New York founder Brett Martin is presenting at TechCrunch Disrupt his mobile app Sonar.me, which displays people in the room you would want to meet or have friends in common with based on your online social graph. He built it because he used to sit in bars, wanting to meet new friends and Ruby developers, but instead checked messages on his phone from people miles away. “How do I tell people that I want to party tonight?” he asked. “Which I do!” (We hear the unofficial afterparty is with Qwiki and Stylecaster at Casa La Femme in the West Village.)
Gauri Manglik of SpotOn, which launched yesterday at TechCrunch Disrupt, didn’t make it to the finals despite home court support from members of the New York tech scene. Enthusiasm for SpotOn was evident on Twitter, but some of it was misdirected not to the start-up’s handle @getSpotOn but to the empty @SpotOn (and once, to the competition: @sonarme). But Ms. Manglik did just meet Google’s Marissa Mayer backstage at the conference. “SpotOn is giving @marissamayer a demo backstage,” TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld tweeted. Ms. Mayer looks impressed! Or at least, engaged.
“Thousands,” Sonar.me co-founder Brett Martin said via Twitter. “Life is good.” Sonar–a mobile app that shows you how you’re connected to other people in the room–is one of the six finalists for TechCrunch’s Battlefield competition this afternoon, along with fellow New York/Israeli start-up BillGuard, which monitors credit and debit cards for hidden charges, billing errors, forgotten subscriptions and fraud.
There are two finalists from San Francisco (ccLoop and Getaround), one from New York (Sonar), one from New York/Israel (BillGuard), one from just Israel (Doat), and one from New Orleans (InvoiceASAP).
Paul Graham just hosted office hours on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt, soulsearching with six founders in a public, 8-minute version of the sessions he has with companies at Y Combinator. “What’s special about you?” “Who needs your product most?” “Above all, you need to get people actually using it.” “I’m worried,” he told New York entrepreneur Philipp Tsipman, a protege of Joel Spolsky who continues to work out of Fog Creek’s office even though he’s working on his start-up, DataCurious, full time. Read More
Who doesn’t have smartphones anymore? What if we built something for them? That was the thought behind New Yorkers Mark Webster, Aaron Foss and Ben Nadel’s project at the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon this weekend, but they took it a step further: They created Joinable.org, a service for people who don’t have smartphones, and often don’t have phones at all–the homeless. Read More
News alert: Alex Godin was skipping school today. Betabeat ran into the 17-year old at TechCrunch Disrupt this morning, typing away at a table in the hackathon hall with Jesse Lamb, a New Work City freelancer who partnered with Mr. Godin and Nick Stamas to build Dispatch.io, one of the four projects selected out of 100+ hacks produced this weekend during the hackathon. They were getting ready for their demo on stage in front of the whole conference this afternoon. Read More
400 startups were given 60 seconds each to pitch the hacks they cobbled together during a 24 Red Bull binge at the TechCruch Disrupt hackathon. That meant a lot of disappointed programmers hit the open bar hard at the Hudson Hotel on Monday night.
“Path is throwing the real party tonight,” said a shellacked founder, Read More
With just 100 or so hacks presented–some from one-person teams–TechCrunch was able to give each team two free tickets to the conference as a reward for participating in the 24-hour programming contest.
TechCrunch had to walk back the offer to one ticket per team after the hackathon attracted more than three times the number of sign-ups as last year, and organizers were prepared to accommodate as many as 170 hacks.
But with enough hackers who failed to show up, dropped out or didn’t finish, in the end there was no need to be stingy with tickets.
TechCrunch took umbrage at Betabeat’s coverage of the ticket scarcity. “We host the hackathon because we love startups and entrepreneurs. They’re fun and terrific for the community. We pour our hearts and souls into events and we try to make them bigger and better each year–just like the blog,” TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde said in an email.
Mike Arrington just booted Jay Rosen and Nora Ephron off stage in order to “have two minutes to talk to my boss.” Now he and Arianna Huffington, head of content at AOL, are chatting one-on-one in an interview that Mr. Arrington started off somewhat aggressively with, “You’re my boss and I’ve actually had to report to you… is it as awkward for you as it is for me? I’m not good at reporting to people. Is it going to work?” Read More
Contrary to rumor, Sunday proved as un-apocalyptic as any other day–although it was overcast and chillier than seems fair for May–and hundreds of hopeful hackers were hanging around the huge halls at Pier 94 for the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon grand finale. Read More