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AlleyNYC Presents Pre-SXSW BLOWOUT! Powered By IsaaCloud

Over 1,200 people attended AlleyNYC’s Pre-SXSW BLOWOUT! Powered By IsaaCloud on Thursday night at the Gansevoort Park Hotel Rooftop Bar & Lounge. The event featured a host committee of the top startup communities in the city coming together for the first time ever in an epic SXSW send-off for soon-to-be attendees of the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.

“Thousands of people from around the world are making their way down to Texas for this incredibly important event in the startup world that celebrates advancements in film, music and technology. NYC has been representing so HARD the past few years that we wanted to bring the community together to celebrate with our very own Pre-SXSW Bash hosted with the biggest and baddest community organizers in the city!,” says AlleyNYC’s Director of Events, Haithem Elembaby. The rooftop bash was the perfect way to get people excited for the upcoming festivities.

Along with AlleyNYC, many other well-known players in the startup world were hosting the event including Fueled, GarysGuide, Lean Startup Machine, The Phat Startup, StartupBus, StartupDigest, and Startup Weekend. The guest list featured various VIPs & AlleyNYC partners including TechStars, CNBC, Entrepreneur, HTC, Google, Mintz Levin, CBIZ, Rackspace & more.

Powered by IsaaCloud, a startup focused on data engagement, which offers an API to help companies scale and build their user experience, the event was gamified offering big prizes including an iPhone 5S, a $300 Apple gift card, two (2) HTC One phones, six (6) months of free access to AlleyNYC events, and six (6) free months of Spotify Premium Membership. In order to win, guests at the event were challenged to tweet, photograph and engage with party-goers keeping the evening full of surprises.

The blowout party commenced at 7pm with the arrival of the VIPs. The Gansevoort Park Hotel & AlleyNYC hosts ushered in the first arrivals and escorted them up to the top floors of the swanky hotel.


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The entrance to the bar is impressive with huge lighted decorations dangling from the tall ceiling with bundles of white, wintry branches. With the lights on and cameras rolling, the guests mixed and mingled around the main bar with VIPs ordering their first two (2) complimentary drinks.

To the right of the bar was the Red Room where there were upholstered couches, a dance floor, and a renowned DJ. By the end of the night, after much alcohol had been imbibed, guests let loose, climbed on top of the couches and danced to Lorde’s Royals and other chart-topping hits. Shaking their bodies and absorbing the vibe of the moment, it was a chance for these hard-working entrepreneurs to forget that work was in fact still on the next day, or maybe to just not care for that brief moment of freedom.


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To the left of the bar, there were lounge areas with low glass tables and comfy stools. The VIP tables accompanied by a bottle of champagne, a bottle of spirits and a bucket of beer. Host to some of the city’s most influential techies, this was the premium locale for conversation, mingling and an all out good time. Where networks run wide and deep, the alcohol and good times shared here spread quickly.

The crowd steadily grew as the night progressed. From software engineers to writers to marketing gurus to lawyers, all were mingling and mixing. There were many people spotted around the startup scene before but there were also a lot of fresh faces. There was a man from London who was visiting the city for a short time. There was Gary from GarysGuide with his iconic red tie and frizzy hair. The event included other co-working community founders from New Work City, Projective Space & COWORK.RS.

Numbers were exchanged, cards were passed out, and much exciting talk was had. The space buzzed with it. The vibe was unprecedented and precluded the making of a bold statement: NYC has the best startup community on the PLANET.

Thank you to all our partners and friends for the incredible support. We hope you had a great time!

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Written By: Hannah Lyles, Shindig; Edited: Haithem Elembaby, AlleyNYC

For extended recap including all photos & videos from the party, visit the official event website at www.sxswnyc.com

AlleyNYC is a 16,000 square ft. entrepreneurial hub located in Midtown Manhattan. Our aim is to help our startups bridge the gap between their innovative ideas and stable business establishment. This is where human talent, ingenuity, and sourcing capital come together.


Join the Alley Newsletter for updates on happenings at the Alley and throughout NYC. Organizing an event? We’d love to host at our space and help you get the word out - visit alleynyc.com/events to host your next event with us. You Rock!

AlleyNYC Presents Marc Ecko Interviewed by Brian Watson from Union Square Ventures

As I manned the front desk and checked people into the event at the Alley, I was surprised by the wide range of people attending. Some guests were fashionably dressed and oozed a modern, trendy air. Others donned suits, straight from the corporate office. Whilst others spoke in foreign accents gripping well-traveled copies of Marc Ecko’s latest book, Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out. They all shared a common bond though; they were here to see Marc Ecko, an artist and entrepreneurial hero.

The night also featured Brian Watson of Union Square Ventures, who was the perfect interviewer for the event. Young, well-dressed, and intelligent, Watson represented the next generation of twenty-somethings Ecko thinks “are into the ideas behind a product.” Watson, who had clearly read the book thoroughly, was bold enough to ask questions about Ecko’s failures and led the discussion in an interesting direction.

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Beginning at the earlier days of Ecko’s life, Watson asked if the origins of Ecko’s artistic tendencies could be found in his childhood. “I was too fat to break dance, too fat to rap”, Ecko joked, but said he discovered visual art was his medium for expression: “Graffiti was a part of hip-hop… I could express I was an artistic kid.” His ‘street education’ began with airbrushing T-shirts for friends and delving into graphic design and illustration. His growing up years was a source of great inspiration, resulting in the rhino symbol featured on much of his Ecko Unltd line. Ecko’s dad had a collection of wooden rhino sculptures that he used to play with. One day, when he was thinking that he really needed a logo, the rhino hit the right chord. Since then the rhino has become so distinctly embedded into the culture of the brand it is difficult to imagine the brand without it. Ecko said he liked the fiesty energy associated with the animal: “When you see rhinos run, they’re kind of badass, right?”


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Ecko’s latest book, Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out, is about shedding the veneers surrounding yourself, and realizing who you are and what you’re capable of. The author is disinterested in titles and categories that restrain, rather than empower, artistic expression. He explained that the book shares his healthier, family-conducive way to exist within the hectic world of fashion and entrepreneurism. Ecko finds that the term ‘entrepreneur’ has become too fashionable a label, and is more a fan of ‘creator’ or ‘artist’. He argued that entrepreneurs suggest that they are the ones risking everything, but artists are doing exactly the same thing, because they’re similarly risking their emotions and dreams. He sees “art as a means to connect with others” and entrepreneurship as a culture of expression.

Ecko is also a true believer in keeping it real. Making sure your feet stay firmly on the ground can save entrepreneurs headaches when things sour. “Perception is not reality. Reality is reality,” he explains. Some critics have said that the philosophy presented in his book is overly realistic, putting an unnecessary damper on people’s aspirations. Ecko argues that the book is not pessimistic but offers a down-to-earth caution and wisdom required to deal with failure; a much-needed narrative that exposes the less romantic side of entrepreneurship. When offering advice to the other entrepreneurs (or creators!) in the room he said, “be prepared to be embarrassed. It’s the vibe.” He realizes that fear plays a big part in taking those first steps due to the emotional nature of humans, and says “[when] you’re making that idea in your head real, it’s really overwhelming” which is understandable because it’s a project you care about.


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Ecko says knowing how to deal with failure is a strength. When starting a new business or a new job, there will be times when things come to a stand still. And this guy knows, because a few years after starting his business he nearly went bankrupt. “People should instagram the f*ck ups,” he jokes. Rather than hide your mistakes, ask what went wrong and why. He also cautioned taking too much on and running yourself and your business down into the ground: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Focus. You can’t fight all those battles.” Don’t beat yourself up about slip-ups either, he says. Ecko thinks that a person’s capacity to change is directly linked to your hubris, or pride. Every up and down is a moment to learn something new, and become wiser and stronger.

And with this advice milling about my head, I left the event filled with newfound hope that figuring out what I can devote my energies to won’t be so scary. After all, the room was full of open-minded people who were there to receive advice from a man that used to be just a kid spraying paint on walls.


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Thank you, Booze Carriage, for the alcohol supply. And thank you, Brian Watson, from Union Square Ventures.

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Check out the full photo album here.

- Written by AlleyNYC Member Hannah Lyles - Thanks Hannah!

AlleyNYC is a 16,000 square ft. entrepreneurial hub located in Midtown Manhattan. Our aim is to help our startups bridge the gap between their innovative ideas and stable business establishment. This is where human talent, ingenuity, and sourcing capital come together. 

Join the Alley Newsletter for updates on happenings at the Alley and throughout NYC. Organizing an event? We’d love to host at our space and help you get the word out - visit alleynyc.com/events to host your next event with us. You Rock!

Ask about our FREE event space promo going on now through April 2014!

Fiestah Wins Startup Battles: Superbowl Edition at AlleyNYC

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Thursday night’s Superbowl Edition of Startup Battles hosted at the AlleyNYC was a star-studded event attended by over 150 people. The grand prize of $50,000 in exclusive prizes doubled the value of the previous Startup Battles’ prize and heightened the competition between the eight startups lucky enough to present. Alley’s very own, Fiestah, a startup specializing in event planning, was the winner of the night after wowing the judges with its simple, personal, and professional service offered to event organizers.

Pumping beats, cool blue lighting, and the cheekiness of DJ Cipha Sounds and Brooklyn rapper, Maino, lightened the mood of normally uptight, button-down pitching events. The two artists’ witty remarks and humor throughout the night relieved some of the tension for presenters and warmed up the crowd’s vocal chords. Cipha commented, ‘Tonight we are here to see technological advancements into the future and stuff like that’. And we did.

The sold-out event featured three fantastic judges, including Maino, Swati Vakharia (Senior Director of Technology and Development at ESPN International), and Arie Abecassis (Managing Partner at DreamIt Ventures). Armed with an array of talents and expertise, they were ready to choose the winner of 50k in prizes.

Once Alley’s MC, Haithem Elembaby, announced the start of the pitches, the first startup, Preo, approached the stage. Here is a list of the eight startups, in order of presentation. They all offered something unique, from unconventional advertising to alcohol delivery to high-quality denim jeans, but there could only be one winner.

THE STARTUPS

Fiestah - 1st Place

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Aptly named, Fiestah helps you seamlessly plan a party, or celebration of some sort, so your event is a success. They offer a wide variety of event vendors from caterers to photographers to equipment and the service is totally free for event organizers.

*drumroll* AlleyNYC’s very own Fiestah won the grand prize! The lucky startup won $50,000 in prizes including exclusive access to Superbowl week VIP events, free access to the Soft Layer Catalyst Program, and $5000 in Amazon web services.

www.fiestah.com

Verbalize It - 2nd Place

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Strong contester for the grand prize was VerbalizeIt, a startup delivering access to thousands of quality translators around the world. Already securing partnerships with Rosetta Stone, Skype, and American Airlines, to name a few, Ryan Frankel (CEO and Co-Founder) is helping to reinvent global communication. The judges were very impressed with this entry and had a difficult time awarding first place. With its success and popularity so far, VerbalizeIt, is sure to hit the jackpot sometime soon.

www.verbalizeit.com

Install Media- Final Four

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Definitely the quirkiest startup to present was InStall Media, a startup specializing in toilet advertising. Jordan Silverman (Co-Founder) brought two toilet roll dispensers onto the stage and passed them to the judges for quality inspection. Perhaps this move cemented the idea that InStall Media is ‘changing the way people do their business’ because the judges flagged this startup through to the second round, much to the audience’s disbelief.

www.installmedia.com

CoatChex - Final Four

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Set up near the entrance to the event, CoatChex were doing what they do best: checking in people’s coats hassle-free. It was a clever move that garnered fans instantly and got people talking about them. It was also one reason why this startup got through the first round and why many people were upset that they didn’t go through to the final round. Better luck next time, CoatChex!

www.coatchex.com

Preo

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Want to save time when ordering drinks at a bar? Preo’s app lets you ‘elegantly order your drinks from anywhere’ saving you and wait staff a significant amount of time. Now bartenders and staff can focus on customer service and not waste their time processing orders the old-fashioned way. The team imagined a world with no lines, and now that’s a reality with Preo.

www.getpreo.com

Fanlime

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With his musical Trinidadian accent, Marc Farrell, graced the stage to talk about his sports-focused startup that ‘turns sports fans into consumers’. Do you follow your favorite athlete on social media to an almost obsessive level? If so, Fanlime might be a place you can feel a little more normal. You can buy, and ultimately wear, the exact same T-shirt that your favorite NBA or soccer or football player wears to channel your love in a cooler way.

www.fanlime.com

Booze Carriage

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Want a bottle of vodka delivered to your house within an hour… for free? Booze Carriage curates the best drinks with no mark-up prices. You can even buy kegs and gift drinks to much loved friends. Oh, and they deliver beer to Manhattanites 24/7!

www.boozecarriage.com

Mott and Bow

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Who knew denim and science could be mentioned in the same sentence? Mott & Bow makes premium-handcrafted jeans that make your so-so outfit into something special. The jeans are made in Honduras, the home of Founder, Alejandro Chahin, so you can be sure there’s a lot of love on your legs.

www.mottandbow.com

AlleyNYC is a 16,000 square ft. entrepreneurial hub located in Midtown Manhattan. Our aim is to help our startups bridge the gap between their innovative ideas and stable business establishment. This is where human talent, ingenuity, and sourcing capital come together. 

Join the Alley Newsletter for updates on happenings at the Alley and throughout NYC. Organizing an event? We’d love to host at our space and help you get the word out - visit alleynyc.com/events to host your next event with us. You Rock!

Ask about our FREE event space promo going on now through April 2014!

"Alley Weekly" Features Gilt CTO/Cofounder This Friday, 8/16

gilt-tech:

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AlleyNYC is one of the most active and vibrant co-working spaces in all of NYC, so we’re super-excited that they’ve invited Gilt CTO/Cofounder Michael Bryzek to present at Alley Weekly, their Friday speaker series. The event begins with a fireside chat at noon, followed by a Q&A session and, at 12:50 PM, lunch! Thanks to the AlleyNYC crew and Sam Hysell of Lean Startup Machine for organizing the event.

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