We got a look at eight startups at the NY Tech Meetup last night, but the most innovative introduction came from organiser Scott Heiferman: A big, red, led clock that forced each presenter to stop their pitch after exactly five minutes. This moved the proceedings along quite swiftly; it also cut many of Wednesday’s show-and-tell sessions off well before they were done. Future presenters: Practice your pitch! The clock can be cruel. Allen Stern has video and extended recaps at his site; our abbreviated notes are after the jump.
• Changingthepresent – Robert Tolmach showed off a new Facebook app the non-profit has created, which allows users to make micro-donations to charities with specific goals: Help fund a cataract surgery, help save an acre of rainforest, etc. A very clever way to leverage the time-wasting and exhibitionism that Facebook encourages and do something worthwhile.
• organised Wisdom – Steven Krein demoed his human-powered search vertical, which focuses on health care. We’re generally sceptical about the potential of next-generation search engines, but we can at least imagine an audience for this one. The big selling point is that the links and info have been vetted by doctors.
• Yoinkd – Jing Chen didn’t have enough time to get through her pitch, but we got the gist: It’s another media player, which is supposed to hoover up feeds from YouTube and other video sites. She did earn a chorus of boos when she acknowledged that she’s leaving town soon for Silicon Valley.
• Clickable – David Kidder showed off what was by far the most technically advanced offering of the night: A dashboard that lets advertisers and agencies monitor and maintain their search marketing campaigns across multiple networks. The company raised $3 million this summer from Union Square and Pequot and other investors.
• Mushygushy – Mike Mendoza showed a video about his wacky e-card company instead showing us the e-card site itself. The idea: Take a photo of yourself, crop the head and stick it on one of the site’s animated cards. Presumably he’s got other plans for the site, or this will be a one-time novelty act.
• Styky – Kunal Gupta tried to explain how his mobile phonebook/social network was supposed to work: As best we can tell you’re supposed to upload all your contact info from your phone/PDA onto the site, so you can access it remotely, and play with your friends’s contact info as well. That can’t be right, can it?
• Newsgroper – SAI contributor Greg Galant gave us an update on his site, which has a series of Fake Steve Jobs-style blogs from the likes of Mitt Romney, flavour Flav, etc. Greg says his anonymous writers include a New Yorker staffer and a NYC-based V.C. Really? V.C.’s have time to write fake blogs?