Startup News: David Karp And Rachel Sterne Get Judgemental and Louis C.K. Inspires a Startup

Robert Irvine tries to save Zynga and Dwolla takes a ride with HBO


Game Over? There seems to be a mass exodus at Zynga. It was reported yesterday that Wilson Kriegel, the former chief revenue officer of Omgpop, has now left the company. In the last 30 days, the company has lost its COO, CCO, and two vice presidents. Maybe it’s time for them to “draw something” different, like a new management plan.

A New Hope? In much better Zynga news, the company has partnered with Food Network’s Robert Irvine to help beef up its Chefville game. Mr. Irvine has introduced a series of challenges to help improve the game where you run your own restaurant. “I couldn’t be more honored to have an avatar of myself and Restaurant: Impossible be a part of ChefVille,” Robert Irvine said in a press release. “As we lend insight to players on what it takes to create their dream restaurant while earning my approval.”

Do It Live Livestream, the live video streaming service, announced full access to its suite of live video and live blogging tools. The suite includes encoding software for Mac and PC, ad-free event pages and mobile broadcasting to the web from their Livestream for Producers iPhone app. No ads during a broadcast? Perhaps they’ve been inspired by Occupy Wall Street’s Ustream’er Tim Pool.

Oh You Fancy Huh? Just in time for Christmas shoppers who like to get stuff done early, Fancy has just launched a group gifting platform that allows users to create a gift, invite others to contribute to it, then sends the gift to the recipient. They’ve also announced a partnership with American Express to help designers like Prabal Gurung sell their goods on Fancy, while giving buyers rewards like cash back for big purchases.

Droid BFF’s Sonar, the friend-finding app with the cute submarine mascot, just launched a version for Android. Along with the Android release, Sonar is adding six more language options to the app. The startup also slipped in a version of the android mascot (Andy Roid) into their app to chat with new users.

Tha Envelope Plz The Webby Awards have announced some new judges for this year’s ceremony including Rachel Sterne and David Karp. Other new influencers on the panel include OK Go‘s lead singer Damien Kulash and Laughing Squid founder Scott Beale. Sounds viral enough to us.

Not Soup In case you weren’t subscribed to enough luxury-lifestyle magazines, now there’s DuJour. They already have three million subscribers through a glitzy partnership with Gilt Groupe. Their site is pretty glamorous and should trigger a consumerist impulse or two.

Get The Artists Rich Louis C.K.’s novel idea of independently selling tickets to his comedy shows has sparked a new venture called Open Source. It allows creators to sell tickets or accept donations without going through the big ticket companies or any expensive vendors. Quick, test it out before Dane Cook makes it uncool.

Ride or Die The team from Dwolla, the app that lets you send and receive money to other users, captured their ride in a special 1920’s vehicle that was part of a promotion for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. The group told a passerby to download Uber in order to book his own ride in the car. We hope there was some sort of commission?

Bach To Relevance 92nd Street Y is attempting to rebrand Johann Sebastian Bach through an interactive keyboard website. Each key has a different video that shows you something about Bach you’ve never thought of before, like Lady Gaga’s connection to the classical man, and cats enjoying Bach.

Our Two Favorite Adjectives Quirky and Fab have teamed up to sell a slew of custom designed iPhone 5 accessories. They have some shiny colorful cases, as well as this wallet/phone case that we’re really digging.

Startup News: David Karp And Rachel Sterne Get Judgemental and Louis C.K. Inspires a Startup