August 7th, 2013 NYTM
On Wednesday, OLC attended New York Tech Meetup, held at NYU’s Skirball Theater. 10 incredible startups demoed Wednesday night, 8/7. BikeWithFriends, Crisis Text Line, DoneNotDone, Topi, JustWorks, Kinograph, Maxwell Health, NYC Votes, One Month Rails and Ponch all showcased their works to a thrilled crowd that filled up the auditorium.
Kuan Huang of Poncho described his product as a service that simplifies daily routines. From weather to alternate side parking, train information and pollen levels, Poncho send the subscribed user a text or an email—or both to inform the user early in the morning and just before leaving the office. To make it work, users click yes or no using the simple and intuitive Poncho questionnaire and in just 4 to 5 questions, the account is set up and Poncho prompts you to choose between text, email or both. The best part is that information is provided in plain English and users can share the data that they received over Twitter.
Topi uses geofencing to get information, so there is no need to enter in anything—nor fields to type things into. It takes user’s profiles from linked social media and uses group conversations to break the ice. Private conversations are also available for networking. Navigation provides guides for the event and users can vote on questions that other users have asked and the highest rated questions are answered by the speaker. Topi has full integration with Twitter and it can also rank people based on information gathered from social media profiles.
JustWorks automates payroll and paperwork. Everything is done online for easy automation. It can pay contractors and employers at once—and sets up worker’s comp automatically, as well as medical. The subscription starts at $30 for the first employer and $5 after that. Employers pay for contractors for free—no subscription required.
DoneNotDone is the best place to store ideas and suggestions. It lets you remember things you haven’t done yet. Also users can figure out what their friends haven’t watched to make it easy to gather people to watch together. With DoneNotDone, lists can be created easily and users read reviews from their friends, so it’s more personal. To get the lists of books and other media, 3
Maxwell Health is trying to make insurance and payroll easier. It is a New York and Boston-based fund. Their long-term vision is to make people lead healthier lives, but to get there, they need to lower insurance cost. The language used in the platform is easy to understand. All employees need to do is click, sign and submit. There’s no need to print. As a member, Maxwell Health provides a phone app, which has all the data the user needs for heath insurance. Fitness progress is also integrated in the app.
Mattan Griffel presented One Month Rails, an online tool to teach new coders to code. “Our motivation to code comes from desire to build something, and One Month Rails is a series of lectures and comments to help facilitate online learning,” Griffel said. One Month Rails works as a launching pad for students to keep coding and creating—as it teaches how to troubleshoot and use online communities like Github.
BikeWithFriends had two goals: to be different and to be fun. The team focused on bringing a competitive edge to CitiBikes. CitiBikes reveals information through JSON to show station bike data. BikeWithFriends takes that bike data and ranks it with friends. Badges bring a level of gamification to the app and the team has incorporated races to compare time and speed of their biking process.
Kinograph is an open source film digitization solution. It costs $850 to restore just one canister of old film and because that’s not ideal pricing, Kinograph was developed to do it for just a one time price of $1200. A DSLR is hooked up to a canister and takes pictures of each frame. The film is fed through 3D-printed rolls that can hold 12, 8 and 6mm film. The film is processed through a computer for clean up and sound processing. “Cultural memory should not be dependent on money or technology.”
CrisisTextLine explained that texting is the No. 1 form of communication for teens. It is the most widely used and is considered the most private form of communication. Texting, it turns out, is a medium that they trust. A network of specialists operate CrisisTextLine, where teens in need of help sent texts to and specialists are able to pick from a queue of texts that form in the dashboard. These specialists (also referred to as counselors) have access to text them through chat windows and have the ability to transfer the teens to other counselors who might be more specialized for a particular situation.
NYCVotes is a web app that makes sure users—potential voters—know when the deadline is to register to vote for the mayoral race is and to inform the users who the candidates are and what they believe in. It provides a one-stop location for information required to vote. Users can even engage with candidates using social media and can vote with their wallets by contributing to candidates of their choosing.