The January NYTM: Don’t Look Now, But NY Just Disrupted The Insurance Industry



For those of us who were there in the early days, it’s hard to believe that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the New York Tech Meetup – or that the event used to take place at the Apple Store in Soho, and there were always seats to spare. Now a decade later and 37,000 members strong, the only reason why one might have spotted one or two empty seats at NYU’s Skirball Center for the first New York Tech Meetup of the year was due to record cold temperatures that hit the city. And still, most of the venue’s 800 seats were occupadoed. Takes more than sub-zero windchills to freeze a New Yorker out of an event.

To help commemorate its 10th year, the NYTM will also be inviting back presenters from years past to show off their latest and greatest and fill us in on how far they’ve come. Onward to the presentations:

Makespace. Think DropBox for your physical items. Anyone who lives in a NYC apartment knows that there’s just never enough room for all of your stuff. MakeSpace is a valet storage services that picks up and stores your stuff for you and you never have to deal with the stuff again, until you need it. And here comes the cool part: they drop bins off for you to fill (they’ll store oversizes items such as bicycles as well), pick them up, memorialize the contents of each of your bins in pictures which they upload and store in the cloud. If/when you need certain items back, you let them know and they arrange to drop them off for you. You manage all of your stuff on line and never have to deal with the storage facility itself (in fact, only MS employees are permitted there for added security). They announced that they just closed their funding round and bonus for you: use the code NYTM at checkout and get the first two months of storage for free.

passOmatic is the fastest way for you to change your passwords. We all know that we’re supposed to change our passwords regularly, for security sake, but who does it? Passomatic makes it easy to change all of your passwords with just one click. Next excuse?

KeyMe these alumni demoers who are disrupting the locksmithing industry presented at the NYTM just six months ago – and now they have their kiosks in 7Eleven and Bed Bath &Beyond. More news: with their mobile app, you just take a picture of your key, upload it to the cloud and if ever you find yourself locked out, just his the keyme delivery button and they’ll deliver a copy of your to you for about 70% less than what a locksmith would charge. Next new and cool thing: they’ve partnered with 3D printing company Shapeways, another NYTM alum, so that you can now order custom-designed keys.

Koding is another NYTM alum and they’ve built a social development environment where everyone can code – in the browser. They’ve built out an actual social network as well, so you can go in, hook up with fellow coders anywhere in the world and, well, do what you do best. For the record, they were funded shortly after they made their first appearance at this meetup.

Docurated – The simplest and fastest way for enterprise sales and marketing teams to find and use the exact page, slide, or chart they need to close more business. And you can track down the information you need or are looking for, no matter where it resides – in dropbox, in one of your folders, in the cloud. And deliver your search results to you, based on relevance. And here was yet another presenter who announced that they’d just closed a round of funding. In this case: Series A.

Photofeed was presented by Pixable founder Inaki Berenguer. It’s his new photo app, but this time, his focus is on your private photos, which photofeed will keep in one place, where they’ll always be both safe and accessible. While Pixable allowed you to browse other people’s photos, Photofeed is about aggregating your own private photos across devices, while automatically backing them up and eliminating duplicates.

livecube founder (and New Jersey Tech Meetup organizer) Aaron Price calls his newest piece of tech “the ultimate event app for audience engagement.” Livecube incorporates social interaction, game mechanics (audiences are incentivized uses point, badges and real-life rewards/prizes) and networking to create maximum audience participation at an event – and sends event organizers the data and event recap from all of the feeds afterwards. Think insta-social network, with all of the bases and points covered.

Oscar Insurance Corporation – Who’d expect a health insurance company to present at the NYTM but Oscar is different. First, it’s first technology-driven health insurer and unlike other insurance plans, they tell you exactly what they cover. They also just closed a mega round recently.  Next, they’re the first new insurance company in NY in 15 years and probably the first software-powered insurance company ever. You sign up through a state exchange and Oscar is there to guide you through the complexity of health care system. And it just gets better from there. The software allows you to talk to a doctor – for free. Which is great if you’re too sick to make it to the doctor. Then you simply go to the pharmacy and pick up the meds. Oh, and if you’re prescribed generic meds, they’re free. No co-pay. The company already has 40,000 physicians signed up in NYC and they’re the only insurance company that has all of the hospital in NYC in their network. As for the fee generic meds and free online help – they’re the only network in the country that does that. Yup, only in New York. Literally… And a definite audience favorite.

One Today by Google is a new take on giving. The mobile app lets you change the world, one day and $1 at a time and spread the word, and hopefully, the giving spirit, through your social networks. Here’s how it work: every day you get a different project from a US-based non-profit.  Pick the project for you based on your interests and what your friends have donated to. (ex: providing warm winter clothes for the homeless in Milwaukee). It’s not the single dollar that makes the difference (although every dollar helps) – it’s the collaborative community that does it. Once you donate, you share the information on your social network and hopefully inspire your family and peers to do the same. OneToday doesn’t share your contact information with the charity, so no worries that you’ll keep bugging you for more.  Open to any 501(c)3 in the US.

Image credit:  @wasima

About the author: Bonnie Halper

Bonnie Halper curates the StartupOneStop.com newsletter, which focuses on startups and entrepreneurs, and is currently being read in 50+ countries around the world.

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