Now that we’ve got all this data lying around in great snowdrift-like heaps on our servers, what are we supposed to do with it? Enter the data scientist, which suddenly every startup simply must have. And where there are jobs, universities are sure to follow: NYU announced today the launch of an Initiative in Data Science and Statistics, which involves both the creation of both a Center for Data Science and graduate-degree programs in the field. Read More
Teach Me How to Startup
A fair bit of Mike Bloomberg’s third and final term has been devoted to improving New York City’s educational offerings in the practical hard sciences. Besides the creation of Cornell Tech, he also helped broker city support for beefed-up programs at NYU and Columbia.
But there’s one science-focused school that has clearly has the mayor’s heart, and it’s in Baltimore, of all places: His alma mater, Johns Hopkins, where he got his engineering degree. He’s showered the university with cash for years, and the New York Times reports that his latest gift (a cool $350 million, the largest individual gift in the school’s history) brings the total to $1.1 billion. Read More
Earlier this week, classes commenced for the inaugural batch of Cornell Tech masters students, of which there are eight. To get a sense of how the first week is going, we checked in late yesterday afternoon with vice president Cathy Dove, who sounded like a satisfied high school principal ready to prop her pumps on her desk: ”I have to say, by far, this is the most rewarding and exciting milestone that we’ve hit,” she said. Read More
Mark MacLeod, a partner at the Montreal-based seed fund Real Ventures, recently posted a list of venture capitalists to avoid that quickly got passed around Twitter. Don’t take money, he advised, from archetypes like “the banker,” “the name-dropper,” “the dude on 20 boards,” etc.
Those kinds of self-interested parties have been circling around the tech scene for years. But perhaps the downward turn in startup financing is bringing back the sharp elbows that didn’t serve as well in a “party round” atmosphere. Read More
Elizabeth Spiers has worn a number of hats over the past few years–launched Dealbreaker.com and AboveTheLaw.com, founding editor of Gawker, even editing the pink newspaper where Betabeat’s column appears. And now that she’s back in the startup world, early-stage companies are lining up for consulting advice.
But what about the startups that can’t afford rent, let alone advice from consultants? Ever the entrepreneur, Ms. Spiers has come up with a novel idea that she calls ”Working Lunch.” Read More
First Round Capital Couldn’t Choose Between ‘Call Me Maybe’ and ‘Gangnam Style’ for Its Holiday Video
We thought for sure First Round would go with “Gangnam Style,” Silicon Valley favorite. But apparently, the spray-and-pray strategy favored by investors also applies to parodying viral hits. Hence the cost of doing business with First Round also means aping Bieber protégés. Gotta say, that production quality doesn’t look very “run super lean eat the ramen,” as the founder getting his head bopped on by someone else’s crotch croons.
Earlier today, Betabeat dropped by WeWork, a coworking space filled with techies diligently laboring away, to watch as Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer debuted a new report titled, “Start-up City: Growing New York City’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for All.” As you can probably tell from the name, it’s an attempt at cracking how the city can broaden access to the city’s booming tech economy and make sure everybody’s boats are still bobbing away on the rising tide.
“I think it’s important that government officials don’t get stuck in the century we’re in, but rather think about the century of the future,” Mr. Stringer told Betabeat. Read More
“I would say that it takes a very specific type of person to want to go on a three day bus trip on a cramped, smelly bus to try to launch a startup,” Jonathan Gottfried, a developer evangelist from Twilio told Betabeat last week. Mr. Gottfried was talking about the StartupBus, the pipe dream of an idea that started with a bus trip from San Francisco to SXSW in 2010, migrated to the New York City in 2011, and is now in Europe as well.
The bus trips–going to tech conferences like SXSW and now Le Web–consist of a competition where teams are formed, products built, and winners picked, all while hurtling along the highway. Read More
Last Friday, Betabeat followed up on reports from author Byron Crawford about offensive racist IMs shared in one of Rap Genius’ editor chatrooms. (For those of you unfamiliar with Rap Genius: A. Where the hell have you been? And B. Here’s our contribution to the cacophony on their $15 million investment from Silicon Valley powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz.)
In response to our questions about the racist chatter, cofounder Mahbod Moghadam dismissed the notion that this was reflective of the Rap Genius community, telling Betabeat that users can gain entry into “Editor Chats,” without being vetted by earning Rap IQ points on the site and that users have used voting rings to game the system in the past. He then blamed hackers for the offensive content, before recanting and saying the parties responsible were merely exploiting a loophole in the system that allowed members to impersonate another user’s name in chat, rather than hacking into the company’s code. Read More
October’s Queens Tech Meetup began with a statistic. Coalition for Queens founder Jukay Hsu announced that, since the inaugural June meeting, the group has grown to more than 800 members. While it didn’t look like everyone had turned out on Wednesday night, Long Island City’s See Exhibition Space was packed, with the chairs almost full and a fringe of folks standing in the back.
Getting top billing were two ambassadors from CornellNYC: Dean Dan Huttenlocher and entrepreneurial officer Greg Pass, Twitter’s former CTO.
IRL, the pair are kind of an odd couple. The towering Dean Huttenlocher, clad in professorial business casual (read: a roomy, tucked-in button-down) took the mic like a natural and began holding forth. Mr. Pass stood back, arms crossed in the untucked startup uniform.
“Definitely have to shorten that bio,” admitted Dean Huttenlocher as he took the mic, before launching into his spiel: ”The Bloomberg administration, I think set the tone here for trying to push tech forward in New York City in all kinds of ways,” he said. Read More