The New Yorkers are hacking. Rep the Silicon Alley.
"There’s always been a gap between what’s possible with crypto and what people actually do, largely due to poor user interface. There has to be a better way for people to acquire a user’s keys other than some crazy web of trust.
Whether you want to give someone SSH access to a machine, or you’re downloading software from the internet that you need to use in your own software - something as simple as JQuery - proving rightful ownership of keys is difficult. There are a number of times that we found this problem with keys, and we thought it was a common pain point, particularly for programmers.
"You’re on your way to class and you have to pick up a package from a random FedEx office. You need to know what’s the best way to get there, and do you even have the time to go.
You don’t have a mapping system on your mobile device that allows you to put in more than two destinations. Google Maps and Apple Maps don’t tell you how to get to four, five or six destinations at a time. Pilot is that multi-destination routing system.
"It’s always been this attitude of where are you gonna work or which big company are you working for? It’s never what are you making or what are you trying to do for yourself? So we’re trying to change that. I’ll be the director of a program called Startup Semester and the goal is to just promote entrepreneurship on campus, and to just change Atlanta from the go work for Coke and HP to go start something and build something big."
"I’m inspired by companies who consistently deliver imaginative and delightful products to their customers. Disney. Lego. Pixar. Nintendo. Apple.
At YouNow, we believe in creating magical experiences. YouNow makes it easy for anyone to broadcast live, and get an audience of people to watch them in a matter of seconds. We are connecting real people in real time, and providing content creators with a fun way to engage with their fans and earn money for their talent.”
Dorian leads product at YouNow, a live broadcasting social network.
"Every entrepreneur I know of is willing to work hard, get dirty, and do something most people could never dream of. A little over a year ago, I left a cool, high paying job at Google to clean houses. It seemed like a crazy thing to do, but I saw the magic in my willingness to get dirty and pursue my true passion for making sure everyone has a clean, comfortable & well-kept home. Since then, Blessee has grown to the point that I’m no longer doing any of the cleanings, but there have been many payoffs from that initial experience, like being able to have compassion for the people I hire, and having the ability to channel their perspective as I make decisions that end up affecting their work experience."
A year ago, Camille left Google to start Blessee, a new residential cleaning company.
"One time I was hungry after class and wanted to eat with someone, and I thought why can’t I just open my phone and see who else wants to eat? Why do I have to text a bunch of my friends who might not be free, who might not even answer me? Why can’t I simply open my phone and find someone to eat with? It’s such a simple idea that everyone should have thought about at some point and we’re just hoping to be the app that solves the problem."
Paul & Omar created Sponta, a social networking app that let’s you find out which of your friends are free to grab food.
"A problem I had while at NYU was not knowing what everyone was up to. NYU is such a large school with so many students and no real central campus in one of the busiest cities in the world. The tradeoff of going to a school in a city with so many options is that there can be a lack of campus community. I created an app that helped organize that community, but found running a startup by myself was a lot of work."
David created Momentum, an app that curates event, and just joined Fever. He is now heading their nightlife division to create a fun community for all of New York City.
"I don’t want to be defined by one profile. I have a lot of different things going on in my head — sometimes I wanna meet artists and sometimes I wanna meet people in commercial real estate. I want to meet them in the same place without having to search through different apps for different things. So, I started thinking where are all my ideas contained right now and right now it’s my notebook. What if there was a way for me to actually use all those thoughts inside my head and all the notes that I’ve been writing to start matching me with other people?"
Chris is a developer working on Posyt, a mobile app that let’s you connect with others via ideas & notes.
"I think one of our greatest strengths so far is our flexibility. It’s not that we’re messing up less than anyone else - I think we’re probably messing up more at this stage than our competitors - but it’s our ability to change and adapt that gives us the greatest competitive advantage. Our network of student testers gives us the flexibility to tackle the kind of projects that no other QA firm is able to."
Noah and Lorenzo built Early Adopter Network, a company that provides quality assurance testing and other pre-launch services for startups via a network of student beta-testers.
"I learned by doing a lot of tutorials, rather than by taking a class. The first thing that just blew me away was a simple example that, wherever I touched the screen, a simple blue box would spin to my finger. Coding gave me this unreal power over the world inside this device— it was mindblowing.
You can’t think of a phone like a computer because it has this whole emotional component. People feel for their phone, whether for good or for bad. They think of it as their own little world, their own little aquarium or whatever, and they don’t want it to betray them. They don’t want it to crash, forget things, or look like anyone else’s phone. Developers should appreciate that bond.”
Drew is a bio-engineer turned patent attorney turned iOS developer. When he’s not working at a large pharmaceutical company, he’s building Smith & Sons.
Despite all of our research, there’s always new stuff coming out that we’ve never thought of. We’re at the cusp of a great change in technology, everyone always says that about novel inventions. But this is something that people can feel and touch. This is actually a replicator from Star Trek and that is what makes it so amazing. For engineers, it’s rapid prototyping, they don’t have to go to a lab and pay so much money to try out new ideas. Think of all the inventions that will come out of that. For kids, to be able to feel and touch a plastic sarcophagus even though they’re thousands of miles from the real thing. We can’t wait to see where this field goes.
Yvan and Vincent started Rasabox after reading an Economist article about the future of additive manufacturing. After some discussion, they realized that one day when everyone owns a 3D printer at home, there would need to be someone to ferry designs to consumers all over the world. On reflection they realized that they should try to be this someone.
"We recently received a negative review on the app store from a more senior professional. She said, ‘The sole glitch is that the app caters to a young professional generation.’ We’re trying to be a young professional app, so we were happy to hear we’re doing a good job. We want Coffee to be the platform for young people to get comfortable being professionals by networking with other young professionals & discovering jobs they can be passionate about."
CoffeeTheApp aims to connect the next generation of professionals through a mobile networking platform as a casual way to build your network.
“You don’t need an MBA to be some guy or girl who started a big company. If you’re really interested in building a big business, you have to really go all in. You can’t really do it half-way. There are a lot of people who try to keep their job while trying to go and do it at the same time. The level of commitment is not going to be there. When you go all in just make sure you have a really good plan and make sure your idea is really really rock solid, the best way to test your idea and to figure out how good / bad it is, ask someone who really hates your guts…if they can’t come up with a good reason to release that anger, then you are in a good place.”
When Amit isn’t in school, he’s leading 25 developers at AIT Consulting to work with companies that range from technology startups and Fortune 500 companies.
"There’s something, I think, called the Designer’s Crisis. At some point, you wonder where you’re going in this field and why you’re doing what you’re doing — Is it important? Is it relevant? I think in design, there’s a lot of pressure to change the world from ambitious programs that give you these amazing opportunities and methodologies in which you can fix huge complex problems. There’s a lot of pressure to go out and do that but often that’s very difficult to do. You get caught up in the industry or working for somebody else and you don’t quite feel like you’re meeting those expectations, that perhaps you set for yourself. It’s hard not knowing if what you’re doing is valuable or valued."
Richard is a designer who recently graduated from the Products of Design Masters program at SVA and created The Cloud, an interactive lamp and speaker system that mimics a thundercloud.