Last night we attended the monthly New York Tech Meetup where nine startups and three sets of student hackers presented.Here were the shining moments:
- Student hacker Abe Stanway created [email protected] BRO, a Hunch-powered tool that recommends “who you should fight” based on who dislikes your social interests. The concept, albeit not useful, was hilarious. Stanway’s presentation was priceless.
- Uber just launched in NYC and is positioning itself as “everyone’s personal driver.” Think about how hard it is to hail a cab when its raining. Or on New Years. With Uber’s iPhone/Android app, send your location to Uber, and Uber will send a black car within minutes. Most of the time New Yorkers won’t need Uber. But for the few times they’re in a bind, it could be a godsend.
- Clique is a dating site that connects friends of friends. It’s not made for single-people only. Clique allows people to be “Wingmen.” Wingmen can use a fun matchmaker app that’s like Hot or Not but for potential friend couples. Clique could run into a few problems for mutual friends though. What if a multiple friends want to date the same person? Or what if one person is interested, but the other friend isn’t? Both scenarios would make it awkward for the middle man.
- Matchbook lets you bookmark places you want to remember. Everyone has walked by a restaurant and thought, I’ll have to come back and try that place. Rather than making a mental note or jotting it down on your iPhone, Matchbook’s app lets you bookmark it and organise it by location. Jason Schwartz, founder of Matchbook, says of the 1,000 people that have downloaded the app, 30% use it weekly.
- Kloudco is a repository for all of the information in your social networks. It pulls in content from your Facebook page, Twitter, email and more. We think a search/navigation bar across everything online could be a really interesting concept, but from the presentation, Kloudco needs a lot of work. Right now the search results aren’t very accurate — founder Hank Williams admits “relevancy isn’t solved yet.” If he ever figures out how to solve that problem, the way Google did, Kloudco could be something great.
- Rezscore grades your resume and tells you what needs to be improved. It’s good in theory, and when the founders demoed it last night it gave relevant feedback. But we see two problems with it: 1. You can’t type in what job you’re applying for (if you’re a designer, you’ll need a much different resume than a banker) and 2. Resumes are dead.
- Bridg.me is a cool hack that makes conference calls more efficient. Just create an event, enter the phone numbers of all participants and the hashtag #bridg. Bridg.me will call everyone at the scheduled time. It’s much better than waiting on the line, or realising you forgot to call in to a meeting.
- Shelby was a Techstars NYC startup. We liked it when we saw it then, and we liked it again last night. It’s a personalised video channel that aggregates clips based on links shared in social networks.
- Other startups that presented were Urtak, a tool for finding out what people think, and ShoutEm, a simple tool for creating iPhone and Android apps, which could be really helpful for non-mobile savvy businesses and brands.
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