NY Tech Meetup: Racing Against The Clock

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.

Digicash – Patrick Questembert described his digital currency/digital wallet, but we must confess that the presentation left us confused. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who felt that way.

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?

NewsgroperSAI 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?