Last night marked the end of an era for the NY Tech Meetup: the monthly gathering will no longer be held at the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology‘s Haft Auditorium. Starting in June, the Meetup moves to NYU‘s Skirball Center, which has a capacity of 860. Host Nate Westheimer notified the crowd that the June Meetup will take place in the second week of the month, instead of the customary first week, to coincide with Internet Week.
Last night’s agenda was packed with announcements and presentations, including demos from the following startups:
GoodCrush: This is a dating site aimed at the college crowd
that matches up users with their designated “crushes” and includes a Missed
Connections section that founder Josh Weinstein claimed is “not as creepy” as the one on Craigslist. An affiliated site, RandomDorm, follows a
model similar to ChatRoulette
but requires its members to have a college e-mail address and wear clothes.
Zoomino is a keyword-based discovery engine that enables
embedding of video and other media in blogs. For more info, founder
and CEO Jack Huang’s blog can be found here.
Gamechanger seeks to replace pencil-on-paper scorekeeping
for Little League, high school and college sports by providing a mobile app and
online tools for teams to keep track of what’s happening in a game and share
updates with fans.
SeatGeek: This company tracks the fluctuations in price of
sports and concert tickets on the secondary market and notifies users when it’s
the right time to buy. They claim an 85% accuracy rate in predicting whether a
ticket’s price will go up or down.
Link-shortening service bit.ly has just launched a revamped
website. Unfortunately, because of Internet connection problems at the Haft
Auditorium, the crowd didn’t get to experience its new features. You can take a
tour of the site here.
Identified, a project of the Stanford Graduate School of
Business, aims to connect students with potential employers. Students will be
able to post resumes and express preferences for companies, while recruiters can
search among candidates without posting any specific job
opportunities. Currently the site is only open to Stanford students and alumni
as an invitation-only beta.
Stickybits is an application that allows users to attach
photos, videos and other media to a scanned barcode. The company sells stickers
with unique barcodes—so-called sticky bits—on its website. The app also works
with any other barcode, such as one found on a can of soda. Currently it’s
available as an iPhone and Android app and will soon be Blackberry compatible
The Meetup crowd saved its loudest applause for two presentations involving New York City public school students. The nonprofit organization MOUSE, which provides technology-based programs for under-served students, announced a summer internship program for high school students developed in partnership with the NY Tech Meetup. MOUSE founder Andrew Rasiej brought seven students from NYC public schools on stage to introduce themselves and explain why they’re enthusiastic about technology.
Later in the evening a sixth-grader from Quest to Learn, a new NYC public school that integrates game design into its curriculum, showed Meetup participants a game he had designed just yesterday using a tool called Atmosphir.
Steve Waldman, founder of Beliefnet and leader of the FCC’s Future of Media initiative, spoke about the government’s concerns over the shrinking of “accountability media.” He encouraged NY Tech Meetup members to participate in the discussion over the future of journalism.