5 Takeaways from the TechStars NYC Demo Day

October 19, 2011

11:00 am

TechStars showcased its second graduating class in New York City on Tuesday, with mayor Mike Bloomberg in attendance.

“I hope you all work hard to make a lot of money, hire a lot of people, and pay a lot of taxes!” said Bloomberg, during his time on stage. TechStars’s previous NYC class is currently being featured on a reality show on Bloomberg TV.

Here are 5 takeaways from the event:

  • Education is still a hot industry, where the established players are the ones to beat.
  • Food is still a hot industry, and startups are branching out from dish recommendations for diners.
  • B2B can be cool: a bunch of these startups are delivering sleek, valuable services targeted at businesses, many focusing on engagement.
  • With a plethora of ways to access content, we begin to need tools that bridge those platforms.
  • It’s great to be in TechStars: almost all the startups have already raised money, with Coursekit bringing in $1 million from IA Ventures, Founder Collective, and Shasta Ventures.

And here are the 12 startups, selected from 1,200 applicants:

Dispatch: A drag-and-drop service for aggregating and sharing cloud-based files. Singled out by Robert Scoble.

SideTour: A marketplace for selling unique experiences, like talking startups and playing pinball with GroupMe.

Wantworthy: A tool that lets shoppers on any site click “I want this” to save to their wish list.

Ordr.in: An e-commerce platform for restaurants that lets users order straight from food blogs and websites, apps, and hotels.

Ambassador: A platform for companies to reward “ambassadors” for promoting their brand on social networks. Solving a similar problem to AdbyMe.

Urtak: A Q&A widget for sites that promises to bring in more responses and participation.

MobIntent: An analytics tool to optimize mobile advertising campaigns along metrics like user time, downloads, or purchases.

ChatID: A chat platform for companies to talk with customers on any site or device.

Coursekit: A social network for education, and a jab at Blackboard.

Contently: A network that lets freelance journalists build a portfolio and connect with publishers, and lets publishers manage their editorial operations. An attempt at buoying a floundering media industry.

Piictu: A mobile social network for communicating with photos.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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