New York’s startup community relived its fondest science fair memories Thursday with the inaugural NY Tech Day, a showcase for 180 start-ups that demonstrated some of the breadth and depth of the local tech scene. The event attracted more than 4,500 attendees, who got to squeeze by each other in the Lexington Armpry as they checked out booths from an array of startups, some big but most of them just getting out of the gates.
With that many start-ups and a limited amount of time, I wasn’t able to hit every booth. But I wanted to highlight a handful that caught my eye.
Unroll.me — Unroll.me offers users a way to tame their email inboxes, making it easy to get rid of unwanted email newsletters while keying in on the stuff they want. The service works with Gmail now and will have Yahoo support in the next couple of weeks. Users of the product can easily see which newsletters they’ve subscribed to and can quickly delete any of them from a list. They can also select certain newsletters and have them rolled up in a daily email that summarizes the emails and lets people click on them for further reading. And soon they’ll be able to categorize their email newsletters and enroll in new newsletters right from Unroll.me.
MyStream — This app lets people share their music and playlists with the people around them, creating a Turntable.fm-like experience in the real world. Users create playlists of their music library on MyStream and when others with the app are nearby, they can either hear what you’re playing at the time or they can get access to your playlists if you give them permission. MyStream is able to support up to five people on a Bluetooth connection or 30 people on Wi-Fi. It could be a way for people to discover you and your musical tastes by finding your MyStream profile at a venue.
BiteHunter — BiteHunter aggregates local deals for restaurants, but it’s more than just a more narrow version of Yipit. The service, which offers 50,000 deals a day from Groupon, Restaurants.com, Gilt, Living Social and others, works to recommend the best deals for people based on Yelp reviews, pricing and popularity of the deal. It also includes local reviews, pictures, information and menus from restaurants, pulled from Yelp, LocalEats, and SinglePlatform. And now with the most recent update to 2.0 two weeks ago, users can buy a deal quickly without leaving the app. Users can enter in their information ahead of time or connect their accounts on different deal platforms to BiteHunter and when they buy, the transaction happens with one click.
Mobli — Mobli is vying to be the next Instagram, with its ability to share pictures but also videos with friends and strangers. The service of course has filters and powerful editing tools, but what’s cool about Mobli is that users can share their pictures out to various channels that are open to the world. So even if you don’t have any friends on the service — a big barrier for any social service — you can still get good feedback from people interested in the same things. You can create any kind of channel from the desktop version, a feature that is coming soon to mobile. Or you can find relevant channels or see what’s being shared around you. The service, which has 2.5 million users, has raised more than $4 million from some well known investors including a guy named Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Mutual — This is a small startup that’s just getting going but I like the way it’s trying to incentivize people to donate to charities and non-profits. The service works with five non-profits at the moment–The Carbon Fund, Oceana, The Trust for Public Land, Center for Ecoliteracy and World Resources Institute–and tracks what you donate to those organizations. If you donate more $10 in a month, you get free access to The Mutual’s perks, which range from free and discounted items to exclusive invites to events. The perks are limited now and designed for New York residents but The Mutual is trying to increase the number of companies it works with, as well the non-profits it partners with.