Posted by: txtincorporated | May 14, 2008

(Shouts Dept.) Web-trepreneurial NYC

If you believed all the anti-buzz of the last few years about New York’s Silicon Alley being a flash in the pan, you would have thought differently last evening at Gallery Bar on Orchard St.

It’s not hard for a networking event to be fun, or even to produce contacts for anyone with a good elevator pitch and the ability to short-circuit a couple inhibitions.  It’s much harder to come away inspired by the businesses you’ve seen and knowing exactly how to partner with the pocketfull of contacts you made.  Welcome to Web2NewYork, the group that sponsored last night’s event.

Peter Verkooijen, the Dutch tech journalist and admitted “serial entrepreneur” who founded the group, moderated smooth and generally glitchless (that’s right!) screen presentations, q & a with six entrepreneurs I think you’ll find well worth a look:

  • Ben Kartzman, CEO, Spongecell:  Ben ran us through some basic capabilities of his company’s platform (a viral event promotion content management system free to any publisher, monetized through ad sales and an ad-free, paid subscriber tier) and clients (Jamiroquai, for example).  In a nutshell, Spongecell seamlessly integrates the same event information into blogs, calendaring apps., mobile media and more.
  • Alexander Kohlhoffer, Creator, Weewar (among others):  Oh, for the days of my hex grid youth!  Alex has developed an API for time-shifted, online gaming. Weewar comes complete with e-mail and SMS notification when it’s your turn, is Ajax-based so as not to lose your last move when you have to close out as your boss walks by, and hundreds of player-created maps a geek’s just gotta love.  No word when he’ll be adding 20-sided dice.
  • Doug Kersten, Founder, and Peter Gien, Supreme Coder, Podglo: Remember that thread where ASCII transformed your gentle quips to nasty sideswipes?  Doug and Peter have the remedy:  threaded, audio “micropodcasts”.  Post your micropodcast to any audience you want from your browser, e-mail, SMS, even good old Ma Bell.  Wait for audio responses — and actually say goodbye to smileys.
  • Attiya Abdulghany, Partner, Salesconx:  Never again deliver your carefully crafted pitch to a hard-won contact between bites of arugula salad, only to discover you’ve just bought lunch for a foot-soldier, not the general.  Salesconx combines the social networking of Facebook and LinkedIn with the auctioneering and seller ratings of e-Bay to let you offer and bid on b2b introductions to qualified contacts. What!  No more brewskies at the Chamber of Commerce?
  • Daniel Love, Founder, VIPTXT (no relation to this blog):  VIPTXT is one of those ideas you feel like you must have read about in some William Gibson novel in the 90s.  Simply and beautifully:  Wonder what’s on at Gallery Bar.  Text “gallerybar” to VIPTXT (847898); bar’s promotions text back.  Stroll over and have fun.  Bar you want not hip to the medium?  You get nearby specials.  GPS-based contextual service in the works.  Seriously, America!  Where has this been?
  • Cheni Yerushalmi, Founder, Sunshine Suites:  Have laptop, will travel.  But all the time?  Networking is great.  Rubbing shoulders with fellow creatives/techies/fill-in-the-blanksies at your local Wi-Fi nook is even greater.  But wouldn’t it be nice to have printers, conference and screening rooms, a whole floor of suitemates in related businesses and no bag lady spilling her latté in your keyboard? NoHo, Flatiron, TriBeCa West.  Monthly rates from $325 up.


Still think nothing’s happening out here?  Talk to me after Internet Week.