This is it! Today, Monday, February 25, is the very last day to submit applications to Disrupt NY’s Startup Battlefield. They have to be submitted and completed by 11:59 PST tonight. Stop procrastinating and get those apps in.
Apply here. We’re already reviewing applications but there is still time.
How can you make it into the Battlefield? Make us remember your startup. Wow us. Include as much media as possible in your application. Videos, PowerPoint slides, screenshots — give us as much as you can. Everything submitted is confidential unless you state otherwise on your application and we will give each application multiple chances to win. No business is too small – or too disruptive.
Last year, UberConference was the breakout star of the New York Battlefield companies and walked away with $50,000, the coveted Disrupt Cup, and, just two months later, a $15 Series B from Andreessen Horowitz and Google Ventures.
If you’re not quite ready to launch, you can purchase tickets here; or, if you don’t mind missing sleep, you can get a free ticket by taking part in our pre-event 24-hour Hackathon (tickets for that event aren’t open yet, but it’s equally amazing). In short, we want NYC to show up and kick ass.
Disrupt NY will take place on April 29th through May 1st at our new venue, the Manhattan Center.
Apply now for the Disrupt Startup Battlefield. Applications are open until 11:59 p.m. PDT, Monday night, February 25, 2013.
Read the rest here: Last Call: Disrupt NY Startup Battlefield Apps Are Due Tonight
Editor’s note: In response to our recent article on Jolicloud’s apparent third or fourth shift in direction, CEO and co-founder Tariq Krim wished to take the writer, Mike Butcher, to task on the ‘perceived pivot’. Here, he argues that the language we use needs to be addressed.
Your recent article about our jolicloud launch at the Dublin Web Summit was not particularly flattering, but that’s OK since we are not shopping only for nice articles.
However, one aspect did disappoint me: This article could have been written by any one of the US Techcrunch staff. And this article is missing the point.
When I say US staff, I am referring to how you have coined the word “pivoted” in all your headlines. But let me tell you a European Startup Secret: In Europe we don’t raise enough money to have the luxury to Pivot. Only rich kids with fat funding and Wantrepreneurs do that. In Europe you survive by improving, killing and then relaunching better features until you find your sweet spot.
In short we don’t pivot, we do Yoga (and it’s better for your health)
But as I said you are missing the point:
At the end of the day the story of jolicloud represents a bunch of kids between 20 and 30 years old reinventing how computing should be done from Europe. And this is rare.
We live in the era of the Giga platforms, Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft. They want to tell us how and what to read and listen to, how we should run our digital life, how and where we should store our photos, what programs we are allowed to use and how we should program them.
They have unlimited marketing budgets, access to the global range of hardware manufacturers and every publication in the world credits them with the words “disruptive”, “awesome” and “life changing”.
We want to give people another choice: A platform that empowers them, works on top of any existing hardware, even the older ones that support open standards and don’t decide how users should run their lives.
With one billion people coming to the cloud in the next few years, nothing is set in stone.
I see jolicloud being an Apple in the world of IBM in 1977.
Like Apple in its early days, Jolicloud started in a garage with two 22 year old kids coding while I was either drawing basic UI at the Starbucks next door (we only had two tables) or meeting with partners. The jolibook, a 2010 Engadget finalist computer and the first cloud computer to ever be shipped to Europe at 279 pounds from Amazon, was a side project done with a total marketing budget of 5000 euros. It’s now a collectors item.
Most manufacturers in the world said no to us, not because they didn’t like us, but because they didn’t want to piss off Microsoft and Intel who define the price of a PC. After finding the only computer manufacturer that would work with us, we built and shipped the jolibook in 3 months.
I sometimes think of jolicloud as an homage to the Silicon Valley era during the 80’s and the 90’s when entrepreneurs wanted to change the world. Now it’s all about addressing the digital 1%, and pivoting.
It’s so hard to build disruptive projects in Europe, and almost impossible to do anything in France, you know that. The French government just gave 150 million euros to the two big Telco to build “cloud computing platforms” that no one will ever use. After 6 months of battling we may receive a 300,000 euros grant, though this is still uncertain.
When I look around I see that most people gave up.
But this has been the fate of European Technology: most players succumbed. We created the Web and then gave it up, we created modern GSM technologies and yet again desisted. Nokia gave up to Microsoft. We are out of the game.
Many entrepreneurs gave up because of lacking support for truly disruptive talent. It is no accident that I ended up getting funding from Niklas (Atomico Ventures) and Michael Jackson (Mangrove Partners, and former COO of Skype) because instead of asking me if I was capable of building a new computing platform designed for the cloud, all they wanted to know was that I wouldn’t give up.
Because more is at stake. The world is not only about storage and hardware, it’s about giving a voice to all means of expression. And as of today I don’t see Europe being part of that picture anymore.
The courageous and persistent teams like that of Jolicloud are unfortunately a dying breed. We are the last to fight in a continent that gave up.
Our only weapons: elegant design, clever code and higher sense of commitment.
And that is the point I think you are missing Mike.
See more here: Startups Don’t Pivot — We Do Yoga
Living in Brooklyn, NY (the place where package deliveries go to die), I know better than anyone the struggle of missing a package, tracking it down, and then traveling however long it takes to recover said package. It’s so much of a pain, in fact, that I often give up the second I see that “Sorry we missed you” sticker.
But a company fresh out of Y Combinator‘s Summer 2012 class is ready to disrupt this mayhem with a clever little box, a BufferBox. It’s a bit like Amazon Locker, where you have all your Amazon packages shipped to a relatively convenient location instead of missing them. However, BufferBox works with all of your packages (UPS, FedEx, USPS, and Amazon).
Here’s how it works:
After signing up with BufferBox, you’re given a specific address — you will use this address every time you plan on receiving a package. Once the delivery arrives, BufferBox will send you an email with a unique PIN, with which you can open up your BufferBox and walk off, package in hand.
BufferBox then takes a fee for every parcel delivered through their system. “Integrated retailers” will offer a BufferBox distribution channel direct from their own ecommerce sites, and at that point the rate to the retailer comes down to shipping volume. The customer pays nothing. On the other hand, users buying through non-integrated retailers can always sign up for a BufferBox of their own, and pay $3 per parcel.
According to founder Mike McCauley, Amazon’s Locker program poses the greatest threat competitively, but he actually sees it as an advantage.
“They opened up a whole new market for us because they have 30 percent of the commerce volume,” McCauley said. “The other scattered 70 percent don’t have the order volume to justify building a network of kiosks.”
“In that way, we’re kind of like an open platform.”
The roll-out has already begun, starting with Union Station in Toronto, Canada. (The BufferBox guys are primarily out of the University of Waterloo.)
The team has plans to expand into 100 new locations, including convenience stores, grocery stores, and transit stations within Toronto, which should expand their potential user base to approximately 7 million consumers. Perfect practice for a roll-out in the Big Apple.
BufferBox has also signed an agreement with Walmart ecommerce to give consumers the option of having packages delivered to a BufferBox instead of their doorstep.
Go here to read the rest: Sorry We Missed You: YC-Backed BufferBox Solves The Problem Of Missing Packages
For the past few months I’ve been on the hunt for a new apartment, and I’ve learned something very important. A relatively high percentage of the listings searchable on Craigslist, StreetEasy, etc. are expired. Brokers leave up listings for apartments that were rented a long time ago to generate leads, and as I’m personally struggling through the mess of it now, I find it despicable.
But a new startup has just launched here in NYC that aims to connect an owner with a renter in a transparent, verified way. RentalEngine, which has just entered public beta, allows users to search all of the major listings sites in one interface.
The difference between this, and say a Nestio, however, is that RentalEngine’s system filters out listings that may have missing or false information, or may have already expired.
This not only helps RentalEngine understand what you’re looking for, but it lets you collaborate with roommates, significant others, etc. RentalEngine will also notify you through email if a listing fitting your requirements becomes available.
The company has raised $150,000 in funding thus far, and the site was seeing approximately 100 unique visits/day before launching into public beta.
Google has provided the Google Apps Device Policy app late last year, which let account administrators manage a bunch of Android devices on company apps accounts at once. It has been steadily expanding the capabilities of the management app, adding new features on a regular schedule.
Today, it announced that administrators can now grant users the ability to remotely wipe their own devices the moment they notice it’s missing.
Through the Google Apps Device Policy app, administrators have the ability to remotely erase data from lost or stolen devices. Now we’re extending this capability so that IT admins can grant end users the ability to remotely delete data from their phone as soon as they notice it’s missing using the My Devices page.
Obviously, users are normally much quicker to notice when their devices have gone missing than admins will be, so giving them the ability to remotely wipe their own devices seems like a nice additional bit of protection.
This ability is similar to the one that Apple offers users via its Find My iPhone app and iCloud service. Administrators of iOS devices can use the Apple Configurator app to remotely wipe corporate devices and to allow users access (or deny them) to those functions.
This new addition makes corporate users able to utilize the wipe functionality that personal Android device users have had for a while now.
Image Credit: Clive Darra