with a full list of offerings. Examples include iOS app development for beginnings and Intro to Makerbot. A course on Kickstarter makes the joke about would-be creators of mason jar cocktail shakers almost too easy.

Your Digital Newsstand Now live: DuJour, an ultra-luxe magazine targeted to the rich and fabulous. Glossy photo shoots are all well and good, but DuJour hopes to distinguish itself by thoroughly integrating print and digital–meaning readers can finally click through to featured items that strike their fancy. Giving the pub a long leg up: A partnership with Gilt Group, which’ll allow the magazine to launch with a subscriber base of three million. Read More

Brooklyn's Finest

Williamsburg Coworking Space The Yard Takes on General Assembly, Plans a Continuing Ed Program

(Photo: The Yard)

Back in February, Betabeat introduced you to The Yard, a freshly-opened coworking space in Williamsburg that we minted the “General Assembly of Brooklyn.” Turns out we’re psychic, because today The Yard announced that–just like its Manhattan competitor, GA–it will be offering continuing education courses in subjects like programming and biz dev, beginning this fall. All at “Brooklyn prices,” no less!

“We really want to cultivate a culture here that is cutting edge and innovative and collaborative,” Andy Smith, The Yard’s PR and curriculum coordinator, told Betabeat by phone. “It seems like now that we’re at a point where we are full, we can sort of branch out and extend our efforts to other aspects to cultivate that culture. Educational initiatives seemed like the next natural step.” Read More

Cowork With Me?

Is The Yard, a New Coworking Space In Williamsburg, the General Assembly of Brooklyn?

13 Photos

Launch party spread.

Others have tried and failed to make a coworking space grow in Williamsburg. (The Makery is dead! Long live, Bnter’s new office!) But “real estate professionals” and born-and-raised Brooklynites  Morris Levy and Richard Beyda may have the home-court advantage. The duo opened The Yard, a 14,000 square foot coworking space, in November and are already at 65 percent capacity.

A number of tech companies, including Hype Machine, Wanderfly, Mobile Roadie and Uber are already working out of the space, as well as a few startups still in splash page mode, like Gander TV and Spotflux. Somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of The Yard‘s residents are techies, although that wasn’t exactly the owners’ intention. “We knew there was a need in Williamsburg/Greenpoint for something like this, but we didn’t realize the tech scene was happening here and that that was the direction it was going to go,” Mr. Levy told Betabeat by phone.

Now that the startup syngery is under way, however, The Yard has been “planning strategic alliances” with angel investors whose portfolio companies might be interested in working there. For example, Mr. Levy said he’s currently in talks with Brooklyn Bridge Ventures founder and First Round Capital alum Charlie O’Donnell, who launched a Kings County-centric seed fund last month. Read More

Personalities

Web MD: Can Williamsburg’s Techie Doc Sell Health Consciousness to the Masses?

jayparkinson-headshot

Jay Parkinson, the man Fast Company dubbed “The Doctor of the Future” in 2009, was lounging in his Williamsburg backyard, a few blocks from the Bedford stop on the L. It was a sleepy afternoon, interrupted only by the occasional sound of his Goldendoodle, Buddy, crunching on a bone, or his neighbors, on the other side of the fence, giving their pet pig what sounded like a bath.

The Bose radio in the kitchen piped soothing Dixieland standards past the verdant rose bushes. Dr. Parkinson went sockless in his loafers. He wore navy seersucker shorts and had his chambray shirt unbuttoned to somewhere around his fourth rib, revealing a tight, tanned torso. Life seemed swell.

“I was the doctor of the tech community,” the 35-year-old Dr. Parkinson recalled of his emergence on the scene several years ago. “It was just my first practice, but I got a ton of press and a lot of hits. So, like, anybody young and creative in New York would call me up to be their doctor.” Read More

Start-up Slumber Parties

Co-Working Is So 2010, Man. In Williamsburg, Start-Ups Move Onto Co-Living

This could be your living room.

#StartupLife co-founders Steven Liu and Louie Torrellas have already collected $1,040 (and counting!) towards their $10,000 campaign to create an affordable co-living space for start-ups in East Williamsburg. They’re certainly in the right neighborhood for such a collegiate project. McKibbin Lofts, just two blocks away, is so popular with artsy post-grads that it’s often referred to as a dorm. Okay fine, maybe it’s more like that “filthy hipster dorm,” but still.

Perhaps it was that underground ethos that prompted the two co-founders to eschew Kickstarter for their fund-raising campaign and instead opt to advertise on the more DIY-focused San Francisco-based IndieGoGo.

Although you can’t throw a Nexus S1 in parts of the city without hitting a coworking spaces, that still leaves future Dennis Crowleys and Kevin Ryans to fend for themselves after hours. Liu’s plan for a start-up alternative involves “lower-than-market rent, a close-knit start-up community, and a strong network of experienced mentors”–accessible from bunkbeds, private bedrooms, or suites in 20 separate apartment units. Bunkbeds go for under $300/month, but come with access to the courtyard and rooftop. “All you need is a suitcase and a dream.” (Oh, and at least $550/month if you don’t want to become too familiar with your co-founder’s sleepwear.) Read More