My Whirlwind San Francisco Adventure!

san fran party alyson jacob MG sigler

Early Monday morning, we flew out to San Francisco to explore the startup scene.

We hung out with founders and investors, toured startups, and checked out the three-day TechCrunch Disrupt conference.

We learned some juicy tidbits about tech companies on both coasts. We even learned a secret about our own company, Business Insider.

Our journey started at the crack of dawn on Monday, because we weren't thrilled about flying on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

But, our shady hotel encouraged us to spend as much time away from it as possible, exploring San Francisco. The cab situation isn't seamless like it is in New York, so Uber, the personal driver startup, was a lifesaver.

During the day, we hung out at TechCrunch Disrupt.

It was held at the Concourse Exhibition centre on 8th and Brannan.

It was a pretty packed house.

There were a lot of startups presenting their ideas to investors and press. None that we found were earth shattering. Shaker, an Israeli startup that turns Facebook into a social game, won the $50,000 prize.

We were a little surprised to find Mike Arrington conducting the conference as usual despite no longer working for AOL.

Some cool announcements were made. For instance, photo sharing app Instagram said it had 9 million users in just 11 months.

Google's Marissa Mayer closed out the 3-day conference and talked about the Zagat acquisition.

We also visited a couple startups' offices. We took an Uber to Uber's office and hung out with cofounder Travis Kalanick.

We traveled to virtual gift card startup, Giftly, on 95 Minna Street.

There, we hung out with founder and ex-Aardvark/Googler, Tim Bentley.

At night, we partied with TechCrunch's MG Siegler, Jive Software's Michael Celiceo, ClipSync's Spencer Chen, and Shasta Ventures' Jacob Mullins.

And hung out with Qwiki's Doug Imbruce and CeCe Cheng at the FTW Qwiki Getaround party.

We learned some juicy rumours, like that Union Square Ventures is leading a round for tech-for-dummies startup, Codecademy.

We also learned that our own startup, Business Insider, is raising a big round of financing.

We flew back late last night, exhausted. San Francisco was a blast, but the lack of cabs, widely spread out startups, and 2 AM bar closings make us happy our startup is based in New York.

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