The New York Tech Meetup (NYTM), which began ten years ago around a simple conference room table, has expanded to the point where New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, the event’s venue, is routinely sold out.
Despite its humble beginnings and the monumental growth it has undergone, NYTM is not yet done growing. This time, it’s not a physical growth, but a digital one.
“I know we don’t normally allow talk about business strategies, but we’re going to break our own rules this month,” said NYTM Executive Director Jessica Lawrence,.
Unveiling the launch of a new site, NYTM.org, which is still in beta, Ms. Lawrence explained that their small team wanted to do more for the community at large and that this digital expansion would do just that. The site includes a job board, a community calendar that any member can add to, as well as exclusive workshops and networking events. While most of it is available with a free membership, the monthly and yearly subscriptions add perks, such as reserved tickets and the aforementioned workshops and networking events.
Speaking of delivering to the community, the first presenter was Parcel, a delivery service that will hold your package and deliver it at the best time for you, seemed to be the presenter the audience was most interested in. By creating an account, Parcel will give you an address to put in when you order things online. For a $5 fee, Parcel will accept your package. When it arrives, they’ll send you a text or e-mail asking for a delivery window that works for you and promises to deliver in that window. As of now, it is only available in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, but is expanding to the outer boroughs. AlleyWatch previously covered them here.
Building on this trend of helping us make our lives easier comes Admittedly, a free platform meant to help high school students pick out and apply to college that’s right for them. Featuring a matchmaking test to help students find their perfect school and mentors from those school to answer any questions, Admittedly tries to take the hassle out of the application process. In addition, it keeps track of any relevant deadlines. AlleyWatch previously covered them here.
Expanding on his professional website builder, Squarespace, Anthony Cassalena announced a deal with Getty Images that will allow users to license any picture for a $5 fee. Considering the licensing fee for certain photos on Getty can run into the hundreds of dollars, it’s one heck of a deal. He also showed off the updated builder, which can build a website in only a few clicks, and the simplicity of licensing an image from Getty, which also takes only a single click.
Waywire Networks showed off their curated content system: content for enthusiasts, curated by enthusiasts. If you can think of a subject, they’ll have it. From a channel all about marijuana, curated by a rather enthusiastic consumer, to a channel chronicling the most interesting of the TED Talks, there isn’t much Waywire doesn’t have.
Even the games presented followed the trend of helpful tech. The Outcast, by Simple Machine, is a mobile game that will create events as you go about your day. Basically, you choose your own adventure story with a health bar, every so often the game will create an event and push a notification to your phone so you can navigate the dystopia of the game.
Keezy presented their new app – a mobile drum machine – which wowed the crowd and left everyone speechless. Simply by picking a percussion sound and the number of times to hit it during the up-beat or down-beat, one can create an entire song on their phone. If nothing else it’s a fun thing to have around, though a musician would certainly be able to find quite a bit of use for it.
While kids like to play on the iPad, not all parents are enthusiastic about their kids playing with nothing more than a screen. Tiggly creators Phyl Georgiou and Bart Clareman have a solution in what is a system of blocks that interact with their iPad game. The blocks, each of which contains a different number of holes – one has one, another has three, and the last has five – are used along with the game to teach small children basic addition and subtraction. So they’ve managed to combine the kids’ love of iPads, their parents’ love of them learning and the need for a physical toy into one game.
The November Meetup came to a close with a presentation of Bug Labs’ Dweet and Freeboards. The first is meant to make tracking internet connected devices a simple affair, and the latter a easy way to monitor the devices being tracked. So if you’re looking for an easy way track something for your business, go check out this longer article on Bug Labs’ new tech for more information.
Image credit: Parcel
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