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

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

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.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs