The December 2014 NY Tech Meetup was a great sendoff to a banner year in New York’s hotshot startup scene. Key points were a presentation by New York State Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot about the state’s first website update since 1998, and a typically high-spirited cryptocurrency marketplace pitch. The city’s largest tech meetup is as inclusive, cluttered, and enthusiastic as it’s ever been—there were even lightsabers at the door, courtesy of Rackspace’s Object Rocket.
The startup pitches ran across nearly every buzzy sector: interactive video (Wirewax, which launched a shoppable episode of Cougar Town for TBS last season), social finance (Openfolio), Bitcoin (Celery, which also sells DogeCoin, in case that’s your cryptocurrency of choice), employee learnings (Showd.me), and more. A particularly interesting pitch came from Kinvolved — an attendance management system (“sort of like Tinder, but for kids,” quipped the presenter) for schools to ensure that kids are safely in school, with a built-in reminder technology.
On the content side, Bespoke is a browser that was described as “a holistic ideation workflow for creatives.” In human words, this means it’s a browser with built-in tools for sharing, gathering, and editing content. The content can be organized into books for easy collaboration. Think You is trying to pioneer a “wearable social network,” but will probably have obstacles as long as its QR-dependent programming fails to scan during live demos. Trying to pioneer revenue model for musicians was appLOUD, an Instagram-meets-Indiegogo app that syncs live video with links to tip an artist, or buy their music.
It’s not always a hit parade at the NY Tech Meetup, but that’s part of the fun — at an event featuring everyone from a New York official to a 3 day-old startup, the enthusiasm will carry us over into 2015.