This is the fourth of the six-part “SA 100 Insider” series, looking at the passions, hobbies, and pursuits of Silicon Alley’s tech elite. “SA 100 Insider” is sponsored by Mercedes. Read more posts in the series »
The tech scene is booming in Brooklyn.
Over the summer, 3D printing company Stratasys acquired MakerBot, the hot 3D printing startup, in a $US400 million deal.
“We’re so proud to be doing this in Brooklyn,” MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis said in June. “I don’t think we could’ve done this any other place.”
In Brooklyn’s DUMBO area, there is a growing community of tech startups. The area, which stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is home to more than 500 tech companies.
Makeably aims to help makers utilise their underlying skill set to further expand their product offerings and range, and take the risk part of it out. At the same time, it's enabling everyday people to purchase one-of-a-kind items.
Potential buyers browse through site's various sections -- home, apparel, kids, hobby, and weddings. Once you see something you like, you can request to get a custom version made.
Makeably founder Anastasia Leng formerly worked at Google before starting Makeably.
'Google's a phenomenal company,' Leng previously told Business Insider. 'But I just needed to do this.'
Etsy is a fast-growing indie-goods marketplace that has been rumoured to go public for a while now.
Its biggest traffic source is Pinterest, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson tells Business Insider. Etsy's success is dependent upon its makers's success. That's why the startup aims to be as transparent and honest as possible.
As of this month, Etsy has 1 million active sellers and 30 million buyers on the platform. Etsy also recently announced some changes to its guidelines. All of those changes were to ensure that successful sellers on Etsy feel comfortable continuing to use the site, Dickerson says.
Flocabulary creates educational hip-hop songs and videos for students K-12. The goal is to encourage and motivate students to learn through fun activities.
Flocabulary writes songs that use and define vocabulary words, tell stories about historical events like the Civil War, World War II, and the Industrial Revolution.
Flocabulary also has a 'This Week in Rap' section, which turns the news events of the week into rap songs.
INDMUSIC allows independent music content creators to make money on YouTube without having to sacrifice creative control or rights. Its partners include Decon, Mad Decent, IAMSOUND, okayplayer, and others.
INDMUSIC is the network that helped Baauer make money off of the Harlem Shake.
Before Bondsy even launched, it had already secured funding from Thrive Capital, Betaworks, Chris Dixon, Patrick Keane, Jared Hecht, and Steve Martocci.
It's arguably a safer version of Craigslist since only the people connected to you can see what you're selling. It also doesn't require a cash-only exchange, meaning you could offer to 'sell' a bike in exchange for a dinner on the buyer's dime.
HowAboutWe lets members post and view date ideas, like 'how about we....go kayaking in the Hudson River.' If you're interested in a specific date, you can contact the person and then potentially meet up.
HowAboutWe has about 1.5 million users and touts more than 100,000 dates posted per month. To date, the startup has raised $US22.3 million.
Pontiflex powers a new type of mobile ad platform called Signup Ads, which allows people to opt-in to hear more about the brands they like.
Earlier this year, the company raised $US7.7 million for its mobile signup ads. Pontiflex has raised $US19.5 million to date and has been profitable since 2011.
Aereo, the paid service that lets you watch live network television on the Internet, has hundreds of thousands TV antennas crammed into its single floor office in Brooklyn.
These dime-sized, tiny antennas are part of what makes it possible for Aereo to stream live television to its one million customers.
As part of the service, every subscriber rents a pair of those tiny antennas so they can watch live TV while recording another show, or watch live TV on two different devices at the same time.
BioLite stoves make cooking on wood as clean and safe as possible. As you use the stove, the energy it generates can charge phones, lights, and other electronics. You can use the stove to charge your cell phone. Yup, all you need is a bit of wood and your cell phone's charge cable.
It has a couple of products. The HomeStove is a low-cost biomass stove that needs to only use half as much wood as a standard stove, eliminates black carbon to protect the climate, and converts waste heat into electricity for charging gadgets and lights. Its CampStove is geared toward, unsurprisingly, campers.
Storyhunter helps video journalists distribute their content to premium publishers. Already, Storyhunter has partnered with Yahoo! News, The Economist, AOL, Miami Herald, and MSN.
Storyhunter handles all the sales and distribution. As a journalist, all you need to do is focus on the content.