News / USA

    2nd Digital Revolution is Potential Bonanza for Innovative Startups

    'Internet Week New York' showcases city's latest digital developments

    Time magazine calls New York City a hotbed of technical innovation and selected 10 of the city’s most promising startups.
    Time magazine calls New York City a hotbed of technical innovation and selected 10 of the city’s most promising startups.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The buzz was palpable at “Internet Week New York,” a digital culture festival. With more than 300,000 workers employed in New York’s technology sector, and nearly $2 billion in dot-com and online companies, Internet Week is one of the most closely watched events in the wired world.

    Festival chairman David-Michel Davies is director of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which co-presented the event along with the New York City Mayor’s office. He says new online platforms, such as smartphones, are sparking a second digital revolution for consumers, creating a potential bonanza for start-up entrepreneurs.

    "Since we have these new platforms, they are just ripe for people to come in and make them even more useful. Like how can we make that mobile phone more useful? How can it improve people’s daily lives? Obviously we’ve been doing this on the Web for decades at this point, but there is still so much room and space that can still be explored.”

    Internet Week festival chairman David-Michel Davies says new online platforms, such as smartphones, are sparking a second digital revolution, creating a potential bonanza for start-up entrepreneurs.
    Internet Week festival chairman David-Michel Davies says new online platforms, such as smartphones, are sparking a second digital revolution, creating a potential bonanza for start-up entrepreneurs.

    Foodspotting.com is one of Time Inc’s “Ten Startups to Watch” program. Online restaurant reviews have been around for years, Davies says. But Foodspotting allows people to upload reviews of particular dishes, along with photos of their meals.   

    “I love barbecue. So where can I get the best brisket? You can go into Foodspotting and actually search ‘brisket in New York City’ and you can actually see pictures of all the different brisket dishes at all the different barbeque places with ratings and so forth," says Davies.

    Groups of friends who want to ensure that no one gets lost on the way to that special out-of-the-way restaurant can use GroupMe, another new online site that allows free group messaging to and from any mobile phone - almost like a private chatroom.

    Those who simply want to relax at home watching TV, but are unsure what to watch might want to try SocialGuide.com. With Socialguide, viewers can use a mobile device to post comments about a show while they're watching it. Socialguide then ranks the show based on its social popularity.

    Sean Casey, co-founder of SocialGuide, which is billed as the first real time TV guide and social TV platform.
    Sean Casey, co-founder of SocialGuide, which is billed as the first real time TV guide and social TV platform.

    Co-founder Sean Casey says the site offers information and the experience of online community, while also offering his partners and investors huge potential profits.

    “The business side is that anytime anybody is talking about TV as TV airs, we are capturing that conversation," Casey says. "So that data is very, very important to a bunch of people. Networks are interested in that data. Advertisers are interested in that data. So our plan is to create a data product that we can sell back to networks and to advertisers so they can know what are the most socially engaging TV shows that people are liking and talking about.”

    Other consumer-oriented startups include Yipit, which consolidates online bargains and makes them available in one searchable database, and I-Ella, an invite-only website that allows fashion lovers to put their wardrobes online and to buy, swap, sell or lend their clothes to other fashionistas. Buyers pay a 10 percent transaction fee which benefits their favorite charities.

    What about a quick and easy way to pay the bills? Enter Manilla, a secure, free online service that consolidates all household accounts onto one page accessible through a single password. It also offers payment reminders. The arrangement appeals to businesses as well.

    “Businesses today spend tons of money and tons of waste in paper and postage. The Internet has been around for 15 years, and on average only 15 percent of bills are actually paperless. And it’s costing businesses a fortune," says Jim Schinella, a Manilla co-founder. "So for a business we create this wonderful relationship.”

    Just which dot-com ideas will produce the next Google, Facebook, eBay or Netflix is anyone’s guess. But it was clear from the excitement at Internet Week New York that the desire to digitally connect with others for fun or profit or both is as boundless as the Internet itself.   

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora