By Dennis Clemente
In the weekly two-hour long startup presentation at the New York Tech Meetup, there’s a featured hack that provides welcome comic relief. That’s when co-organizer Brandon Diamond momentarily takes over the podium, opening his segment with a tech joke that ends up being funny because it misfires; sometimes it’s the delivery, not the punchline.
Diamond’s earnest self-deprecating humor also rubs off on guest hackers who, for three consecutive months now at the meetup, have been just as funny as Diamond, even unintentionally. Diamond certainly deserves a meetup of his own, one filled with hacks, as he showcases more hacks every month.
Last June 3, for instance, Diamond featured three hacks, flyerpenguin.com, a print-ready flyer-maker from a Facebook event; moteio2048, a multiplayer and mote.io-compatible 2048 game; and 2048 Against Cancer. The two hacks’ take on the immensely popular 2048 game compelled an inspired shout-out, “You could work together to fight cancer.” That;s scaling the fight against the dreaded disease, because multiple players mean more donations.
But you ask, how do they guarantee the money goes to the right person? Sam Agnew of 2048againstcancer.com said he uses venmo.com, a free money transfer service that even “contacted me to verify.”
In the startup presentation, doing some social good as well is Goodnikels, a skill-sharing platform. Volunteering to help organizations with a social cause pays you a goodnikel. It’s by Goodnik, an organization dedicated to helping social entrepreneurs access the resources they need to be successful.
Another skill-sharing startup, Simplist or Get Simplist works like Goodnikels, only on a more permanent basis. Say you’re looking for a co-founder, it helps you search for them on various social networks. It’s easy to put down one startup being no different from another, but wait till they get traction.
The six other presenters included Glimpse. You use the app to send disappearing photo and video messages. Does it sound familiar? You can write captions/text on the image and share right away. CEO Elissa Shevinsky took the opportunity by announcing that Glimpse is mentoring 1,000 women this summer.
Rukkus would be just another ticket-buying app, if not for its best feature. It gives you a photo/view from an actual seat, perhaps not in all seats. And if you’re thinking of buying tickets for a concert but you don’t know the performer, the app gives you access to their music to sample.
However, it was the last presentation by Floored that, well, floored everyone. Suddenly, everybody was quiet and listening attentively, marveling at its 3-D scanning and data visualization tool for real-estate applications.
Other startups at the meetup included a bike-sharing startup called Socialbicycles, a company access-sharing app called Commonkey and an open-source programmable jewelry called Jewliebots for teenage girls. “It takes friendship bracelet to a whole new level,” said host Nate Westheimer.