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The Real TechStars of New York

The Real TechStars of New York

Meet Your Spring 2012 TechStars NYC Class: ‘They All Take Big Swings’

techstars

It’s that time again, boys and girls. TechStars NYC managing director David Tisch just announced the 14 companies who got the golden ticket to the accelerator and seed fund’s Spring class. Unlike the previous two programs, which operated out of Pivotal Labs, this class will call 36 Cooper Square home. (TechStars recently moved in to Foursquare’s old office in the Village Voice building.) “They’ll be able to sleep there easier,” Mr. Tisch quipped to Betabeat over the phone.

Last year, TechStars NYC funded 23 companies, 21 of which went on to raise $50 million after they graduated. According to Mr. Tisch, you can expect even bigger things from this class. The common element among all 14 newbies? “They all take big swings,” he said. “I think the ideas are all going for something big.  I don’t think there are  lot of safe bets or small bets.” Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Timehop, Your Own Personal Way Back Machine, Lands $1.1 M.

timehop

Social media’s dominion over the Internet tends to skew conversation toward the real-time. Facebook may have dropped the What are you doing right now? but the emphasis remains. Investors, however, are eager to back something that bucks that trend. Timehop, an app that culls your Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter history to answer the question What were you doing a year ago today?, just announced that it picked up $1.1 million in funding. The round was led by OATV and joined by Spark Capital. Also participating? TechStars, where co-founders Jonathan Wegener and Benny Wong worked on a Craigslist competitor called Friendslist, which flopped.

Fittingly for the app, which was born as 4 Square & 7 Years Ago during a Foursquare Hackathon at General Assembly last February, the round featured some bold-faced names as angel investors, including Dennis Crowley, Naveen Selvadurai, and Alex Rainert from Foursquare, GroupMe co-founders Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht, as well as Rick Webb and Kevin Slavin. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Sporty Spice! An NFL Player and Two Olympians Applied for TechStars New York

Great, now we have to figure out what a Tebow is.

TechStars New York managing director David Tisch is neck-deep in applications for the accelerator’s eagerly-anticipated upcoming class. But he managed to share a few scintillating details with Business Insider.

Among the 1,000-plus would-be entrepreneurs that have already applied (well ahead of last year), are some notable surprises including: graduates of previous accelerators, a current NFL player, and two former Olympians. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Bloomberg Reality TV Producer Ditches TechStars New York to Film That Other Startup Hot Bed… Los Angeles?

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A startup accelerator is not so different from a reality TV competition, when you think about it. And no one can say Betabeat hasn’t.

You have a set period of time, an overeager stable of contestants (co-founders), a panel of judges dangling your future in their hands (investors), a big fat prize at the end (financing), oh yeah, and the pressure-cooking anxiety. The appeal of that built-in framework was not lost on Bloomberg reality TV producer Cameron Casey, who earlier this year tried to remake David Tisch and David Cohen into the Tyra Banks and Miss Jay of seed stage mentorship with TechStars reality show.

Perhaps do some pushback from entrepreneurs about having their late night ramblings and embarrassing pivots reduced to snippets on national TV, Mr. Casey is moving on to a city a little more primed for the vagaries of the small screen, if lacking a certain entrepreneurial cache. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Tisch Out of Water: David Tisch Navigates Startupland and Comes Out a TechStar

(via We Are NY Tech)

On a warm October afternoon, before the weather turned, Betabeat was following David Tisch’s lead up and down University Place in search of an empty-ish coffee shop. Mr. Tisch, the bright-eyed, foul-mouthed managing director of TechStars New York, an incubator for young startups, shuffled along in his standard get-up: jeans, a hoodie, and a backwards baseball hat. His unruly black hair flipped out from underneath.

It’s a fitting uniform for Mr. Tisch, who in person can come across much like the founders he invests in. The grandson of self-made billionaire Laurence Tisch, his speech is peppered with the words “fuck” and “cool,” he burrows his fists in his hoodie, and, once we find a place to sit, jostles the glasses on the table when he crosses and uncrosses his long legs. “I’m pretty shy in groups. I don’t like big crowds. So being on TV is weird for me,” he said, referring to the Bloomberg TV cameras that followed him around for months to document the TechStars New York’s inaugural class.

Just 48 hours earlier, clean-shaven and in shirtsleeves this time, Mr. Tisch stood in front of the Cedar Lake auditorium in Chelsea, rearranging the paper nametags on reserved seats like an anxious dinner party host, albeit to maximize the free flow of funding rather than conversation.

By the time he introduced Mayor Bloomberg to the packed house of more than 500, including the haut monde of investors and entrepreneurs who make up TechStars’ list of mentors and backers, Mr. Tisch had a hard time wiping off his grin.

“David, thank you. Good morning, it’s good to be here at Demo Day!” the Mayor said, before glancing at the iPad-cum-teleprompter he placed on the podium. “I also wanted to welcome all the VCs and angel investors who have flown in here from around the country. I think you’re proof positive that the TechStars is going to change this world and certainly change America and this city.”

Two years ago, Mr. Tisch, would have been lucky to get a ticket to such an affair, much less license to arrange the wedding table. While his last name may be synonymous with New York industry, aside from a handful of angel investments, Mr. Tisch was a relative unknown in tech circles before his appointment at TechStars. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

Shelby.tv, of TechStars Reality Show Fame, Launches Its Web Video Channel with Apps for the iPhone and iPad

Company uniform? (via the Twitter feed of Mr. Pacheco on the right)

You didn’t think the TechStars fun ended with last week’s after-party at Marquee, now did you? Shelby.tv, the startup that entered New York’s inaugural class as Homefield (a web-based video platform for coaches to share game footage) before pivoting towards a larger market (a channel for web videos) is out of alpha and ready to show users what it can do.

Online and in its spankin’ new iPhone and iPad apps (no beta invite necessary), Shelby.tv aggregates web videos from your Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds into a single “instant on” channel, kinda like regular TV.

Fans of the TechStars show likely remember Shelby CEO and co-founder Reece Pacheco as the broad-shouldered, good-natured dude who’s “I’m an athlete” refrain was immortalized by the producers at Bloomberg.

Betabeat talked to Mr. Pacheco about why Shelby is a “crazy bitch,” jam sessions at its Union Square offices, how Shelby gets smarter the more you use it. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

This Week In TechStars!: Mark Suster Gives Good Insult

suster

Entrepreneur-turned-investor Mark Suster has already dispensed email advice for “us sarcastic bastards who have slitting tongues,” but on this week’s episode of TechStars he gives David Tisch a run for his money on the real talk/insult-o-meter, to some amusing ends. (Check out our top five list after the end.)

In Episode Four, Mr. Tisch is trying to prepare the teams for Demo Day and “access to a room full of money,” in some cases by throwing ping pong balls or fake cash to see if he can distract them. He also encourages them to “try your best to get a third of what you’re looking for soft circled,” so they can present with some momentum. The VC weather report might be frothy, but not all the teams are finding it easy. Read More

The Real TechStars of New York

TechStars, Episode 2: ‘Hide Your Developers, Hide Your Designers’ OnSwipe’s Hiring Errrybody In Here

davidcam

Last week on the premiere of TechStars, the startups got the good news about their golden ticket into the inaugural New York class (more selective than Hahvard, didja hear?). Last night, the reality show’s second episode (you can watch the whole thing here) focused on Lesson One: Humility–as in, it just might behoove you to get some. Fast. One startup picks up $1 million in funding. One startup goes to Hollywood to meet their idol. And we learn that you don’t have to know a whole lot about gaming to throw around the words “gaming mechanics.” Here’s what you missed! Read More