There is a lot of talk around the differences between the Valley tech community and the New York tech community. I don’t have a bias with Twilio headquartered in San Francisco with a satellite office in NYC, but it’s great to see New York prove it’s vibrant tech scene with events like NY Tech Day.
Over 200 startups came out to exhibit at the first time startup-palooza organized by John B. Peterson III, Alec Hartman, and Candice Schaffer. The event was held at the historic Lexington Armory and began to fill with eye-popping booths in the wee hours of the morning.
At 10 AM, the doors opened to the public and the once-quiet hall was now filled with bumpin’ beats from Songza and the noise from thousands of startup-obsessed New Yorkers mingling and collecting swag.
We were near the front of the hall with two awesome Twilio-powered startups – Amicus and FoundIt.
Amicus (“friend” in Latin) is a company that empowers cause-driven organizations to leverage the social networks of their supporters to raise more money, attract more members, and win more votes. Amicus offers robust social intelligence by combining social graph data from Facebook and other sources with traditional offline datasets, giving organizations a holistic understanding of the people they’re trying to reach. Amicus then provides easy to use social fundraising and outreach tools that allow non-profits, political campaigns, and educational institutions to reach the people who are most likely to support their cause in the most effective way possible — through their friends.
Amicus uses Twilio to power it’s call tool. Volunteers of a cause can reach out to their friends by phone on behalf of an organization they support. Twilio makes it dead simple for Amicus to integrate VoIP functionality that allows its users to call through their computer or using their phone — with essentially no dialing.
Seth Bannon, founder of Amicus, came out to man the booth and share the Amicus story with the New York community.
We’ve all misplaced something or found something we wanted to return to the rightful owner. FoundIt! makes it easy for the person who finds your stuff to get in touch with your instantly via text and email, while never revealing your personal information. FoundIt! gives our Members dishwasher and laundry-safe tags printed with their unique FoundIt! ID and easy instructions on how to report a “Found” item. If it’s important to you, stick a FoundIt! tag on it!
FoundIt! uses Twilio to allow people who find something with an ID tag to easily report it to FoundIt’s system via SMS. It also instantly sends members an alert via SMS when their item has been found.
Three of their awesome team members came out to exhibit at the tech day – Peter Nickerson, Nickerson M. Hill, and Erica Rosen.
I came across a ton of awesome New York-based startups at the fair, including Chocomize and Solidoodle.
Chocomize allows you to create and order custom chocolate bars with up to five ingredients. Anyone else like the sound of Dark Chocolate with Bacon, Butter Toasted Peanuts, 23 Karat Gold Flakes, Chipotle Peppers, and Goji Berries? I might just stick with my tried and true Dark Chocolate with Cherries.
Solidoodle is a company that sells a lightweight, relatively small 3D printer for only $499 fully assembled! That’s pretty amazing, if you ask me. Plus, they can print mini 3D Yodas.
After many hours of pitching, gathering swag, and reading custom-made startup fortune cookies we were ready to enjoy the keynote talks and startup juding. We heard inspiring talks from David Tisch and Charlie O’Donnell, two giants of the NY Tech Scene. Finally, the undercover judges revealed themselves and awarded the final prizes.
Best Use of Location – BiteHunter
Best Mobile App – Uber
Best Business Model – Temboo
Best Social Startup – GiftSimple
Best Booth – Cannonball
Staff Choice Award – Snakblox
Best Education Startup – Three Ring
Best Design – Chartbeat
Best Use of Data – Hoppit
Best Enterprise Startup – SendGrid
Best Unfunded Startup – Unroll.me
Thanks to the organizers, the exhibitors, and congratulations to all of the winning startups!
If you have any feedback, comments, or suggestions please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at me @jonmarkgo.