Startup News: Ashton Invests in Bitcoin, Hacking Sandy, and Shaving Heads (and Hopefully Neckbeards) For Cancer

Bitcoins come to Amazon and Birchbox partners with Women's Health Magazine.

Photo: New York Daily News

NYC Hackathon Goes Sandy Themed Since the NYC tech community basically lost their minds during the week without power that was Hurricane Sandy, the theme of this year’s Disruptor Cup Hackathon, which kicked off yesterday, will be emergency preparedness, response, and long-term recovery. Started by Craig Hatkoff, cofounder of the Tribeca Film Festival, the Disruptor Cup will run until April 15, when a panel of judges will announce the winner to an audience of angel investors, media, and other tech personalities. Our idea: an app that helps users find the nearest wine store with power during an emergency.

Ashton Kutcher Raking In The Bitcoins Because credit cards, Paypal and checks weren’t enough payment options for you, BitPay, one of the largest bitcoin payment processors, has now integrated its bitcoin payment system with so that Amazon can accept the online payment method. Bitcoins are great for users who want to pay for products in a different monetary system such as the Euro, and it is also maintains a smaller online profile. This announcement comes shortly after Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade Investments joined with Ben Davenport and Trace Mayer in another round of seed founding for BitPay.

I’m On A (Rental) Boat So you just saw Life of Pi and now you’re inspired to travel across the oceans. There’s one problem though; you can’t afford a boat. Well new website, which just released its first “post-Alpha version”, could be your solution. Think of it as the Airbnb for boats; users can find a range of user-posted boats, from sailboats to yachts, and can rent them directly from the owner for customized rates and hours. Soon you’ll be out on your Ang Lee-inspired adventure (tiger not included). Just make sure to return your boat on time, you don’t want to get into a Michael Arrington situation.

NetApp Hosts Head Shaving Event For Cancer Computer storage and data management website NetApp will partner with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation tomorrow to raise money for child cancer research by having volunteering employees and family members shave their heads. New York Giants player Justin Tuck will also participate this year, the seventh time the company has partnered with St. Baldrick’s. Last year NetApp raised $310,000 for the St. Balkdrick’s Foundation, and their initial goal for this year is $200,000. How can they top last year’s total? One suggestion: shave the neckbeards too.

Birchbox Makes Getting In Shape Less Labor Intensive Birchbox, the website which sends out monthly packages of sample lifestyle and beauty products to its customers, announced a partnership with Women’s Health Magazine on Monday to send out a “Tiny Tweaks, Big Results”-themed box, which is being curated by Women’s Health editors. The ourth partnership for Birchbox, the Women’s Health box aims, “to deliver smart, simple solutions and actionable advice for women to look and feel their best.”

Brooklyn Public Library Saves Us From Librarians Brooklyn Public Library released their new “MY BPL” app on Monday, giving you one more reason not to have to talk to that creepy librarian ever again. The app, available on iOS and Android devices, allows users to search library catalogs, manage their library account, search for local branches, and scan ISBN numbers to search for available copies in the system. The app release is part of BPL’s push to increase laptop and eReader availability to Brooklynites, especially in low income neighborhoods.

Senior Tech Center Opens, Saves Us From Our Parents’ Tech Problems Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) will launch the nation’s first “senior focused technology center”, The Senior Planet Exploration Center, tomorrow night alongside a panel discussion on “Closing the Technology Gap for Older Americans.” The center, located at 127 West 25th Street, will provide classes and information on how to use computers and other technologies as well as provide more advanced instruction for New York seniors. Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer will be on hand to participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Thousands of New York children can now breath a sigh of relief knowing they won’t have to help Grandma find her email ever again.

Fab Releases Andy Warhol Brillo Box Pouf In their third high-profile collaboration, art design website Fab announced they will release a newly-designed Andy Warhol Brillo Box, which “pays tribute to the Brillo Box originally designed by Warhol in 1964.” The foam stools are now available for pre-sale, and will be officially unveiled April 9 at MOST in Milan.

Startup News: Ashton Invests in Bitcoin, Hacking Sandy, and Shaving Heads (and Hopefully Neckbeards) For Cancer