Mass 3D production, cinematic VR and hoverboards at Hardwired

NEW YORK–Last March 9, Hardwired NYC featured  Jonathan Schwartz

founder & CPO, Voodoo Manufacturing; Yuval Boger, CEO of Sensics, Cyril Ebersweiler, founder and managing director of HAX and Jens Christensen, founder & CEO of Jaunt VR.

It’s not often you hear presenters talk about insights into an industry, so it was good to hear  Schwartz discuss why interest in 3D printing went down a few years ago. As observed, 3D consumer printing did not become the hit it was expected to be. This has given Voodoo Manufacturing a big opportunity to market itself as 3D mass producers.

In mass production, 3D printing can be more affordable and easily scalable, providing high quality and reliability in the long haul.

Schwartz said Voodoo Manufacturing makes it easy for any company to work with them. Sending a 3D file is reportedly a cinch. It then goes through a process of validation, repair (if needed), orientation, plating and slicing.

Boger talked about Sensics and how it creates cutting-edge VR products, advancing choice and innovation alongside a community of contributors and partners.

Still dreaming of the ultimate hoverboard? You’re not alone. So far, we have the hoverboard, the Segway, the Segway with knee steering, the one-wheeled platform, the one-wheeled skateboard and the electric skateboard. Ebersweiler of HAX sees more morphing happening in hoverboards in 2016.

Ebersweiler of HAX is the man to talk to if you want to know where the hoverboard craze is going. HAX’s factories in China builds hoverboards along with products for the lifestyle, health and robotics industries. Started in China four year years ago, HAX now has offices in New York and San Francisco.

Inventing is only half the battle, of course, as protecting and commercializing it is the main challenge.

Also at the Hardwired meetup was Christensen who talked about Jaunt VR, which is pioneering the future of creative storytelling through cinematic virtual reality.  

The end-to-end VR company creates cameras and VR tech Through its Jaunt Studios division, it works with brands that want to be involved with good stories.

Founded in 2013, Jaunt also develops the hardware, software, tools, and applications to enable cinematic VR.Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company also maintains a presence in Los Angeles and produces branded and original VR content for audiences worldwide.

Grist for the tech mill: 2015 events from over 1,100 NY tech meetups

data-driven meetup-nov2015

By Dennis Clemente

There are more than 1,100 tech meetups in New York. Here’s a summary of what happened in one year from March to December 2015.

Instead of having the always selling mentality, Mark Roberge, chief revenue officer of Hubspot, suggests having an always-be-helping mentality. Roberge’s sales talk last December 17 at Enterprise Sales Meetup in midtown Manhattan was especially meaningful as it’s not too often you hear someone from a programming background lead sales teams. The topic, Sales Acceleration Formula, was the same title of his book based on his experience taking a job in sales at Hubspot and coming from a programming background.

It was not your typical meetup in the city. For one, it was scheduled on a Friday night last December 18 (most meetups in the city are from Monday to Thursday). Second, it was held at a store, the new Microsoft Flagship Store on the shopping district of Fifth Avenue. But the crowd trickled in to watch the presentation of devices at the meetup curiously billed “Understanding Live Video Streaming with Periscope and Meerkat.”

German startups Keeen, Favendo and Night Adivsors took turns demonstrating their platforms at the German Accelerator NY last December 15 at Rise NY.

Would you rely on Big Data or The Force? It was a Star Wars evening for the Data-Driven meetup last December 14 at Bloomberg, especially for Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight who sounded giddy using the epic fantasy flick as reference for his presentation. He was joined by Arcadia Data, MapR and Datameer.

”How do you make sense of any mess?” That was the first question information architect Abby Covert threw at the audience last December 10 at the Designers & Geeks meetup at the Spotify offices.

“Life’s too short to build something nobody wants,” says Ash Maurya in his talk last December 8 at We Work in Wall Street. Maurya is the acclaimed author of “Running Lean,” a concise guide that helps you take action in using lean startup and customer development principles. He was at We Work to present his ideas for scaling business–clearly a prelude to his upcoming book, “Scaling Lean.” For Maurya, the root cause of a startup’s problem is when solution is perceived as the product. “Your solution is not the product. Your business model is the product.”

Last Dec 9, Uncubed took the holiday season as an opportunity for startups like Moat to discuss their 2015 accomplishments and future plans at its offices in the Lower East Side. By 2016, Moat, an independent SaaS Marketing analytics firm focused on transforming online brand advertising through trusted measurement and analytics, will reportedly be the first third party to measure viewability on YouTube.

Last December 1, Hardware Meetup featured talks from the founders of Grove, OneDrop and Boxee at the Microsoft offices. Gabe Blanchet, CEO of Grove, showed how food lovers can grow food at home while–get this–fish swims below it. Yes, even it will fit in a cramped New York apartment.

How do you make data scientists more productive? Jeremy Achin has an answer for you. The current path to becoming a data scientist is based on learning statistics, programming and algorithms, then applying practical knowledge and practicing real world experience which can unfortunately take up a lot of time. Achin spoke with other presenters Josh Bloom of, Alexi Le-Quoc, founder of Datadog and Haile Owusu, chief data scientist of Mashable at Data-Driven’s monthly meetup last November 16 at Bloomberg.

Moral rights versus individual rights. That’s the struggle the entertainment industry faces these days when individual rights have blurred the lines between individual ownership and what is other people’s content, the title of the breakfast forum hosted by Gotham Media last November 18 at the Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz at 40th Street on Madison Avenue.

What is Birchbox? In the city, most tech meetups always asks people by a show of hands, how many people have heard of Birchbox? Most of the nearly hundred people raised their hand. If you’re still wondering, what it is about, it’s this: Birchbox delivers monthly boxes of beauty or grooming samples, picked to match your profile. Last November 19, CTO Liz Crawford talked about her role and how the company operates at the NYC European Tech Meetup at Spotify’s roomy offices.

Last November 9, Coinvent held a whole-day tech startup fair with several startups and inspirational talks at the Metropolitan Avenue in Chelsea. Dog Parker was one of the most popular startups as it showed a “doghouse” that provides secure dog parking when you’re out and about in the city with your dog and you need to run an errand. Dog Parker partners with businesses to place Dog Parkers in front their stores.

Last November 3, Alley Boost held a half-day startup expo featuring more than 60 startups at La Venue on 12th Avenue, blocks away from the Javits Convention Center.

The future of event ticketing will have some kind of empowerment and engagement, according to Taku Harada, CEO and co-founder of Peatix who presented at last November 2 at the Japan NYC Startups at Pivotal Labs.

The NY Expo Business Conference held last October 27 at the Javits Center packs in hundreds of startups, not necessarily all online-based companies or early startups. Touted as the largest New York business conference event, it has exhibitions, seminars and free business consultations for an audience that’s not entirely from the city either.

Last October 14, OLC attended AngelCube NYC Demo Day at WeWork in SoHo. In classic WeWork fashion, it took less than a minute for us to be reminded that there was beer on tap (In addition to a cheese plate and an array of mini-burgers). WeWork’s creative space had a foosball table, a kitchenette disguised as a bar, and hanging light bulbs with exposed filament.

What is the real reason why Microsoft Ventures Accelerator can choose to fund your startup for $500,000 without equity? Not only that, you get work in its Seattle office and have what graduates say are great meals as you work on your startup there.

“It’s Tinder for doctors,” says Toby Hervey about his app, on-demand house-call doctors. He was one of the presenters that included Ulula, Kiddo App and Domain Skate last October 20 at the NY Tech Breakfast at Microsoft.

The second Korean Summit NYC last October 16 at the New Yorker Wyndham. featured several Korean startups with Charlie Kim, founder and CEO of Next Jump, and Murat Aktihanoglu, managing director of Entrepreneurs Roundtble Accelerator as main speakers.

Last October 14, the New York Tech Meetup brought back two of its most popular demos – Addicaid and Pager — to mark the launch of its new “Demo Deep Dive” event series in lower Manhattan.

Last October 12, Area 1 Security, Birchbox, Livefyre and Metamind, presented at the packed Data-Driven meetup at Bloomberg.

It’s seldom you hear honest talk about investors snoring soundly or checking their phones every so often when you’re pitching to them but the founders of these companies — Wayup, F Cubed, Manicube, getringly and ELOQUII — had those stories to share. What’s more unusual perhaps is how even those who they thought couldn’t care less were the ones interested in investing in them.

Last October 7, Devin Rogerino of presented a talk on video creation or how to cost effectively enter the video creation community at the Wix lounge in Chelsea. Essentially, you need four things—ideation, inspiration, brainstorming, planning—before you even make your video, and let’s not forget how you have to know whether you need YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo.

Last September 30, Tech in Motion deviated from its usual show-and-tell meetup presentations for an exposition of startups with cocktails at Ainsworth Midtown East. The startups on exhibit were beGlammed, GoButler, FlyCleaners, Zeel and ZIRX, all riding on the popularity of uber and the way it’s propping up the sharing economy.

How do you become a digital nomad? If you care to listen to the speakers of Cafe Numerique (Beligan for digital), you’ll find out how the world is getting smaller the way people from all over the world are finding each other, doing business and sharing ideas.

Last September 17, the Brooklyn Borough Hall was the setting for the International Day, the last of the four-day international Transatlantic Entrepreneur (TEP) conference which brought together investors, entrepreneurs, media and policy makers from the US, Asia and Europe.

Scott Heiferman is perhaps the most unassuming CEO and co-founder you’ll ever meet in this city. For someone who runs one of the city’s earliest and most successful startups,, which was formed 13 years ago, he still considers his company a startup. His company, he says, is older than most startups. It’s older than Google Maps, older than Facebook,– heck, older than Friendster and yet, he pauses to think if he’s still a startup.

Twitter’s Adam Sharp, Head of News, Government and Elections and Niketa Patel, News Partnerships Manager were the speakers at Conversations, a series of open discussion held by NY Daily News Innovation Lab, at Microsoft last September 9. It was also a way for Twitter to drum up support for its upcoming Project Lightning, a curated feed of tweets.

When every tech meetup seems to be covered at night, count NY Tech Breakfast counts on the early risers to come to its monthly event, now held at Microsoft for the second month. Last September 8, NY Tech Breakfast featured PolicyGenius, Proscape, TableSwipes and LawGo.

Last September 2, General Assembly held a talk featuring three companies offering online coding courses, One Month, Thinkful and Hopscotch at its offices in the Flatiron District.

The product challenges at the Product Council last August 31 were the digital clinic app offered by Maven Clinic and the new permissions level to be offered by JustWorks starting September 1. The meetup was held at the Pivotal Labs.

What is the future of media? The question may resonate the most among journalists and other media practitioners. After all, it’s their livelihood at stake. The answer in a word may be video, especially the way the panelists talked about how it is going very far and coming in. Even GoPro is reportedly adding some kind of news coverage.

On the second day of the Yahoo Developer Conference last August 26 at the Marriott, breakout sessions were held, with user acquisition as a topic attended by OLC. The key takeways: Developers have a three-month grace period to get sticky; get the app store experience right; app install ads work, but it’s important to talk to your users through a variety of marketing channels.

Is one percent better than zero or none at all? We’re not talking about the affluent in the United States, but if the one-percent effort or initiative that big companies dedicate to social impact is sufficient—or if it’s just a compromise, a public relations move. If you’re keeping up with the tech scene these days, you won’t hear Mock Series A Term Sheet Negotiations too often. It may be your first time to hear it, as we did, so we went to Orrick’s Total Access last August 24 at CBS to find out how it would unravel for us.

Tech meetup groups have taken most of the summer off, but Codecademy took the quiet time to hold an HTML and CSS workshop of its newly released web projects last August 20 at its office in midtown Manhattan with the people behind it in attendance–Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski.

If you’ve seen a drone, most likely you’re thinking how hard can it be to fly one, right? Well, it was not so easy for Easy Aerial’s CEO Ivan Stamatovski. Stamatovoski was one of four other presenters at the NY Video Meetup last July 23 at the AOL offices. “I have been flying a drone for two years but still suck at it,” he admitted.

Some apps certainly function as if they were invisible like Dennis Mortensen’s It’s an artificial intelligence powered personal assistant that schedules meetings for you. Mortensen was again going the rounds with Amy, the name of his A.I. personal assistant who happened to be in the same room as Larry, which is Raad Ahmed’s text-responder of a lawyer, a mix of automation and human beings. Larry is the text version of Ahmed’s LawTrades. It’s personalized legal help tailored to your business over text. Both presenters and other startups Alfred and Stefanshead were at The Product Hunt meetup last July 22 at Animoto’s offices.

How do you cover the media when you’re the media? For its fifth meetup, The Tech Press Meetup invited Jason Abbruzzese of Mashable, Shannon Bond of the Financial Times and Tom Kludt of CNN to shed light on this topic at the Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism at 20 Cooper Square.

Having covered the tech meetup scene for the past few years, it’s interesting how a meetup about “Getting your startup set up and funded” produces a new group of aspiring entrepreneurs, new to the tech scene and what it takes to build one. There’s certainly something for everyone in the fastest-growing tech city and that’s what Megan Hannum, venture partner at Comcast, co-founder at Fundedby, was at Spark Labs last July 15 for–to help newcomers get their feet wet in the startup scene.

More than 35 investors, panel talks, lightning pitches, everyone one-on-ones with VCs, a venture fair—it was a summer blockbuster of a tech meetup what NY Tech Breakfast pulled off last July 10 at Microsoft, near Times Square. What’s amazing is how it was all pulled off in one half day, from 8 am to noontime.

What do you think people would Google: How to survive a breakup or divorce lawyer? You could do both or just the former if you think it’ll be better SEO for your business. “The key is to be creative with your link-baits (to set you apart and own that search), said Kevin Lee, founder and CEO of last July 11.

JJ Fliegelman is generous with his ideas and insights into his business, Campus Job, an online marketplace for college students to find jobs that he co-founded with ex-Googler Liz Wessel. Launched only last September, Campus Job has already signed up 2,300 colleges, 3,000 employers, 100,000 students and—music to every startup founder’s ears—funding to the tune of $9 million.

When you have everyone discussing about their design process, it makes for an engaging presentation. Last June 24, Design Driven’s meetup was the best so far the way each speaker presented a specific topic—and more importantly, because the presenters were generous with their thoughts and candid with their answers, especially Bradford Shellhammer, founder of and most recently, founder of Bezar.

Joseph Essas of Open Table, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations, opened the talk at the Data Driven last June 16 at Bloomberg’s offices. It was Data Driven’s last monthly meetup as it takes a well-deserved two-month summer break.

“If it doesn’t fit excel, it’s big data.” That was Gilad Lotan, chief data scientist at Betaworks, giving a digestible meaning of how big data is about volume and variety as much as it is about velocity and variety, which conveniently rounds up to the four essential Vs you need in big data. Lotan was speaking at Tech in Motion’s first ever Big Data meetup at the spacious office of Mediaocean, a leading software platform provider for the advertising world. He was with two other Big Data panelists Bruce Weed, program director of Big Data and Watson at IBM and Claudia Perlich, chief data scientist at Dstillery.

Asking if you really need to know the number of your eggs on your fridge is perhaps the best way to determine how much automation you need for your home. It determines if you need Canary, Hggns, Keen Home or Smart Things, the presenters at the IoT Central meetup last June 17 at R/GA Accelerator’s offices near Port Authority. How do you get attention amid all the noise out there? If you ask Ben Parr, he will tell you that you need 7 captivation triggers, which he expounds on his recently launched book, “Captivology.”

How do you get attention amid all the noise out there? If you ask Ben Parr, he will tell you that you need 7 captivation triggers, which he expounds on his recently launched book, “Captivology.” Asking if you really need to know the number of your eggs on your fridge is perhaps the best way to determine how much automation you need for your home. It determines if you need Canary, Hggns, Keen Home or Smart Things, the presenters at the IoT Central meetup last June 17 at R/GA Accelerator’s offices near Port Authority.

Last May 28, The Hatchery presented four startups–Moving Analytics, Crowds Line, Mobiquire, Centrallo and Revenue Mantra at the Microsoft Building. “The Hatchery: Are You Serious?” Meetup group has been holding startup presentations for eight years now, but sometimes this writer wonders if the question extends beyond the earnest question. After all, it’s not easy to launch a successful startup let alone present in front of VCs.

The Market New York Expo for small businesses last May 21 at the Javits Center featured several talks on branding, email marketing, digital sales and mobile marketing. What stood out for us were the talks on Search Engine Optimization by Ruben Quinones, NYU adjunct instructor and VP, Client Strategy at Path Interactive and Mobile Marketing by Warren Zenna, EVP & Managing Director at Mobext (Havas Media).

FlyLabs has wowed audiences at the NY Tech Meetup months back and at the NY Video Meetup last May 20, it again drew some ecstatic applause for its video-editing apps, Fly, Clips and its new one called Tempo, a quick way to alter video time speeds.

Last May 14, PandoMonthly hosted a one-on-one interview with Sheila Marcelo, CEO and co-founder of who talked at length about her Filipino roots and how the influence of her “Tiger mom” and the discipline they inculcated in her formed a big part of her success now.

Minerva Tantoco, New York City’s first-ever chief technology officer (CTO), said she pretty much created every job she had at the StartupGrind meetup last May 7. Tantoco directs the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation, overseeing the development and implementation of a coordinated citywide strategy on technology and innovation and encouraging collaboration across agencies and with the wider New York City technology ecosystem. “We are a little startup inside city hall,” she said.

It’s good to see Scott Heiferman show up at NY Tech Meetup last May 5. Once a regular fixture of it many years ago, even as co-host, the Meetup founder has understandably been busy building his community of meetups, 30,000 for tech alone around the country. It was, as he has explained over time, a “9/11 baby.” He was at this particular meetup to announce the NY Tech Meetup Apple Watch app. The presenters of the night were Ananas, AptDeco, Amadeus, CornellTech, Epicure, OneDrop and with Wikitongues as hack of the night.

Adesoji Ojugbele of Google Android may have nailed it when asked about how to measure people’s attention span these days by using Instagram as an example: How long does it take you to post a photo on Instagram? The photo app is a good example, because as more people get used to its quick functionalities, the more people will not have patience for everything else that takes longer. The word “longer” here has come to mean longer than, say, 10 seconds; that could be an eternity for some people. Instagram is quick enough that anything else will be slow.

Last April 29, Uncubed held its meetup, “Hacks that saved my life” at Refinery 29 with the World Trade Center building gleaming behind it as early evening set in. This is not your typical show-and-tell meetup. It might as well be classified the hacked-and-tell meetup as each presenter talked about how a new app or site made their life easier, more fun and even useful in an unusual way.

Hardwired’s 19th meetup last April 22 might just have assembled the most interesting mix of startups so far —a drone that collects data fast, a pet activity and health monitor, a virtual reality content creator and—are you ready?—a new way of growing meat. Not your typical tech meetup in the city, folks.

More than 400 startups pitched to 10,000 attendees at the fourth-year of the largest annual tech fair called Tech Day. The event held last April 23 showcased startups in various industries such as education and e-commerce, design and deliveries, food and fashion, music and things mobile as well as that services catering to them like co-working spaces, immigration and recruitment companies.

Last April 22, a new venue emerged from the meetups gaining popular steam in springtime New York, just as the Tribeca Film Festival was rolling its week-long fest of indie and alternative films. It had the same makeup as the tech meetup talks, except it was held at the De Niro-propelled film center and headlined Designing Innovation.

Last April 14, the Data Driven Meetup featured How Liu, founder and CEO of Airtable; Scott Crunch, co-founder and CEO of Mark43; Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake and Emil Eifrem, founder and CEO of Neo Technologies at the Bloomberg offices.

Last April 8, AlleyNYC’s SquadUp featured three female-owned startups Bird and Stone , Plum Alley, Quarterlette and Dreamers//Doers with some VC guests giving tip on how to get funded. Made in New York, Bird and Stone sells its own jewelry line with 15 percent of sales funding micro loans and agri-business training in Kenya, where 75 percent of its people live in rural areas. So far, it has funded 8 women with $200 microloans and provided them with financial training, industry training and mentorship.

Dash, City Maps and even a 105-year-old startup named IBM stood out from the demonstrations hosted by NY Tech Meetup last April 7 at the NYU Skirball Theater. But Dash was clearly the night’s favorite the way it connects cars to smartphones and unlocks enhanced performance, cost savings and social driving.

Sometimes the title of a meetup ends up being more. You simply need a host who knows how to push the right buttons and no demos. Last April 1, the Disruptive Technologists group planned a forum called “Balancing a Cool Idea with Profitability” with host/moderator Bruce Bachenheimer, a Pace University professor. It turned out to be about a lot more, including a call for immigration reform to fill up the critical need for developers and other talented people in the United States.

How would you like your bike to guide your way with navigation lights? Hammerhead wants to lead the way with this idea. How would you like virtual reality as a productivity tool? IrisVR aspires to make that a seamless experience. These were just two of the presenters at Hardwired NYC’s meetup last March 24 at Quirky at 28th West and 11th Avenue. The others were Brilliant Bike, American Prison Data Systems and Wink.

Last March 23, the On-Demand Economy meetup featured Button, Managed by Q and Minibar at the Animoto offices in midtown Manhattan. Much of the tech world is trying to figure out deep linking, that is, making the mobile app ecosystem work more like the web.

Silicon Alley is extending all the way to Queens as the Digital NYC Five-Borough tour made its stop at the LA Guardia Community College last March 26. An initative of Mayor Bill de Blasio, is the city’s online hubs for all things tech and startups. Eric Gertler of NYCEDC (New York City Economic Development Council) said it is making sure all of its programs extend to everyone in New York as part of an initiative to reduce income inequality.

VR systems are now designed for mobility, sports fans and interactions with real world

NEW YORK–Virtual reality could not be any more real to the three founders and product director presenting at the Hardwired NYC meetup last January 12.

Jan Goetgeluk of Virtuix Omni recounts his three-year journey from investment banking to entrepreneurship as if he just endured the same struggles as Leonardo Di Caprio in “The Revenant.”

After three years with a total fundraising haul of $8 million from a Kickstarter campaign, Shark Tank presentation and VC funding, Goegeluk of Virtuix Omni launched his first unit last month and demonstrated its hard work in this month’s CES Show in Las Vegas.

It’s an active VR or VR that allows you to move in a treadmill–like platform, allowing for 360-degree mobility. At least that won’t make you sedentary. There’s a harness to prevent from going off the rails, so to speak but you will be walking perhaps doing a light jog. You’ll need a fun controller to play the game and aim with your head.

Available for pre-order at $699, The Virtuix Omni is reportedly compatible with leading headsets and virtual reality content.

Next presenter was LiveLike,  a social sports broadcasting app for VR. Currently only being shown on Gear VR, it puts you in a luxury skybox with a giant window in front of you overlooking the stadium expected to launch this year.

Andre Lorenceau, CEO and founder, extols the social aspect of the app, as saying it’s about hanging out with friends, seeing replays, reading stats. Sports viewing is indeed a social experience, especially for fan communities. Users need to download the demo app and get their own VR suite to start interacting with each other.

LiveLike VR has worked with English soccer team Manchester City on a demonstration of its VR stadium, which plays on Samsung Gear VR. Having it on for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Google Cardboard VR is planned.

Drone racing, anyone? Launching this coming week, Drone Racing League is clearly molding itself as the Nascar of drones. Product director Ryan Gury is inviting the best pilots, which he emphasized more than once for safety as they compete against other drone owners. A race is scheduled on January 28 live on YouTube.

One has to sign up on its site to get updates about upcoming races. Meanwhile, drone pilots are encouraged to practice everyday to become the best pilots. For precaution, pilots are advised to wear goggles. A race video showed how engaging and immersive it can be.

Another presenter, Paracosm offers advanced three-dimensional reconstruction technologies that create digital models of physical spaces. When shared with machines, these models serve as blueprints which provide robots and applications a greater sense of awareness and understanding of the physical world. These can be valuable for robotics, video game development, special effects, indoor navigation applications, and for the improvement of both virtual and augmented reality experiences.

“Paracosm wants to take the digital world beyond screens and enable machines to understand the world as we do,” said Amir Rubin, founder and CEO of Paracosm.

Counter phishing attacks with Area 1, classify images with Metamind

NEW YORK–Last October 12, Area 1 Security, Birchbox, Livefyre and Metamind, presented at the packed Data-Driven meetup at Bloomberg.

Last October 12, Area 1 Security, Birchbox, Livefyre and Metamind, presented at the packed Data-Driven meetup at Bloomberg.

Area 1 Security’s Oren Falkowitz and Livefyre’s Ramana Rao presented themselves as companies from Silicon Valley.

Area 1 the cyber-security app that counters phishing attacks, focuses on stopping phishing attacks before they happen, the most common form of attacks now in our computer devices.

Area 1, raised $15 million this week, following Falkowitz’s presentation at the meetup. Falkowitz used to work for the National Security Agency.

“It takes 90 seconds from the time a phish to a user click,” Falkowitz cautioned. “Companies learn of attacks one year later. A new approach is required.”

Rao presented how Livefyre’s real-time content and engagement platform works. For those not familiar with the company, you often see them as the engine in the comments section of most websites.

Livefyre and Salesforce were in the news recently for its agreement to integrate their respective platforms that are seen by many as an effective way for companies to create a more cohesive marketing strategy.

MetaMind’s Richard Socher talked about the power of deep learning for enterprise, the future of understanding unstructured data. This includes speech recognition and a general image classifier which he demonstrated. You can create own image classifier with a free API. It’s an effective way for people to classify photos together in a category using an easy drag-and-drop technology.

Birchbox’s Liz Crawford presented her discovery commerce platform for beauty products last. Birchbox lets you get monthly deliveries of beauty or grooming samples, picked to match your profile. You can also customize your shipment by picking a sample or adding subscriber-only product deals.

Birchbox has come a long way. This week, it launched its own makeup line, Love of Color.

Essential tips for startups using video to promote their business

NEW YORK–Last October 7, Devin Rogerino of presented a talk on video creation or how to cost effectively enter the video creation community at the Wix lounge in Chelsea. Essentially, you need four things—ideation, inspiration, brainstorming, planning—before you even make your video, and let’s not forget how you have to know whether you need YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo.
Rogerino will tell you the difference. “Do you want to be cool?” Vimeo is his obvious answer? “If you want to own the long tail, it’s YouTube, the second largest search engine. If you want to a huge jump, it’s Facebook. Native uploads have high reach and high likelihood of creating short term virtuous cycle.”

Vimeo can be tricky a choice for small business, because it only allows eight seconds of video. On the other hand, YouTube gives you longer exposure – and if you do the proper tagging, you’ll see your other videos on the right rail. YouTube is a good choice if you want to build and sustain your brand.

Facebook works in short bursts. Your video can get the eyeballs and likes you need in one posting but you cannot expect it to get more exposure after a few days.

Rogerino suggests you do both Facebook and YouTube, choosing carefully what to post in either social networks. Knowing where you want your video to appear is crucial even before you start shooting.

Planning head means thinking all the way to the conceptualization or ideation of an idea, which will help you create your project. Incorporate the production aspect in your creation–the lighting, shooting, editing, even distribution.

“Ask yourself, ‘What thumbnail and headline combination will work?’” he said. “Then write and revise your script. Find out where and when you are going to shoot it, who can help you and what equipment you‘ll need.”

Having a script ready is perhaps the most important as you won’t want to miss something as you’re shooting on location. As for ways to get you working, Rogerino suggests you ask yourself, “What’s in the video that excites you?”

As for lighting, try to learn 3-point lighting—back light, fill light, key light. Also consider your choice of daylight or tungsten lighting. “Always test lighting positions.”

You may think when you have all the lighting in place, you have everything working. “Remember some cameras have no audio. Get a DSLR camera with audio inputs,” he said. “Avoid audio gaps.”

And when it comes to shooting yourself, try to avoid setting camera on focus – because you do move around. “Use automatic aperture, white balance and shutter speed settings.” Also remove all vocal tics; throat clearing, sniffling, grunting, and teeth sucking. Keep in mind all stories have at least 3 acts—beginning, middle and end.

For resources online, consider the following: For editing, YouTube is free while IMovie is $4.99. For music, check out It’s important to read the fine print and give proper credit to avoid any copyright infringements.

Once you’ve uploaded your video, prioritize searchable keywords in your headline; write a long description that includes links to social accounts; tag video extensively with relevant topics. and leverage annotations when possible. On YouTube, consistent tagging on the right rail will show your other videos.

After all is said and done, you must engage people online by sharing and interacting via your platform and finding relevant partners. One final tip from Rogerino: “Never delete a video on YouTube. Just unlist it, so Google can still (index) it.”

Twitter talks about upcoming Project Lightning with journalists

NEW YORK–Twitter’s Adam Sharp, Head of News, Government and Elections and Niketa Patel, News Partnerships Manager were the speakers at Conversations, a series of open discussion held by NY Daily News Innovation Lab, at Microsoft last September 9. It was also a way for Twitter to drum up support for its upcoming Project Lightning, a curated feed of tweets.

Host and moderator Jay Rosen asked the Twitter speakers the most challenging questions about how Twitter is going to work with publishers and how the company is investing in new forms of discovery as well as its impact in the 2016 elections.

In the roomful of journalists at Microsoft, Sharp responded how the site will not be influenced by advertisers or other business decisions. In the open discussion later, though, an intriguing question was asked, Do you feel that the average person is represented on Twitter?

In response to an audience’s request for a better Tweetdeck, Sharp pointed out “how 80 percent of Twitter usage is on mobile devices, which isn’t a practical platform for a Tweetdeck.”

Slated for a Fall release, the new Twitter will have a team of editors curating the content which is foreseen to be more visually driven.

Here are other quotables quotes from the Twitter meetup with NY Daily News’ Innovation Lab:

“Twitter at its core has always been real-time, public and conversational,” said Sharp.

“When there’s a major event and you dive into those tweets, you see a healthy cross-section of the country”

“There is no original reporting being done by Twitter’s Project Lighting team”

“Too much great content is Twitter’s biggest problem. That’s where Project Lighting comes in.”

“We’ve come a long way from the days where it’s just headlines and links,” said Patel

“We have no plans to tinker with the main timeline, because we know that’s a core part of our platform.”

“Whatever the topic is, it is all about picking the best content that highlights the story.”

Portable drone and your news summaries on video

By Dennis Clemente

NEW YORK–If you’ve seen a drone, most likely you’re thinking how hard can it be to fly one, right? Well, it was not so easy for Easy Aerial’s CEO Ivan Stamatovski.

Stamatovoski was one of four other presenters at the NY Video Meetup last July 23 at the AOL offices.

“I have been flying a drone for two years but still suck at it,” he admitted.

Stamatovski came up with a drone that can also just fly on its own once you’ve configured it with a Google app from Google Maps. It just comes back to you once it’s done with its assignment.

Easy Drone is an advanced, modular quadcopter designed for videographers that need quick, easy and affordable aerial shots. It is convenient to transport and quick setup without tools. EasyDrone has wireless video and camera gimbal control built in as standard features.

“We also made a drone easy to use, transport and repair,” he claims.

The Easy Drone XP Pro is available for preorder at $1,695.

Another presenter was TouchCast, the leading interactive video platform used by media companies such as the BBC and WSJ, large corporations as well as by students and teachers around the world for video communications.

Co-founder Erick Schonfeld showed how TouchCast creates a full interactive TV studio inside an iPad, along with some bleeding-edge examples of what happens when video and the web merge together.

For publishers, Wibbitz showed how it automatically turns articles into short video summaries.

The scalable video production platform uses advanced text-to-video technology to automatically generate high quality branded content in seconds.

The platform’s unique text-to-video technology allows publishers to easily produce videos from text—at scale—and significantly increase their video ad revenue. The platform supports the creation of thousands of premium videos every day with streamlined editing tools and access to top-quality licensed content from partners, including Reuters and Getty Images.

It’s said to be a 100 -percent automatic process that allows you full control. You can upload your own voiceover and soundtrack.

Wibbitz claims to pay for license for the materials it uses. Because it doesn’t charge publishers, it offers revenue-sharing of ads.

Screening Room is an innovative web-based platform for collaborative feedback on films. You simply upload video drafts, and then engage with team members and screeners who can leave time-coded comments on the draft. The team will be providing a demo of their platform at the meetup.

The idea is to mirror creative workflow.

On the content side, Weirdos Next Door is an awesome series featuring puppets. Now in its third season, the show’s creators Jen and Kay spoke about their experience in the video world and what life is like as a creator.

Critiquing the media when you’re the media

By Dennis Clemente

NEW YORK– How do you critique or even police the media when you’re part of it? For its fifth meetup, The Tech Press Meetup invited Jason Abbruzzese of Mashable, Shannon Bond of the Financial Times and Tom Kludt of CNN to tackled this this topic at the Arthur L. Carter School of Journalism at 20 Cooper Square.

Technology has been reshaping the media business in many ways. From the personalities to the type of coverage and the social tools at our disposal, there’s no mistaking how news has changed and is delivered to us faster now — and online.

How much has changed? Kludt recalled when journalists scratched their heads when Ben Smith bolted from Politico to Buzzfeed. That no longer surprises journalists today, as Buzzfeed has grown immensely and gained tremendous clout.

When you’re the media though, how do  you cover the Charlie Hebdo attack?

Bond knows how awkward it is to both safeguard and critique the media, because you never know when editors will become your “future bosses.”

Abbruzzese sees how it can be an advantage to cover the media. “They know the ethics and etiquette (of the job),” he said.

Kludt sees lots of money being pumped into the industry, which some see could result in a tech bubble. It’s possible, if VCs don’t see return on their investment. But they’re certainly looking to make money out of it.

With social networks getting more attention nowadays, it also provokes the question, “Who (among the media) is controlling the audience?”

Kludt thinks it’s just a classic case of going where the fishes are. You see their (social networks’) leverage over news organizations. The concerns are totally with merit. “We’ll see more news organizations coming to Facebook.”

In light of this, Abbruzzese thinks it’s going to be hard to be just a digital media company. It’s not seen as a viable long-term (business) unless media outlets also get into TV or video news programming.

Bond thinks a paywall system may be worth exploring, if applied correctly, perhaps on mobile (phones) if a special coverage merits it.

Is the news homepage going to be where people still find out about the news? Kludt said people are landing on stories through Twitter. “Let’s see if there’s an immediate consequence.”

What will move media forward?

Abbruzzese likes the overall transparency in the dissemination of the news. “I’m a huge fan of explainers (like the NYTimes’ The Explainer). I like that reporters also explain things than just reporting them.”

Kludt sees the improved accountability for those in public life, as breaking stories do not always come from the media. “The industry is more accessible than it ever was.”

The panel also tackled link-bait headlines and their use.

Abbruzzese said you don’t want to go too far; at the same time you want them to click your story. A/B testing headlines has become common.

Kludt said there is no question it influences headline construction, taking him time to stress his dislike for the constant use of “this” and “just” in headlines.

The panel also discussed about pay in journalism these days. They pointed out how young journalists are willing to work as journalists for 25,000 to 28,000 a year. It’s definitely not an easy job, but it’s good to point out how Salon, one of the early online news sites, got unionized.

Otherwise, there’s little protection in the industry. “The people generating content are not the ones getting rich,” Kludt said.

JJ Colao hosted the meetup.

Bezar founder talks about early struggles and ultimate success

bezar brad shellhammer

bezar brad shellhammer

By Dennis Clemente

When you have everyone discussing their design process, it makes for an engaging presentation. Last June 24 was Design Driven’s best meetup so far the way each speaker presented a specific topic—and more importantly, because the presenters were generous with their thoughts and candid with their answers, especially Bradford Shellhammer, founder of and most recently, founder of Bezar.

Held at WeWork in Chelsea, the meetup featured Ben Hindman of Splash who tackled Scalable Design; Julie Logan of Giphy who explained to us why its “gifs not jifs;” Shellhammer of Bezar who talked about his experience as a design founder, and Cap Walkins, VP of Design at BuzzFeed, who spoke about running a design-driven organization.

The flamboyant Shellhammer had a lot to say about Bezar, his members-only curated design marketplace for design enthusiasts. He liked talking about his early struggles doing everything on his own. He said he studied the competition and every shopping and social experience of people in other websites. He also admitted to writing every piece of copy for his site, and how he used his gmail contacts for his email marketing efforts.

In building his site, he liked figuring out his MVP. “An MVP allows you to strip things down. I’m at heart and soul a minimalist,” he said.

When it comes to raising funds for his site, he was also candid about it. “My deepest insecurities come out no matter how experienced I am when I am raising funds. It’s an extremely hard to think over for an emotional person. It becomes easy when you have relationships with them,” he said.

He noticed most investors often ask if you have built anything. “You have to have built something. You need to have convinced someone to develop something for you,” he said.

The startup world had been a positive experience for him, but if there’s anything he despises, it’s the practice “of hiring and firing people quickly” that permeates most of startup culture. “Don’t follow that advice,” he stressed.

Offering experiential marketing with Splash, Hindman talked about how it has scaled its business for users with well-designed themes, familiar layouts and reusable blocks — and how he makes things work in one click. The designs, especially the color overlays, are certainly much better than the ones we see from other event-marketing sites. It reportedly has 300,000 freemium users.

Logan of Giphy presented next, stressing how gifs are “not jifs,” what she calls “an art form.”

From text messaging, a new form of self-expression has emerged. With gifs, Logan said, “Nobody has to explain your tone, text or your voice” because you can express your thoughts with a gif.

Last speaker of the night was Cap Wilkins, VP of Design at BuzzFeed, who showed a photo of his product design team, evidently proud of his team of 18 designers, telling us how important it is to work as a team “to make your company design-driven.”

“You have to define an ideal state of the world,” he said. He would not stop there, as he emphasized how important it is to “sacrifice for the short term for the long term (gains).”

“Design everything,” he said, adding how “designers should know how to code.”

appLOUD and youWare connect online and physical worlds

How much of the online world do you want to merge with your physical world? Two startups at the NY Tech Meetup last December 2 aim to remove this friction.

appLOUD, a live stream of fan-generated live music videos, allows you to give a tip to starving musicians out there, according to founder Cecilia Pagkalinawan. You simply watch 30 seconds of live music videos from street performances to concert halls and it will make sure the tips reach these artists. For artists already in the stream, the “tips” can be categorized in various ways–for rent, school tuition, even charity donation.

The other startup demonstration, Thinkyou, could be a business card killer. Its YouWare is instant social networking if you have one of its wearables. For instance, you can connect on Linkedin with someone you just met by the flick of a QR-coded wristband.). And we all thought QR codes were dead.

How does it work? When someone scans youWare with the youPass app, you become instantly linked based on the social network accounts you want to use for connecting with someone.

How is it doing? It’s fairly new. Founder Mike Juliano is currently running a Kickstarter campaign where he is currently raising $50,000 for it.

Not exactly a newbie since it was founded in 2009, but wireWAX left the crowd in awe as it demonstrated its taggable video tool. It allows you to add tracking tags to people and objects on video. To showcase its technology, a demonstration showed how it could track every person coming into the theater. Yes, we saw this in Minority Report the movie and even another company that presented in this same theater months ago.

Personal investing has gone social as well with Openfolio. It’s up to you, though, if you want to share your investments with Warren Buffett, though. The app allows you to stay private and choose the portfolios you want to see.

Another presenter, Celery, is not for vegetarians only. It’s a buy-and-sell bitcoin site. Reportedly secure, it allows you to buy bitcoins using your bank account. They can put your purchased bitcoins in storage.

Other startups showed how their startups or products can make our lives easier or productive: Kinvolved can check your kids’ school attendance; Bespoke marries discovery and utility visually, and offers enterprise peer-to-peer learning among employees.