Archive | November, 2014

9 things I’m thankful for this month: tech, reading and family

30 Nov

As November comes to a close, here is a wrap-up of good things I discovered this month and told all my friends and family about, especially during Thanksgiving weekend. They’ve heard enough, so now I’m sharing it here. 🙂 

1.The little keyboard I bought for my ipad turned it into a netbook for under $40 – if we don’t factor in the money I spent on the iPad mini a couple of years ago. My accountant friend told me it’s a “sunk cost,” so I’m correct in saying this was a great deal. Not to hype it up too much or anything, but I do think I’m onto a new trend of switching out bulky laptops for lighter tablet/keyboard combos. At least when traveling, anyway.

ipad mini with keyboard

My ipad looks like a netbook with it’s keyboard case

2. I created a Contently profile a couple of weeks ago (https://daniellebrody.contently.com/). It presents all my clips visually, plus it tabulated all these numbers of shares each article got which I didn’t even know happened. Not only did it make me feel more popular, but their Freelancer articles make me feel less alone. Like in one, someone mentioned how they write stories at home in their PJs. Not that I do that or anything…

3. Evernote. This goes along with my iPad happiness. I type my notes on Evernote and start writing my blog post right there on the train. At home I go on to my laptop, sign on to Evernote, and I pick up where I left off. Thank you cloud.

4. Wearables! Ok, I don’t actually own any techie wearables yet, but I keep reading about them, hearing talk about them and have seen plenty of startups getting in on the space. There’s just so much potential! Especially for health and prevention.

Of course I see potential for getting obsessed with tracking our body data, but we all learn our boundaries with new technology. (RIP crackberries) And information breaches. The fact that technology keeps getting closer and closer to our bodies does make me a little wary. Once we all start wearing these watches, the only barrier is our skin, which leads me to believe in 50 years we’ll actually be comfortable putting tech into our bodies.

(Cicret may be the first real transition to that, have you seen it?! http://www.cicret.com/wordpress/)

I think I’ll be ready to purchase a wearable in a few months. I’m less of an early adopter and more of a researcher (like I’ve looked at this: http://readwrite.com/2014/11/27/wearable-smartwatch-holiday-gift-guide-2014) when it comes to buying new technology.

Any recommendations on great wearables?

5. IBM Watson. I went to two events in the past few weeks where Watson, known to many as IBM’s Jeopardy king, has come up with recipes that I got to eat. I bet you didn’t know Watson creates recipes based on the science of what combinations taste good. Being that he’s an information-packed computer, it’s not a surprise. At Uncubed on Nov. 14, IBM served Watson-created trail mix and truffle oil rosemary infused popcorn. Watson is all brains though, meaning he doesn’t actually cook. So I kind of want my own Watson, but I think I could survive with a low-tech version (below), or the Internet until he goes mainstream.

 

6. Finding the book What Should I Do With My Life. This book stood out to me at a library book sale because I’m ruminating over that question. I know what you’re thinking – recent grad book bait. That may be true of the book I Just Graduated…Now What, which, side note, I started reading and was disappointed. How can I relate to Katherine Schwarzenegger, who nonchalantly writes about interning at CNN, co-hosting with Anderson Cooper and her mom giving the commencement speech?! Anyway…the book I’m reading now is for the commoner and written by one too. I happen to be about 12 years late on this best-seller since it was published in 2002. I’m glad it has a second life with me. I don’t quite have an answer to the question yet, but I’m loving reading about other people’s stories of how they found their calling.

7. If you haven’t heard about it by now, Serial, is awesome. It’s a podcast that digs deep into one 1999 murder case. Listening to a story, not watching, strips away distractions and allows me to focus on the narration and hear nuances in all of the characters’ voices, which is how real detectives investigate a crime. The medium of the story is kind of raw, but has also been well-produced, making it totally captivating.

8. Thanksgiving! I had a wonderful day cooking with my family and then eating, of course. I had to include a few pictures.

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9. In the same vein, I’m thankful for friends, family and followers! When I was in high school, I started the school’s first blog, Edgeonline. This was 2009. Blogging had been a bit taboo and it was extremely difficult to get people on board. A lot has changed in the past five years. Now having a blog is normal, but still, the support means a lot.

If you’re into any of these things or want to talk about them more, reach out or leave a comment! I love to chat.

 

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Video Startups Present at NY Video

25 Nov

Four video startups presented at NY Video hosted by Steven Rosenbaum of Waywire at the AOL office on November 21, 2014.

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Videum uses videos and translation technology to make health and medical information universal. Videum has about 5,000 educational videos that are translated by humans and Google or Bing into 72 languages reaching 87 countries.

“There’s quite an appetite out there for health content,” said President and CEO Paul Dinsmore. “Health care content is bigger than celebrity news.”

The company plans to make revenue through a B2B and B2C and syndicate with advertising.

IMG_4093.JPGWith Magisto users can do something with the videos and photos sitting on their phones, a phenomenon the VP Marketing Communications calls a “national crisis.” The app uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to automatically select the best moments of footage to make a video with customized styles and music in a few minutes.

“We are passionate about the idea that people can be storytellers,” said Paula Batson, VP Marketing Communications. “You can take that data and turn it into movies that have emotion and can touch people you want to share with.”

More than 5,000 videos have been made with the app and shared on social media and through email. Magisto is working with brands to enable them to portray their message through users’ stories and also have a freemium model for the consumer.

Thrive uses video to eliminate the need to open 10 tabs to research one activity. The Thrive team creates premium movie content about four themes – travel, music, culture and fashion. One video features Breakneck, a hike in Cold Spring, NY, showing how to get there, what’s it’s like when you’re there and what other people have to say about it.

Their revenue model is to work with sponsors to support a certain amount of videos and eventually have e-commerce, like selling activities. They plan to launch the site in early February.

IMG_4091.JPGVideolicious makes it simple to create professional videos in minutes. Many clients are TV stations, newspapers and branding firms. With the app, users can create packages quickly by adding b-roll and sounds bites from videos they have already taken. Co-founder/CEO Matt Singer said Videolicious does not replace premium video, it creates more types of quality video in the middle of the spectrum.

Live Braille Wins at Ultra Light Startups Investor Feedback Forum

24 Nov

Eight entrepreneurs competed at an Ultra Light Startups pitch night at at the Microsoft building in Times Square on November 13, 2014.

Screen shot 2014-11-23 at 11.08.13 PM

LiveBraille, a startup with technology that could eliminate the blind’s need for a cane, won the audience’s vote as the winner of the ULS pitch night, as well as other great startup essentials like office space, consulting and more.

The eights startups each gave a two-minute pitch followed by questions and advice from a panel of investors. Nikhil Kalghatgi of Vast Ventures, Owen Davis of NYC Seed, David Teten of ff Venture Capital and Marc Michel of Metamorphic Ventures were on the panel. Nikhil won the audience’s pick for favorite judge.

Top 3

LiveBraille makes a low-cost 5-sensor glove that uses sonar technology to give a feeling of orientation to those without sight. The company has a patent on the product, which has been tested on 150 users. The glove is washable and water-resistant and is sensitive to the environment – even potholes in India.

The overall feedback was to consider other markets to expand the technology, like the military. Investors also suggested putting the sensor on shirts rather than just gloves, and thinking of more revenue streams.

Pijon: This package company gets brands into impressionable college students’ dorm rooms and reminds them to call home. The company has sold over 23,000 monthly packages to college students that are packed with $30-65 of curated items, like snacks, beauty supplies, etc.

The investors said Pijon should aim to become the preferred vendors at colleges, and of course, consider other markets. They also advised to make their company compelling so people choose Pijon over competitors and subscribe each month.

Meals to Heal: Malnutrition is often an overlooked problem among cancer patients. Inspired by friend who died of brain tumor, Susan Bratton started a company that delivers individualized meals to cancer patients and their caregivers. Revenue comes from weekly meal sales, subscriptions and nutritional counseling. The company also has some b2b partnerships with big box stores like Walgreens.

The judges advised Bratton to clarify why her company is better than other food delivery companies like Fresh Direct and to think about other possible markets.

The other competiting startups

Ketchup: This is a mobile newsreader app for news junkies who are always on their phones. It not only has recent headlines, but a timeline with summaries of related stories.

Jukebox: With this app, you have a say in what music you hear when you leave your house or take out your headphones. The app connects to the speaker system at venues like bars and restaurants.

Tent square: This site dismantles the barriers to enter the movie industry by funding community-created projects. The crowd-powered entertainment and discovery site has about 12,000 members that can assemble movie casts, vote on plotlines and more for the in-platform projects.

Hackers Collective solves a catch-22 in the startup world – in order to get capital you need traction, but in order to get traction you need capital. The site builds a community of peers and users around your product. It also serves as a platform to crowd-fund and discover early stage startups and collaborate.

Job Elevation aims to fundamentally change the job search for the sales profession. The visual online platform allows salespeople to pick what they’re interested in and filter it by sector, location and seniority.

Read the full version at Office Lease Center http://bit.ly/1xDZQzO.