NY Tech Day Brings Together Startups and Potential Investors
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hires among the crowd and cozied up to the investors who dropped by.
Brian Shields, co-founder of exhibitor IncubateNYC, reached out to the startups at the event to pique their interest in becoming residents of a tech incubator his group plans to establish in Harlem. “This is the midtown and downtown crowd we want to be involved,” he said in an interview with Xconomy. “At the end of the day, Harlem is New York.” Shields said IncubateNYC recently met with Columbia University to establish a collaborative relationship with the school’s engineering and entrepreneurship departments.
IncubateNYC is among the applicants for a contract with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to establish a technology incubator in the vicinity of 125th Street. Though the contract has yet to be awarded, Shields said IncubateNYC is proceeding with its plans regardless and expects to open space, in conjunction with supporters Google and the Abyssinian Development Corp., sometime in the fall.
Other exhibitors showed off the latest iterations of their ideas. Pearescope, for example, unveiled an updated version of its iPhone app that now uses Facebook’s location-based API to introduce users in the real world to their respective friends-of-friends. The app points out these connections when users are in physical proximity to each other and allows them to choose who they contact.
The use of Facebook’s location API, said Pearescope co-founder Evan Walther in an interview with Xconomy, helped give the app an immediate population of potential users. However, he said, Pearescope tries to avoid the concerns raised by some other apps that display users’ locations to people they have no mutual connections with at all. “We are not taking information that people make public and broadcasting it to everybody,” he said.
It is too soon to say what is in store for possible future NY Tech Days, but this first outing seemed to prove a strong demand among local tech startups for such forums to show off what they have to offer. “Being a part of this environment is really important,” Shields said.