Making prototyping work for an agile-challenged enterprise

By Dennis Clemente

Prototyping is common in the startup world, but how does one do it with institutions and established companies? Emma Pinkerton, director of UX Consulting, explained how Bright Starr does it. She was one of three presenters that included Hans van de Bruggen, product designer at Cureatr and founder of Swipe Tools as well as Steven Cohn, founder and CEO of Validately.

http://www.meetup.com/Enterprise-UX-NYC/events/221096083/

Prototype is currently underserved in big companies for many reasons Pinkerton pointed out. “Enterprise environments are typically not agile environments; documentation is (preferred) versus visual communication and more significantly, politics often trumps usability.”

But some companies are also realizing the importance of prototyping or at least agile development as in paving the way for clearer communication, speeding up design processes and more important perhaps, saving the company time and money.

Even with these realizations, though, bad habits are hard to break. But Pinkerton thinks the key is to educate them on the process and make sure all decision makers are involved from day one.

Pinkerton shared use cases, showing an Axure prototype for a particular client. “We don’t share any PDFs or JPEGs until final sign off. If possible, we just share an Axure URL that is constantly being updated and published.”

With big companies, it’s common to have many changes on a project and Pinkerton thinks you should be able to prototype on the fly. Still, she cautions how the importance of defining the boundaries of the prototype. It shouldn’t be considered a design, for one.

From enterprise prototyping, next speaker Hans Van De Bruggen refreshed our minds about what design is really about as it also relates to prototyping. “Design is a process, not an end result. People do not design designs.”

Quoting Jeff Atwood, he says, “Prototypes are designed to be thrown away.”

Van De Bruggen thinks one must have a lower expectation of prototypes when developing from it, only in the sense that it is not the finished product after all but a guide. He went even further to say that “it should not be about creating usable code.”

The process of design for him is the process of “Thoroughly Thinking Through” something, stressing how good design “saves time, shortens the feedback loop and communicates more clearly.”

Cureatr is a mobile healthcare coordinating solution with over $5 million in funding. Van De Bruggen previously worked at Linkedin and Atlassian.

Steven Cohn of Validately spoke last about the importance of validating demand with a prototype using his own tool, a demand validation test.

Talking more about how products fail, one reason it happens is when you start making tradeoff decisions. He advised testers to look at the problem solution versus solution space and to have respondents use your prototype in a natural environment and then ask them cost questions.

Dash, Citymaps wow audience at NY Tech Meetup

By Dennis Clemente

NEW-YORK–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.

http://www.meetup.com/ny-tech/events/218809133/

“It’s both a hardware and software product,” CEO and founder Jamyn Edis said.

Founded in 2012, Dash presented its second version available already on Android and iOS. It now has 200,000 users in 150 countries.

Citymaps is a personalized map that helps you collect places. It creates maps for yourself and even together with friends. It’s different the way the user interface pops up like cards. It claims to have a partnership with Songkick which should show you maps of performances as they happen everywhere around the world.

DataCamp is an online data science school using video lessons and interactive coding challenges. Currently with 110,000 students, it aims to target everyone interested in data science. Also in the education space, Fedora offers anyone to teach online or offline and monetize it through its site, whether you’re doing a livestream, offsite meetup to share online later, or ebook discussion. It was built 100 percent for teachers.

Another presenter, Share Right, now in beta, likes you to use its site to share, predict and monetize your digital assets.

If you’re looking for reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions, check out TripExpert. It aggregates reviews from about 40 publications. For those without ratings, TripExpert uses a manual process. It’s interesting to watch how it will scale.

IBM showed BlueMix, its open enterprise cloud enabling secure data and infrastructure integration in the cloud for developers to deploy applications.

Only the shopping app of the night, Photochromia allows you to explore 2nd generation wearable technology through UV responsive garments in Printallover.me. Being fairly new, it estimates delivery of orders to take three weeks.

The NY Tech Meetup would not be complete without the fun Hack(s) of the Month demos. Chirp by Adam Obeng adamobeng.com makes your tweets shorter with emojis, while Chintastic makes your chin come to life in real-time in song and dance with your own background video! You have to check it out at http://96.126.111.209/ to believe it.

Last but not the least was ROMDOM at https://github.com/sagnew/ROMDOM
Ever thought of hacking old Nintendo games? It does that using javascript. It could turn out to be a fun and interactive educational tool.

Digital NYC panelists talk about city’s dire need for tech talents

Last April 2, the Digital NYC Five Borough Tour made its second stop from Queens to Flatiron in Manhattan where there are around 300 startups and 20 co-working spaces.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/digitalnyc-five-borough-tour-flatiron-tickets-15204563258

The panelists consisted of angel investor David Rose of gust.com, Bruce Weed of IBM, Jessica Singleton, NYC’s digital director and Eric Geltler of the NY Economic Development Council but this time, a second round of panelists came to join the regular panel to discuss about how to better address the shortage of developers with the right tech education.

As Geltler stressed in the earlier panel, “Tech is integrating every industry.” It’s even more important to equip New Yorkers for a future that may require them to learn about programming, whether it’s for a tech company or any company that will also need to adapt to technology for its business.

Rose said, “Technology is enabling and accelerating every business. In five years, we’re going to see more opportunities for everyone.”

Rose likes to say how New York has come a long way when it had zero infrastructure in the 80s. Now it’s the fastest growing tech city in the world with a fertile eco system. But with all the companies mushrooming in the city, the challenge now is how to fill up jobs in tech.

Jayana Johnson, who majored in broadcasting then took a bootcamp class, is interning in a major publication soon as a web developer. She was part of the second panel that delved on the topic about tech talents, with Kristen Titus of NY Tech Talent Pipeline leading the discussion on tech talents.

Also in the second panel were Hagos Merhreteab of Codecademy and Jake Schwartz, founder and CEO of General Assembly where the meetup was held . Both also shared their thoughts about how vital it is for tech education to continue to evolve, as traditional education is not sufficient.

True enough, Johnson said all she learned in college was outdated. Good thing, she was interested in technology.

Digital NYC is the one-stop shop for all things New York tech. “To find everything in one place is critical,” Weed said, as he offered IBM’s Bluemix and Watson in general for people to explore for their own startup or ideas. Meanwhile, Singleton mentioned Minerva Tantoco, the city’s CTO, as the one in charge of making sure” the tech house is in order.”

Right now, the city needs talent badly but the city doesn’t have enough developers to fill up positions. “Companies are hungry for talent,” Titus said whose goal now is to help New Yorkers get coding and working with bootcamps and other educational institutions to scale tech education.

“As we speak, right now, it’s on fire,” Merhreteab said. He said the city needs coders short term. Long term, he added how some learning needs to happen in kindergarten.

With regard to jobs, Schwartz said the junior person is not hard to find right now. The challenge is the middle—it’s like a dessert (there),”

The city was clearly not prepared that tech would play such a huge role 20 years since Double Click opened shop. Demand has been huge since then, but the recruiting process needs rethinking these days.

“Relying on where you went to school was a shortcut for recruiters,” Merhreteab said.

But it need not be a case anymore, especially with the shortage.

Merhreteab advised new developers to join and contribute to Github, because “the code will speak for itself.”

Hotels by Day and Encore Alert win pitches at Alley Boost demo day

Why can’t you book a morning, midday or afternoon hotel stay? By making last-minute bookings possible, Hotels By Day won over other startup presentations at Alley Boost’s meetup last March 31 at Mercy College. AlleyBoost had two separate presentations with Encore Alert as the winner in the other room.

https://www.squadup.com/events/alley-boost-startup-pitch-night

Hotels by Day is unlocking latent intra-day inventory, giving premium business and leisure travelers the flexibility of short stays on demand. Intra-day inventory is unsold rooms from the night before it’s pooled with early checkouts, said to be a $19 billion market. Intraday stays are a minimum of 4 hours between 7 am and 7 pm.

With Airbnb turning business away from hotels, HotelsByDay is bringing business back to hotels. Who are these travelers? They’re business travelers and parents who want to want to have some free time from their kids on holiday. The site has reportedly received 30,000 visits in its first month with 70 hotels in 10 cities in its roster. It is looking to raise $3.6 million to scale the business.

Encore Alert identifies key mentions and trends from your brand’s social media and sends you proactive alerts with recommended actions. It reportedly processes 4 million tweets per using its proprietary algorithm.

It aims to become the next-generation of marketing automation, as it thinks alerts help marketers prioritize their time and highest impact opportunities. Clients include IDEO.

Back to the other room, Uptop presented its startups for renters to connect directly with each other. We take a small commission on each transaction. With site beta set to launch in a few days, it has reportedly raised $350,000 but is looking to raise $200,000 more for platforms. With no commission fee, it looks to offer advertisements.

How would you like your news to be more digestible? Sungmin Cho of Glance thinks people’s attention span is shorter these days, so he aims to create a site that summarizes it for you. “We turned them into flash cards, bite-sized facts and insights extracted from daily news stories.”

How will he do it? He reportedly developed a content extraction but it will still have a mix of algorithmic and manual editing. For revenue, he’s looking at sponsored content and SaaS API and CMS. He is raising $850,000.

One VC feedback addressed how it could be better off producing content for hedge fund companies instead of coming up with a consumer app, as 90 percent of any funds raised will only go to marketing.

The runner-up was Jack Lukic of Semantic UI, whose open source UI platform aims to help companies reduce the costs of development and simplify their front end codebase. Lukic was a front and software engineer at Quirky and is a consultant for Chris Hayes.

Semantic’s syntax is based on useful principles from natural language which allows for code that is human-readable, descriptive, and easy to maintain.

Semantic UI comes equipped with a comprehensive theming platform. Powered by 3,000+ underlying variables, and six levels of nested inheritance, front end designers can hone their brand’s visual identity once, then easily port their designs across disparate web products and brand channels.

Its catchy to call the Catzenpup wet food pet feeder the Keurig of pet feeders, but Garrett Wilson who demonstrated it said he is addressing the $4.7 billion USA wet food market. “It’s battery-operated because the UL Listing is expensive.”

For sports fanatics, Barnburner has come up the first location-based sports game. Key things it has on its sleeves: you create a team in under two minutes, earn rewards for points instead of gambling and join the game at any time. It’s currently in development.

Sim Gulati, co-founder & CEO and Bradley Feinstein, co-founder & President are behind Liquid Assets which has developed water- and stain-repellent natural fabrics. Claims to have proprietary hydrophobic nanotechnology implemented on cotton

“We want to work with retail and department stores. We’re going to do it with licensing, so we can be (on the) inside (track),” they said.

“With a scalable supply chain in place, we have opportunity to explore both B2C and B2B opportunities,” Gulati said. It is currently raising $1.5 million.

Ferdinand Piano of DocTourz is banking on the increase in medical tourism these past few years. For people who love to travel, finding a good physician can be hard. It hopes to become the match.com for your global physician search.

Piano said DocTourz is a portal for government to easily manage their cross border healthcare as it offers advanced search and filtering capabilities specifically designed for government buyers. Marc Doria, Lou Holder are part of the team with Narciso Reyes of Google Philippines one of its key advisers.

Execution trumps ideas but immigration can bring in more talent

NEW YORK–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.

http://www.meetup.com/Disruptive-Technologists-in-NYC/events/219435847/?a=ea1_grp&rv=ea1&_af_eid=219435847&_af=event

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.

Bachenheimer asked his panel questions that made for an interesting evening at Microsoft’s office at Times Square. It helped that there were no demos, just talk.

The panelists consisted of investors Ed “Skip” McLaughlin, Harry Edelson, Thatcher Bell and startup founder Patrick Freuler, founder and CEO of Audicus, which offers high-tech affordable hearing aids online.

What makes America thrive and what more can it do?

McLaughlin: We are rewarded for taking risks.

Edelson: We’re (US) cutting back on research. Yes, we spend more per child, but we’re throwing at the problem that is not solving the problem….In every study like math and sciences, we’re behind. I’ve been to China a hundred times. They’re focusing on speed. We can’t even pass budgets.

Bell: I overestimated the importance of transparency and rule of law (in the US). We have some advantages in our legal system, in our IPR rights, even culturally, against (other) nations. But we need to fix (immigration) and Congress to approve it (seeing how Cornell Tech has great minds not permitted to work permanently in the US). It makes me irate.

Freuler: I’m from Switzerland benefiting from the US’ fertile ecosystem of advisers who connect the dots for you….In Europe, nobody looks at if you fail the first time.

On ideas, the importance of execution, why protecting an idea is not always the right away

McLaughlin: Execution trumps ideas

Edelson: I look for good potential and good management (to execute)

Bell, paraphrasing Aaron Rice of NJ Tech Meetup: The more experienced you are the more you (should) shout your idea out from the rooftop

Freuler: Execution is what creates the value. It’s a marathon. Some started with a bad idea but in iterating, improved on the idea

On the importance of founders

Edelson: Getting the right jockey and getting everybody to cooperate with him.

Freuler: Whether it’s the horse or jockey, it’s the jockey that counts.

On crowdfunding

Edelson: They will have the money when the economy goes down.

Bell: There are three types of crowdfunding–donation, lending and equity based. Almost all of them come from institutions. Institutions know what they’re getting into. Equity lends itself to fraud. Equity scares me.

On Shark Tank the TV show

McLaughlin: It’s phenomenally entertaining. I am strong believer in profit the mandate. It all starts with profit.

Edelson: They don’t (get) pre-money or post-money.

Bell: I’ve never seen the show

Freuler: It has to fit the investment mission of the investor. They paint a bad picture of investors. Our investors are awesome.

Navigation lights on your bike, virtual reality as productivity tool

NEW YORK–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.

http://www.meetup.com/Hardwired-NYC/events/220782387/?a=ea1_grp&rv=ea1&_af_eid=220782387&_af=event

Hammerhead’s Piet Morgan said the idea of a bike-mounted LED navigation came to him when he biked 63 days from New York to San Francisco and thinking how airplanes also require navigation lights. It has since been an 18-month work in progress in China. “We have an iOS app and will soon have an Android version. “We are working full speed on the Android development by the time we ship in the next few weeks,” he said.

The bike-mounted gizmo works with flashing diodes to give turn-by-turn navigation, crowdsourced paths (via Straya and MapMyRide) and even direction to the nearest Citibike exchange. Is this safer cycling? Hammerhead thinks so.

If you have the Hammerhead gadget then, you must want to try having your own bike from Brilliant Bike, a startup focused on cycling manufacturing and sustainable development. A startup built by bike enthusiasts Adam Kalamchi and Kane Hsieh, the bikes are meant to bring down pricing of bikes without scrimping on design. It is doing this by cutting out middlemen and big retail spaces to let you purchase bikes in advance—to your customization needs; it’s biking a la carte.

While also thinking of bringing prices down, Hsieh and Kalamchi stressed though how important it is to over-invest in early runs. “Cost engineering is a tempting but slipper slope,” Hiseh said.

For Shane Scranton of IrisVR, work can be everywhere –and he sees it in his VR tool for pros like architects, engineers and designers. Scranton said many tools are still confined to the computer screen. “Our software enables you to make immersive, VR walkthroughs on your computer,” he said, as he aspires to make it invisible, seamless, non-technical.

Scranton sees a lot of industries that can make use of it; industries like real estate, gaming, film and advertising worlds. What he’s most excited about is how to apply the multiplayer function in gaming and how to use it for productivity purposes. If it succeeds, he sees it as a way for companies to save on travel cost.

Its app currently supports SketchUP files but will add other tools later.

The other presenter, American Prison Data Systems (APDS), hopes to be an education, rehabilitation, and job training and placement for prisoners using technology.

The idea is for more inmates to get their GED and increase their book learning while behind bars, making them productive citizens when they get out of prison. But what makes it different from any social-civic undertaking is ho w prisoners will be able to join the digital revolution. APDS sees prisoners using tablets so they can study for their GED, do homework, and basically learn anything they can use to get their second chance out of prison.

As its parent company, Wink was also present to talk about Relay, a touchscreen that acts as a command and control center for all your connected devices. It allows you to monitor and manage everything in your home.

For Wink, it’s crucial then that it has Honeywell, Philips, Chamberlain, Schlage, GE and others developing Wink-compatible products while making it available to buy at Home Depot and Amazon.

New York tech startup initiatives and programs extend all the way to Queens

NEW YORK—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 at La Guardia Community College. An initiative of Mayor Bill de Blasio, digital.nyc is the city’s online hub for all things tech and startups.

http://www.meetup.com/queens-tech/events/221041359/
The night opened with an illustrious panel of guests from the government and private sector talking about the growing tech community in New York and how it has also partnered with the City University of New York to make sure minority communities can see the many opportunities in tech. Startup presentations followed soon after.

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.

“This is of paramount importance to the mayor.”

Gertler was part of a panel that consisted of David Rose of Digital.nyc and gust.com and Bruce Weed, program director of Big Data and Watson at IBM who spoke about how traditional businesses can be infused with technology.

“There should be some way you could leverage Watson,” Weed said when he talked to a traditional business about taking his business to the next level.

The night’s presentations featured the launch of Bobbypin, an app for creating your own tours and for people to explore using it. Coming out this spring, it’s from the creators of Strayboots and similar in its function.

“We’re showing Bobbypin to you for the first time,” he said. Founder and CEO Avi Millman said. Aside from its creation tool, he said, “Now you can keep track of your favorite spots and share them with friends.” It will be on a tablet and app this spring.

Melissa Kwan from Spacio demonstrated her app and how it organizes your home search from various sites. From Vancouver, Kwan moved to New York four weeks ago, after a long career building mobile apps for real estate developments.

She moved to the real estate capital of the world to solve a fundamental problem. She said there isn’t one place online to help buyers find properties from various sites. Its app also aims to capture the offline experience in apartment or house hunting with a beacon. Spacio is looking forward to becoming the best real estate organizer.

Kristin Hodgson, communications director of meetup.com. spoke last, talking about how the growth of tech meetups in New York and worldwide has grown immensely and why tech holds many opportunities for people out there.

There are over 1,100 tech meetup groups in the city and 23,000 tech meetup groups worldwide. Also, the entire United States has 130 cities with 10 tech meetups

Button is building deep linking to open the walled garden called apps

NEW YORK–Last March 23, the On-Demand Economy meetup featured Button, Managed by Q and Minibar at the Animoto offices in midtown Manhattan.

http://www.meetup.com/Product-Hunt-NYC/events/221089761/

Much of the tech world is trying to figure out deep linking, that is, making the mobile app ecosystem work more like the web.

Button is building deep linking. “When you go to site it’s hard to open links and open it because of the walled garden in apps,” Mike Dudas of Button said. “Deep linking will become a utility.”

Founded only last year, Button is accelerating its product after receiving a $12-million series A investment. Button is an official development partner of Uber.

Managed by Q provides office cleaning and other smart services to help your office operations run smoothly—all managed via an iPad that’s installed for free in your office.

Managed by Q shared 10 key principles on how it runs its product which are essential for any startup.

1. Obsess over structure because structure defines outcomes

2. Organize by audience, not business departments. Instead of structuring it by department, cleaning departments, we organize by the audience it serves

3. Build teams around problems — not products

4. Match-make designer and engineer pairs and prototype things quickly

5. Formalize your process of meeting your users

6. Only hire designers with s trifecta of skills. You need to understand user and product problems; wireframe and design pretty pixels and vectors; have coding experience

7. Beware of product snacking—low effort and high impact

8. Own your code; no one to review code

9. Deploy multiple times a day. Small increments to build into a crescendo, keeping things agile

10. Connect the dots. Talk to product teams and others

And that name Q? It’s from the James Bond movie.

Started last year and now in 8 cities, Minibar provides on-demand delivery of wines, spirits, beers and mixers.

“We connect local liquor stores to offer the best selection of products,” CTO Chris Kohonen said. They (stores) are connected to our payment gateway.”

Still in its growing stage, Minibar faces the fact that it needs convince the liquor store, refine their technology and ultimately face regulatory concerns but Kohonen sounds like he has the cojones to tackle these challenges with his team.

Minibar is reportedly in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC, Miami and Dallas.

10 things you need to know about investors

Investors

By Dennis Clemente

NEW YORK–Learning about how to find investors is almost always different when you’re in 40s-up midtown (much older crowd) and 30s-below midtown (younger crowd). The former usually frowns on the word “meetup” to describe an after-office talk whereas a few zip codes down it’s less of an issue.

If you’re new to the tech community in New York, just use “talk” to describe what happened last March 19 at the Lee Hecht Harrison law offices when investors from different companies gave people tips on how to find an investor in the city. Here are some of the thoughts of Anna Garcia of 37 Angels, a community of women angel investors; Michael Beller of CoVenture; and Judith Feder of Harvest Capital.

1. Know if you really need investment. Know if you really need venture capital or angel investment or if you need to find out if you can get corporate grants or non-profit grants. Your idea could still be financial tech and still be non-profit.

2. Know when you need to pitch. Angel investors hold quarterly pitch forums. You will also find accelerators and incubators accepting startup funding applications quarterly and may run a pitch training program for 3 to 4 months.

3. How to find out if you’re a good fit for a venture capital investor or an angel investor. With VCs, study their websites and blogs and more importantly, their portfolio. Be aware that VCs invest in themes, while angel investors, because they come from different backgrounds, may have a diverse portfolio.

4. Still, VCs have some differences. There are VCs who are either hedgehogs or foxes. Investors who are hedgehogs are single-minded and tend to invest in teams with deep expertise and come from the same industry. Investors who are foxes are more dynamic, more adaptable and more open to anyone with a transformative product and creating new markets.

5. How to email investors. They prefer that you are coming to them with reference. If you met them before and they gave their contact info, you can contact them directly. For VCs, it’s important you have the same connections. For angels, know one and you raise the possibility of being introduced to another angel. Approach everything not as a mechanical process, but as a relationship-building exercise.

6. How to meet investors. Put yourself out there and be engaged in the startup eco system. Go to meetups, hackathons (even if you’re not a developer), tech talks, founders’ clubs, and mixers.

7. What is a no-no. No investor will read a business plan (but have one for yourself), because investors get it right away. Pitching to investors don’t exceed 7 minutes and can even be about 2 minutes. Also, make sure to describe your startup instead of using big words. When it comes to pitching, though, no is just an opportunity to explain your business better.

8. The bigger pie over small pie. A small slice of pie from a big pie is always better than a small slice from a small pie. Keep that in mind when you’re seeking investment.
When to grow your business and ask for money. Sometimes startups are far too early in the process to think of growth. You’re going to lose money, because you need to care about the growth. Growth is not a proxy for product-market fit.

9. How much money will you need? Think 18 months of runway. When you need to raise money, you need to know for sure how much you need, because sometimes you can underestimate your needs. How do you know if it’s a good deal? Think of how much money you need. Then double it. The best way to negotiate terms is have VCs competing

10. Other takeaways:

  • Be completely researched on what your competition is
  • Don’t be afraid to contact people you haven’t talked to in years.
  • Investors always want an equity deal than a convertible note
  • Husband-and-wife team not exactly ideal partnership to invest in
  • Tantoco, other female tech leaders talk about NY innovation, disruptions

    appnexus event

    By Dennis Clemente

    NEW YORK–Last March 18, some of New York’s top technology leaders shared their experiences as technology officers of their respective domains at App Nexus. The speakers were Minerva Tantoco, CTO of New York City; Lucille Mayer, managing director and CIO, Bank of New York Mellon; Camille Fournier, CTO of Rent the Runway and Catherine Williams, chief data scientist of AppNexus.

    As the first CTO of New York City today, Tantoco likes to see how innovation can work to scale culture and organizational design. She cited the “pockets of innovation” and creativity in the city. In late 2015, the city will be able to make use of old payphones as fast Wi-Fi spots covering 150 feet. With hyperlocal advertisements, the payphone-turned Wi-Fi spot will generate income for the city.

    More speficially, she is looking into how technology can do wonders for every kid in the city. Tantoco’s challenge to anyone up to it, “If you have the technology, how do you teach every kid?”

    Being New York’s CTO, she said, “is the hardest job and the best job.” The hardest part about it comes from her next statement about how innovation can be risky for governments as well.

    The talk about disruptive technology provoked Fournier of Rent the Runway to say, “Apps are annoying, infuriating and disheartening.” Anyone could relate to this when you count the fact that there are only few web browsers and most people use Chrome already whereas the total number of apps is now 2.5 million.

    When it comes to online security, Tantoco talked about how it’s crucial to develop a better experience with it. “You can’t even get in yourself (these days)” when you need to have five passwords in anything.”

    Mayer’s own qualm these days was directed mostly at lawyers: “Tell me how I can do it instead of saying what I can’t do.”

    The audience responded well to Tantoco’s talk about New York being the second tech hub in the world after Silicon Valley. New York has over 300,000 tech jobs and non-tech jobs in tech companies. It is center of publishing, finance, health and many other areas. “I think we’ll be no.1 soon.”

    For someone who grew up in Flushing, Queens with Filipino lineage, Tantoco likes how New York has become the most diverse city in the world.

    Fournier responded to talk about the city, by saying how she loves the business savvy of New Yorkers, even in software development.

    Mayer sees the city scaling up with talent and having more role in community building.

    Reporting New York's startups and personalities