Video for automatic transcription; video tool designed for storytellers

NEW YORK — How would you like your video to be automatically transcribed? At the NY Video Meetup at Conde Nast last September 21, Auto Edit 2 took only a few quick steps and minutes to upload a media, put a speech-to-text system (with the help of IBM American English) to work, and voila! — you got yourself a saved transcription.

The transcription reportedly takes about 5 minutes to process regardless of the length of the media.  You can export a video sequence of selection as they appear chronologically in the video. Or you can export them in the order you selected them, getting you closer to make a paper edit.

Another presenter at the meetup, Verse, may be in a crowded video editing space but its DIY interactive platform is such as breeze to use. It’s a quick in-and-out experience. It’s great for independent storytellers who don’t have the luxury of an editing team or the skills of a coder to embed the images to a site. Headlines and other text in the images also allow for written questions to be clicked and led to the video portion of the question.

Next preseneter TVU offers web-based live video solutions. It transforms the way video content is captured, transmitted and shared from anywhere for viewing on the mobile, tablets, laptops and televisions.

Future Moments’ new app and its fourth one, AudioFix, is an iOS app that improves the audio in your videos.  The demo showed how the app cleans its sound and mazimizes its volume. As you save them using various filters, the original video remains in the same resolution. One can reduce the file size of video for easier sharing using a compress video option.

Host Steven Rosenbaum said his meetup group would not be possible without its audience, where one was inspired some to create video storytellers on YouTube like The Storyscape, which makes learning (some for kids and even adults) sound like “Dave Chappelle and Erkyah Badu hung out in Mister Roger’s neighborhood.”

‘Who’ else is a social platform? Count in 3D, VR content

NEW YORK—So “who” is not a social platform these days? Even Sketchfab sounds like one the way it has amassed 100,000 members who publish 3D and VR content for everyone to share. And it has all the top guns for clients – Adobe, Facebook, Microsoft Hololens, among others.

Sketchfab’s Alban Denoyel, co-founder and CEO, was at the Hardwired meetup last September 14 along with Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta, a retail store designed for trying and buying new connected devices; Ben Einstein, general partner of Bolt, an early-stage VC firm focused on hardware and IoT; and Anthony Batt, founder & EVP of WEVR, which handles VR content production and network.

“3D is eating the world,” Denoyel said, as he showed samples of how 3D has been used to preserve cultural heritage, document world events, and market products and change how we see places, people and food.

Using Sketchfab is easy. You can upload files in almost any 3D format, directly on sketchfab.com or using one of its exporters. Once models are on the site, you can embed them on any web page and share on other platforms like WordPress, Facebook, Kickstarter and Linkedin.

Vibhu Norby, CEO and founder of b8ta, came from Palo Alto present at the meetup as well. B8ta is a retail store like no other. It sells IoTs, connected devices and other hardware products.

For Norby, a retail store is a place to “discover, engage and demo” a product, which websites can’t do.

Today, retail is demand-gen, not demand fulfillment, he added.

Launched December last year, b8ta think stores can be used to funnel awareness.

Norby said pricing is the most important decision and you should build a strategy around it. He also thinks you should budget 15 percent of your margin for reverse logistics and customer support.

Before the last presentation, host Matt Turck sat down to talk with Bolt general partner Ben Einstein whose company invests in hardware and IoT devices.

He discussed the technical and product risks for hardware startups, pointing out the difference also between low-risk products like Fitbit and high-risk products like the Roomba.

Fitbit is a low risk proposition, because it simply calculates your steps where high-risk products can be far more complex and harder to market.

Bolt’s clients in the past include top tech companies such as Apple, Disney, Google and IDEO.

Last presenter was Batt of WEVR, a company that produces virtual reality content and has a VR platform called Transport.

Transport hopes to entice brave artists and storytellers to work in virtual reality and deliver a constant flow of high quality simulations to millions of new headsets.

Hardwired NYC, organized by FirstMark Capital, is a fast-growing community that explores frontier technology and emerging computing platforms: internet of things, virtual reality, augmented reality, drones, 3D printing, robotics, etc.

Shop while watching a movie

NEW YORK—Last May 26 at the HBO offices, the NY Video meetup featured ConvertMedia, Teleport, TVRunway and Snakt.

http://www.meetup.com/nyvideo/events/230373849/

ConvertMedia‘s proprietary platform and broad range of video formats allows publishers to strike a balance between revenue goals, the exposure they afford advertisers and how they engage consumers.

Publishers reportedly use ConvertMedia’s video gallery to expand their supply of quality video ad inventory. These outstream video ad units are served through its dedicated programmatic monetization platform, which maximizes fill rates. The platform manages outstream video inventory, with controls for audio, viewability and frequency.

As partner with DSPs, CEO and founder Yoav Naveh said ConvertMedia offers access to exclusive video inventory on premium publishers for desktop and mobile that is brand-safe and viewable. It reportedly delivers over 100B display impressions every month.

TVRunway finds the clothes from your favorite shows with a single click while you watch online. Just by inserting 3 lines of code, retailers can have access to a new revenue stream, increased engagement and verifiable viewer data.

Now you can find your favorite clothes from your favorite shows with just one click at TVRunwayit.com. It turns all existing OTT content into an additional revenue stream. With its API, you connect directly inside the online video player, allowing a site’s users to click on clothes worn in the video and buy while watching.

“We don’t pin, tag, collect metadata,” Terena Bells and that means “no plugins, downloads, video editing or tagging.”

TVRunwayit.com makes use of machine learning and comparative algorithms to identify items, then displays the top three, real-time matches from about retailers’ available inventories. This approach reportedly makes TVRunway instantly deployable and 100% scalable across all videos, no matter when they were made.

“You just need 3 lines of code to connect to your website. It will never take more than 13 seconds,” she said, stressing it’s a “search engine.”

Everytime you hit buy, we share our money with the distributor. “About 75 percent hit the buy button with 72% user engagement,” she said.

Teleport’s Gavrilo Bozovic presented his interactive online video platform from Sweden. The startup developed a platform which allows distributing scrollable, media-enriched video, through web browsers.

“It’s about giving context to your videos,” he said.

Last presenter was Snakt’s COO and Co-Founder, Tristan Snell.

“Snakt is an invite-only iOS app for video that lets you create ‘video legos’ of 7-second-or-less clips for infinite remixing and compilations,” he said.

Now on open beta in the Apple app store, it is reportedly coming to The Onion while it also continues talking with sports networks.  “You can create private group and make videos on Snakt.”

Some affiliate marketing will be added as well. “You can add your reaction to movie or TV shows,” he said.

Book authors on videos, cameras for rent

NEW YORK—What is Penguin Random House doing in a video meetup, especially the NY Video Meetup? It turns out the publishing house carries a collection of videos in different subject matters with some tongue-in-cheek book reports.

http://www.meetup.com/nyvideo/events/226241170/

Penguin Random House also carries videos of authors, so you can see your favorite authors talking about the creative process or just talking, all on its YouTube in channels called Papercuts (for fiction) and Videcracy (for non-fiction material). It makes complete sense, because it publishes 3,500 books a year and there are several ideas and inspiration that it can be mined.

Penguin Random House was also with KitSplit, Viosk, and YouNow were also at the meetup last March 24 at HBO. Steven Rosenbaum hosted and gave his audience his usual recap of video industry news and updates before the show-and-tell demos.

YouNow’s Dorian Dargan demonstrated how its live streaming channel can be so much fun and popular, especially among the millennials, as it picked a random musician online to interact with a birthday celebrant in the audience, singing Happy Birthday to her on split screen view, to everyone’s delight. The platform, which made it in the list of Inc.com’s most innovative companies, has over 150,000 broadcasts or real-time streaming daily.

No if you want to make some videos for viewing anytime, Viosk’s Alex Romanovich showed how to make simple drag-and-drop videos in a few minutes complete with voiceover (even your own voice, if you prefer) and music (with Viosk having an in-house musician composing the tunes). The videos can be uploaded on YouTube.

“It’s a self-serve product with existing templates,” Romanovich said.

And if you’re strapped for cash, it need not stop you from making videos. Kitsplit makes camera rentals made easy, vetted – and even insured. It carries 20 million worth of camera gear, even drones and VR rigs, with delivery. It’s a marketplace site.

“Rental houses work with us. It’s also a marketing tool for them,” co-founder Lisbeth Kaufman said.

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 Wise.io, 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 Inc.com 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, meetup.com, 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 x.ai. 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 Didit.com 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 Fab.com 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 care.com 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 X.ai 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, digital.nyc 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.

Essential tips for startups using video to promote their business

NEW YORK–Last October 7, Devin Rogerino of Inc.com 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.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/no-budget-no-problem-how-to-cost-effectively-enter-the-video-creation-community-tickets-18707123510
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 http://makerbook.net/audio. 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.”

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.

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 showed.me offers enterprise peer-to-peer learning among employees.

Tiggly, Dweet.io among standouts at NY Tech Meetup demo night

nytechmeetup114

By Dennis Clemente

How do you pack in 12 startup demos in two hours? Last November 3, the NY Tech Meetup did it again with Tiggly and Dweet.io among the standouts of the night at Skirball Theater at NYU.

Every parent sees their kids using digital devices more, which also means less physical playtime for them. Recently funded for $4 million, Tiggly has found a way to merge both physical play with the digital world in its tablet app. It has developed game apps and physical objects used in tandem with tablets to help educate kids using conductor silicon. The startup has clearly found a sweet spot between a toy and an app.

CEO Peter Semmelhack presented dweet.io, a Twitter for things. You dweet, say, a public swimming pool temperature or air quality in a city. It’s Twitter for machines, sensors, devices, robots and gadgets, enabling data to become easily accessible through a web-based RESTful API.

Built from day one for commercial and enterprise deployments, a dweet payload can reach up to 2,000 characters. It’s public by default but you can make dweets private by purchasing a lock which are then applied to thing names. Each locks costs $0.99.

It only holds a thing’s last 500 dweets for up to 24 hours, then it’s history. But you can build a connector to your data store of choice such as Dropbox, AWS and Tempo-DB.

Next presenter, Admitted.ly positioned itself like how online dating works. It is a free platform that helps high school students find their dream colleges and universities, connect with mentors, and get accepted.

A “graduate” of ER Accelerator, Admitted.ly works as an outreach for high school students and guidance counselors but in a fun, engaging way. It even has walkability directions among other useful guides when choosing a school.

Another presenter, BugLabs, is a software company that focuses on providing easy enterprise application development tools for the Internet of Things.

Keezy’s presentation was perhaps the first unspoken one in NY Tech Meetup’s decade-long history. The demo showed how the music software works using two if its music apps, Keezy and Keezy Drummer for iOS, easily that even kids can play around with them. You can record different sounds on Keezy but the Drummer is just one kit.

Not all presentations are crowd-pleasing but some marketing people listened intently on how Offerpop works to create marketing engagement platforms for today’s social and mobile consumers—and how it helps the best brands, retailers and agencies in the world connect, engage and convert consumers.

Launched last September 29, Parcel offers off-hours delivery service in New York (not including Queens) for only $5 (not heavier than 30 pounds, no higher or longer than 2 feet). You can select a one-hour delivery window.
Other presenters include Simple Machine, crafter of gaming experiences and stories like The Outcast as well as SquareSpace which now integrates Getty Images in its CMS platform for people to buy photos to use directly on their sites.

Waywire Networks talked about how its curating all the videos to make it easy for everyone to find the videos based on their interests. Each channel is authored and “highly niched.” It hosts content and is currently looking for curators
The Hacks of the Month were Calcash, an 8-bit online arithmetic battle game that makes learning and solving problems fun, accessible, and competitive; NewsFeel, which graphs the New York Times articles on any topic based on sentiment and lastly, Nodeflow, a just-in-time synchronous Javascript compiler that makes Node.js development easier.

With HBO in the news, NY Video meetup holds one of its best demo nights

Jesse Glasse
Jesse Glasse

By Dennis Clemente

The NY Video meetup had one of its best demo nights last October 16 with Steve Rosenbaum keeping things interesting with his usual side commentary on the latest in the video world. If you missed the news this week, HBO plans to bring its programming to Internet users via a Netflix-style streaming service.

“HBO versus Netflix? Is this good for us?” he asked. He thinks if you have no cable and you subscribe to both plus Hulu, you may end up paying the same amount you paid on cable. That’s certainly something to chew on as he announced the presenters of the night at AOL—SundaySky with SmartVideo, OCHO, Joey and Mediabreaker.

Max Stossel, along with Jerilyn Stone, dared the audience to imagine what YouTube would look if it were made today. It’s a social network that makes videos better in 8 seconds thus the name Ocho. Now available in the App Store and coming soon to Android, it has an interesting story.

The founders got funding from Mark Cuban when they emailed him on Cyber Dust. If you know how the app works (hint: the name says it all), that was a small window of opportunity for Ocho. Good thing Cuban got to it before their message disappeared.

Next presenter was Rachel Eisenhauer who talked about SmartVideo and how to help brands tell compelling stories that matter to the consumer.

The videos are personalized to the individual viewer. “It’s created for you, not by you,” she stressed. “Everything we create is from scratch.”

“We work with insurance companies and health companies using inputs from data analysts and the creative team,” she added.

DC Vito presented Mediabreaker next, showing how its product remixes YouTube videos—as a commentary and critiquing tool. He stressed how important it was to read the terms of service in this matter, because of the risks it is taking. It would own all the videos submitted, because it was willing to take the hit if the videos were challenged under Fair Use, a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders.

Last presenter was Jess Glasse. He talked about Joey (to be renamed to avoid similar name owned by a cable TV company) his professional grade panoramic 360-degree camera that allows capture, broadcast and live two-way conferencing at up to 4K resolution. It was on Kickstarter until Thursday night, surpassing its funding goal. It could just be the next camera sensation.