Ori Allon, the charmed entrepreneur who has already sold one company to Google and another to Twitter, has been feverishly working on his third—Urban Compass. So far, Mr. Allon and founder Robert Reffkin won’t even say what Urban Compass does. But that air of mystery hasn’t slowed the company’s growth—they have raised $8 million from an impressive group of seed funders including Goldman Sachs, AmEx CEO Ken Chenault and Thrive Capital*. The start-up now has 18 employees and counting.
One of those 18 offers a clue to what Urban Compass will actually involve, and our guess is real estate. As first reported by The Real Deal, Gordon Golub, who was an Executive Vice President at Citi Habitats, left after 18 years to join Mr. Allon and Mr. Reffkin.
The New York Daily News‘ Scott Cohen, who was tasked with a key piece of the tabloid’s survival as the editor of the paper’s website, is leaving after four years. He’s off to go work at a startup.
A lot of startups these days are achieving massive, billion-dollar valuations based on the big bets investors are taking on them.
Sometimes these companies have real revenue, or profit, like Facebook and Groupon.
But sometimes this enthusiasm is based on how much hype the company has in the press, or how fast it is growing Read More
A few months after The Observer examined the flight of software engineers from Wall Street firms, The Wall Street Journal has a follow-on article of sorts focusing on how high-frequency trading outfits are trying to refashion themselves to appeal to programmers.
One example of silicon-flecked culture making its way into the hard-nosed world Read More
Where does some of the best coding get done? In coffee shops. Where do some of the biggest deals close? Over drinks.
This thread on the Q&A site Quora sparked a conversation this week about where entrepreneurs and investors like to hang out in the city. Investor Charlie O’Donnell of First Round Capital followed Read More
All that power
Michael’s, in Midtown, has long been considered New York’s preeminent media spot to power lunch. When George Gurley interviewed Ann Coulter for a story in The Observer, there’s a reason he took her to Michael’s. He wanted to rattle her with proximity to the MSM.
But with newspapers in the red and hot startups hogging Read More
Want to lose weight? Learn Italian? Be the master of your holiday shopping? Meet goal-oriented startup Fitango, based in Midtown and officially launching next week.
Fitango.com offers a catalog of goals broken into day-by-day “Actionplans” and a social network to pressure you to complete them. Fitango is banking on the quirks of human willpower–goals Read More
In 1995, I won a poetry contest for kids on Compuserve. The prize was an America’s Funniest Home Videos t-shirt. Once I
repressed got over my dad’s refusal to let me get AOL (FATHER, WHY?!) thereby rendering me a giant loser/pariah who couldn’t instant message, I became hooked on using the internet for everything Read More
There’s plenty of tech talent in Israel, but it’s not staying in the promised land.
Entrepreneurs at Israeli tech startups still depend heavily on the U.S., as “one of the pioneers of the venture industry” told the Wall Street Journal. Israeli entrepreneurs find that they have to come to New York to get access Read More
So many Silicon Alley startups who crushed it in 2010, it’s tough to pick just ten. In fact, some observers, like prominent local VC Fred Wilson, fear that the amount of money flowing into tech startups is becoming a bubble.
But for now, let’s toast to the winners. A more reasonable take can surely wait Read More