Sunday March 24, 2019

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NY Convergence ORIGINAL

Meetup Showcases Services, D’bases & Elevator Pitches

NYConvergence ORIGINAL
By: Amy Berryhill

When NY Tech Meetup organizer Nate Westheimer asked the crowd if they liked the one minute company demo experiment, he was met with a single nay. Several hundred other event attendees were either in support or unwilling to say otherwise.

For four companies, the new event format offered an opportunity to give a very quick overview to a full auditorium at the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology. Within sixty seconds, presenters queued up their sites, laid out their business models and demoed their technology.

  • Urban Interns discussed their job marketplace for connecting small business owners with part-time workers. "We believe hiring is changing," said co-founder Cari Sommer, who was joined on stage by co-founder Lauren Porat. The service gives employers the opportunity to search and communicate directly with prospective part-time employees, all of whom are college educated.
  • Superglued co-founder Rush Doshi presented the site as a place where people who attended the same live music show can get together online. "The crowd at a show sort of makes or breaks an experience," he said, "but there is no where to go afterward." Doshi hopes that users of the site will connect over their shared experience via the Superglued community.
  • Neighborhoodr! demoed their local blog network. Content is separated by NYC neighborhood and is entirely user generated and moderated. The blog is run on the Tumblr platform, making it possible for users to add content without needing to login or register.
  • Maggwire displayed their online destination for aggregated magazine articles. The site curates content from various magazine publishers, and over time makes recommendations to readers based on their preferences. In a response to an audience member's question, presenter Ryan Klenovich explained that the next stage for the company is to move to offer a premium, subscription based model.

The next phase of presentations was moderated in the standard NY Tech Meetup five minute format, leaving more time for presenters to demonstrate their product as they discussed features and benefits.

  • Solvate co-founder and COO, Julie Ruvolo, spoke about the company's model for delegating busy work. Clients of the service fill out a request for work and Solvate assigns the request to a specialist from their network, also known as a timesmith. "We're not only figuring out the distribution model," said Ruvolo, "but we are taking full responsibility for the finished product."
  • Belgrave Trust founding members Nick Baily and Jeff Stewart presented their service for offsetting a user's carbon footprint. The site uses actuarial models to determine a user's carbon consumption based on a short series of questions that the user answers. A monetary amount is attached to the consumption and when the user makes this payment through the site, the money is invested in, "an actively managed portfolio of carbon offset securities," said Baily.
  • MongoDB founders Dwight Merriman and Eliot Horowitz demonstrated features of their non-relational database. According to Merriman, the database is open-source, document-oriented and schema-free. "We've left out about 20 percent of what a relational database does in order to focus on scalability and efficiency," Merriman said.
  • KlickableTV co-founder Roger Wu explained how the service allows both users to add messages, links and advertisements to certain points, called hotspots, within a video. The software allows information to be added to videos within a variety of video players, and the company also has a proprietary video player of its own. 
  • AdMeld co-founder Brian Adams discussed how the company helps, "publishers make money with ad inventory they can't sell on their own." AdMeld's software allows their clients to optimize results from ad networks and exchanges. Adams also demonstrated the client analytics interface, where real time and historical data can be referenced by the publisher.

The technology presented at the November NY Tech Meetup did not share a specific platform or objective, but flexibility in the face of change was a common theme. Wu summarized the sentiment, saying, "When you build something for today it is already too late. We wanted to build for tomorrow."

[Editor's Note: Trylon SMR, publisher of NYConvergence, has utilized Urban Interns' service.  Video of the event is available online here.]

> NY Tech Meetup Forgoes August Hiatus