Entrepreneurs Should Check Out This Gathering

Posted: Jan 14 2014, 9:06am CST | by , in News

Entrepreneurs Should Check Out This Gathering
Photo Credit: Forbes

I recommend that entrepreneurs – regardless of where they live – check out the New York Tech Meetup (NYTM).

This monthly mini-conference – which sells out in minutes – fills an 860-seat auditorium and a secondary viewing site in New York City. A live feed is also available so entrepreneurs around the world can participate – and watching can be well worth the time.

Each meeting consists of ten short, live demonstrations of up-and-coming products and companies. One of the fascinating aspects of NTYM is that presentations are all actual demos – so attendees see real emerging products, not vaporware or marketing fluff. Furthermore, speakers at NYTM do not discuss their business plans – the focus is on ingenuity, not money. And there are no PowerPoint slide clichés.

Besides running the monthly get together, the NYTM non-profit organization has helped educate, organize, and unify tech industry professionals on issues of concern – for example, it arranged a 2,000+ person protest in front of Senators’ offices when Congress was considering some industry-averse legislation in 2012. Senator Chuck Schumer clearly took notice – not only did he change his position vis-à-vis the impending legislation, but he also attended last month’s NYTM gathering.

For those attending the event in person, at an official simulcast location, or at a viewing party somewhere else, there are also excellent networking opportunities. Some attendees may be seeking to join emerging companies, while others are looking for partners with whom to launch their own new ventures. Even the NYTM organization itself has grown in this fashion: Jessica Lawrence, NYTM’s Executive Director, found her current position with NYTM after attending one of its events several years ago.

As is typical, this month’s mix of companies included “startups” ranging across industries and at different stages of development – from bootstrapped pre-launch ventures to one that has already raised over $70M. But all of them were interesting – and can inspire creative thoughts among other entrepreneurs.

So, what were the presentations about this month?

The husband-and-wife founders of Passomatic demonstrated their web-based tool that allows people to change passwords on multiple sites simultaneously – something that can save time, especially after breaches force people to reset the passwords that they have reused on multiple sites.

KeyMe demonstrated a potentially disruptive smartphone app that allows people to photograph keys and have copies made and delivered when needed, something that could dramatically alter the way people manage “locked-out” situations and interact with locksmiths in general.

For apartment-dwellers in big cities who typically have little storage space, Makespace showed their valet-storage service featuring door-to-door pickup and delivery with online scheduling – freeing up space without the burden of having to transport large items or boxes around a city by public transportation.

Koding demonstrated a social development environment that simplifies coding by allowing people to code on virtual machines from within a web browser.

Docurated showed off an information management system that allows for quick and simple retrieval of data – locating not only relevant documents, but the exact pages, charts, or slides most pertinent to a search.

Photofeed, created by the founders of the photo-sharing system Pixable, demonstrated a new photo management app that allows people to manage their personal photos on a device regardless of where the photos are actually stored (locally, on a computer, in the cloud, etc.).

Livecube demonstrated a social platform for events that helps keep audiences focused, involved, and engaged – something increasingly important in our era of perpetual smartphone-based distractions.

Alexandra Burke of Huffpost Labs showed the crowd a widget that allows people to interact via voice with the authors of online articles; the widget is scheduled to be released to the public any day now and I am considering using it for feedback on future articles.

One Today – a “startup” charity engine run by Google – demonstrated how their new app allows people to contribute one dollar a day to worthy causes, something that – if well-enough adopted by large numbers of people – can make a significant difference to many charities.

Oscar, the only new medical insurance company to launch in New York this century, showed its user-friendly subscriber web platform. Oscar’s novel approach of providing subscribers free telemedicine, free generic medications, and several free visits per year to a primary care physician is intended to incent people to be proactive with their health via mechanisms that come at a relatively low cost to the insurer, keeping people healthier and lowering overall medical costs.

I have included links to these firms above, so, if you find one or more interesting, check them out. And I look forward to seeing you at future meetings of the NYTM.

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Follow me on Twitter at @JosephSteinberg

Source: Forbes

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