Rumors & Acquisitions: Starry-Eyed Edition

TECH STARS ARE THE NEW ROCK STARS. After some last-minute indecision, TechStarsNY has selected the summer class and is now drawing up contracts. There were about 1,000 applicants for this round, according to TechStars, which whittled those down to 30 candidates who received their rejection and acceptance letters over the last two weeks. “Didn’t make it into the cool kids club,” one applicant lamented to Betabeat, while we’ve heard others have already started working in the incubator’s space at Pivotal Labs. So who’s in? So far we’ve confirmed there will be more than a dozen start-ups in this class, including an ad tech start-up, a food delivery start-up, and a fashion start-up.

INTERN EXTRAVAGANZA. Want to keep your start-up lean? Two words: College students. New York City start-ups are picking up unpaid labor from NYU, Craigslist, family and friends, Twitter–wherever they can find it. Hashable let go of two developers a few months ago as it added marketing interns; CityPockets has four interns, two for each co-founder. But the most sought-after unpaid gig in the city, Betabeat heard, has got to be Foursquare. “There is a developer just working there for free,” a local coder marveled yesterday.

HOT SAUSAGE. Many of the incubators/co-working spaces in the city are oversubscribed, with dozens of hopeful freelancers and entrepreneurs relegated to wait lists. Yet some spaces are struggling to replace start-ups that move out. The reason? They want to bring more women in. Dogpatch Labs, for example, has just a handful of women; same with Projective Space. WeWork Labs is aiming for a 50-50 split, co-founder Matt Shampine said this morning. “The women who are there want more women.”

REVERSE ENGINEERING. Investors have taken to ordering up start-ups. In an interview yesterday, Collaborative Fund’s Craig Shapiro floated an idea to Betabeat that he’s hoping some entrepreneur will build–a universal reputation score–making him the second investor to wish out loud for this idea in our presence in the past two weeks. Mr. Shapiro was enthusiastic about the prospect that anyone might pick up his idea–Alexis Ohanian, for example, or even Betabeat. A few weeks ago, Jordan Cooper of Lerer Ventures blogged about a closed network where you could talk to your friends about your love life, and have the evidence melt away. He offered a local developer funding and a desk to build the thing, and the entrepreneur is considering it. At an event this week, a founder approached RRE’s Stuart Ellman and said he was thinking of leaving his current business to start something new. Ellman told him to just come in and workshop ideas until they found something he was willing to back. Sounds like a new way to source deals–find some mercenary entrepreneurs and pay them to make the start-up you don’t have time to do yourself.

CHEATERS ON DECK. Wily coders are gaming the system on by writing scripts to take over the song selection, some say. Stations like the Coding Soundtrack room get up to hundreds of listeners, meaning competition gets fierce for the five DJ spots. In a room full of developers, it was only so long before someone tried to cheat–friends are also trading off DJ spots via backroom discussions on instant message–or possibly IRL. But we doubt that.

ALSO, TURNTABLE ‘ALMOST CERTAINLY RAISING ANOTHER ROUND,’ right now, an investor told Betabeat, but co-founder Seth Goldstein has enough personal wealth to float the start-up until the round closes. Not that they’ll have any trouble considering how many investors are completely addicted. Rumors & Acquisitions: Starry-Eyed Edition