Bitcoin Forum
November 19, 2017, 07:43:21 AM *
News: Latest stable version of Bitcoin Core: 0.15.1  [Torrent].
 
   Home   Help Search Donate Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: [2015-06-24] WSJ: Brooklyn Startups Pitch Spacesuits, Bitcoin Apps  (Read 273 times)
This is a self-moderated topic. If you do not want to be moderated by the person who started this topic, create a new topic.
chmod755
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1148


View Profile WWW
June 24, 2015, 11:12:10 PM
 #1

Brooklyn Startups Pitch Spacesuits, Bitcoin Apps

In a 900-square-foot Brooklyn Navy Yard studio earlier this week, the employees of spacesuit manufacturer Final Frontier Design were welding fabrics and planning designs.

Amid the activity, co-founder Ted Southern was rehearsing a two-minute pitch that could win his firm $50,000.

Move over, artisanal pickles and mayonnaise: There are new entrepreneurs in Brooklyn.

Final Frontier is one of 10 Brooklyn-based startups competing on Thursday in a pitch contest reminiscent of the television show “Shark Tank.” The contest is organized by the local development corporation Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, with prize money coming from Partnership co-chairs MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and chief executive of Forest City Ratner Cos., and Bre Pettis, founder of 3-D-printing company MakerBot.

In judging the companies, Mr. Pettis said he would be looking for leadership, obsessiveness and unique strengths. The funding could go all to one company or could be distributed among several finalists, he added.

For Joswell Valdez, co-founder of the mobile app sync.cr, the scariest part is the question period.

“I’m sharpening up,” said Mr. Valdez. “Four minutes is long, you know? They could give you some tough questions.”

His app allows for the delivery of bitcoin, a type of digital currency, through social-media accounts. Mr. Valdez, who works out of a startup lab in Dumbo, said the app will be particularly useful for sending payments between countries with different currencies.

“We were interested in bitcoin because it’s world-wide,” said Mr. Valdez. “It has no barriers or politics.”

“They’d pop out of their bulletproof limos and we’d never hear from them again,” she said.

Now, about 10% of the city’s tech jobs are in Brooklyn, according to a 2014 study by consulting firm HR&A Advisors. The Brooklyn Tech Triangle, which comprises Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn and the Navy Yard, contributes $3.1 billion to Brooklyn’s economy, according to a 2012 Urbanomics study.

The borough also continues to be cheaper than Manhattan for entrepreneurs on shoestring budgets. In May, the average rental rate of office space in Brooklyn was $37.24 a square foot, compared with $70.13 in Manhattan, according to research by commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.

According to Mr. Pettis, Brooklyn offers another strength: raw talent. “There is a Brooklyn spirit,” he said. “People in Brooklyn have grit.”

Besides Final Frontier and sync.cr, finalists include the recycling app Intellibins and the service Happy Any Hour, which links drinkers with bar discounts.

For Jason Kass, the president and founder of finalist Toilets for People, it will be a particular challenge to explain his company’s business model because many potential customers live in slums or the developing world.

The company makes the Crapper, which stands for the Compact Rotating Aerobic Pollution-Prevention Excreta Reducer. The toilet composts waste without water.

While toilets suffer from a bit of an image problem, associating them with Brooklyn is a plus, said Mr. Kass, who lives in Park Slope.

“As much as you can make toilets cool, you need to lean into that,” he said.

Final Frontier was founded in 2010 by Mr. Southern, an artist, and Nikolay Moiseev, an aerospace engineer. It has received about $500,000 from the U.S. government and has a NASA Small Business Innovation Research contract to develop gloves for astronauts to wear on Mars.

On Monday, after drafting his pitch the night before and realizing it was roughly four minutes instead of two, Mr. Southern was doing a bit of writing.

The company has built five versions of spacesuits, he said, but is now working on gear appropriate for Brooklyn-based explorers.

“The space market is a long game,” Mr. Southern said. “Over the last year, we’ve pivoted towards the terrestrial market.”

An investment at this point, he said, would allow the company to purchase specialty equipment that would allow for even more production in-house, in Brooklyn.

Mr. Southern paused, suddenly reflective.

“That’s the last word of the pitch,” he said. “Brooklyn.”



Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/brooklyn-startups-pitch-spacesuits-bitcoin-apps-1435179936

Edit: full article added, because it's paywalled and there's no Bitcoin payment option.
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Sponsored by , a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!