When many people think of internet or tech start-ups they automatically think Silicon Valley or California, well I’m here to say that is not true at all. Many great ideas are born from New York, in fact there a very large technology Meetup group [over 13,000 technologists] called NY Tech Meetup that puts on events each month and introduces new companies and ideas to an audience of fellow techies, entrepreneurs and students. At each get-together several companies are selected to give demos and talk about their ideas and products. This May’s event took place at the Haft Auditorium of Fashion Institute of Technology and it featured 7 companies. Here’s a bit about each of them.
GoodCrush founder, Josh Weinstein explained about turning a “missed connection” into a “Good Crush”
GoodCrush lets college students find love without the awkwardness and potential embarrassment of being turned down. Basically, you log onto the site, find your school on the list and create a profile using your school-assigned email address. Then you select up to 5 people you have a crush on. The site then notifies your crush that *someone* has a crush on them [don’t worry Batman, your identity is still safe]. Only if they happen to crush you back will your identities be revealed to one another, then you can Shrek it up and live happily ever after.
Zoomino founder & CEO, Jack Huang showed how easy it is to add video to a simple blog post
Zoomino lets us add rich media and interactivity to “Flat Internet” pages. The free service allows the author to pull in rich information about a keyword from Google, YouTube, WordPress, Wikipedia and many other sources. By turning plain content into keyword triggered, multi-layered, interactive playgrounds Zoomino promises to increase your pageviews almost immediately.
Co-founder, Ted Sullivan has a passion for youth coaching and entrepreneurship
GameChanger aims to change the game of amateur scorekeeping. If you have a softball league, coach a little league team or just play for fun throw away that pencil-and-paper and download the free iPhone app that lets you keep records like the pros. Imagine your sixth-grader hitting a homer and all his friends know about it before he runs all the bases. GameChanger’s service will also calculate each player’s average, records and distribute real-time game updates that look like something from MLB.com. Pretty cool!
Jack Groetzinger, the founder of SeatGeek shows how easy it is to find cheap Yankees tickets
SeatGeek pledges to help save us money on game and concert tickets being sold on the secondary market. Tickets to popular events can sell for hundreds of dollars on sites like StubHub and eBay so knowing when to buy can save you a bundle. With their special algorithm they forecast the price fluctuation and availability of tickets and tell you when to buy and whether you should wait. While they get a cut from the ticket resellers the site and service are completely free for anyone looking for a great deal on tickets.
Co-founder Todd Levy explains that shortening your links using bit.ly will not affect your search rankings
Most of you have already used bit.ly to shorten URLs. Unlike tinyurl and others, bit.ly has a powerful set of tools that allows you to search, track and monitor the performance of your links. The site is very easy to use and looks clean. Bit.ly currently shortens 50 million+ URLs each day.
Lindsay Glazer of Identified explains that simply choosing a company does not begin a job application process
Identified allows students and employers find interest in each other. As a student you would log on and select which companies you would be interested in working with. The employer gets an alert that you are interested and then checks out your profile. If they think you might be a fit they contact you and begin the job application process. The service is currently in beta and is by invitation only.
Co-founders, Billy Chasen & Seth Goldstein show how you can track a tagged item all over the map
Stickybits has the potential to be the next big craze. In a way similar to Foursquare it marries the physical world with the digital one [flashbacks from The Matrix come to mind]. By scanning a bar code on a physical item you can attach digital content to it, that opens up a world of new possibilities. You can attach a video to a greeting card, your trip photos to an airplane ticket, a presentation to your business card… if it doesn’t have a barcode you can print one or purchase Stickybits stickers with unique barcodes. Each time you or someone else scans the barcode they get to see the attached content and even attach new content of their own. Imagine slapping a barcode on the back of a dollar bill and watching as it changes hands, moves across the country and gets other content attached to it. Or what about scanning a barcode at a bus station and various other points in your town and attaching clues to them [can we say scavenger hunt?]. Considering the people behind this company and the exciting and addictive possibilities it presents, my bet is that Stickybits will make it big, very big.
Next month’s event will take place at NYU and will showcase more great ideas. Stay tuned!