PROF DEV EVENT: Starting a New Venture

October 8, 2010
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

“ITP Alums Talk About Starting a New Venture”
Join us as ITP alums Dennis Crowley (Foursqure), Michael Dory (Social Bomb) and Britta Riley (Window Farms) talk about their challenges in setting up new ventures.

http://foursquare.com/

What is foursquare?
Foursquare is a mobile application that makes cities easier to use and more interesting to explore. It is a friend-finder, a social city guide and a game that challenges users to experience new things, and rewards them for doing so. Foursquare lets users “check in” to a place when they’re there, tell friends where they are and track the history of where they’ve been and who they’ve been there with. For more information on how foursquare works, see our searchable FAQ.

Foursquare co-founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai met in 2007 while working in the same office space (at different companies) in New York City. Working from Dennis’ kitchen table in New York’s East Village, they began building the first version of foursquare in fall 2008, and launched it at South by Southwest Interactive in Austin, Texas in March 2009.
How many users does foursquare have?

As of August 2010, foursquare had close to 3 million users worldwide.

Dennis Crowley
Dennis Crowley is the Co-founder and CEO of foursquare. Previously, Dennis founded Dodgeball, one of the first mobile social services in the U.S., which was acquired by Google in 2005. He has been named one of the “Top 35 Innovators Under 35″ by MIT’s Technology Review magazine (2005) and has won the “Fast Money” bonus round in the TV game show Family Feud (2009). His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Time Magazine and Newsweek. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Dennis holds a master’s degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program and a bachelor’s degree from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

http://www.socialbomb.com/

Social Bomb / Teach your apps to socialize
We’re a social technology company born and raised in New York City. Our platform connects your audience’s mobile phones, blu-ray players, computers, and connected devices to their friends and the things they love.

Founders and Key Personnel
Co-founders Michael Dory, Adam Simon, and Scott Varland began researching and prototyping in the fields of game design, social networking, physical computing and human-computer interaction as graduate students at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), a department within The Tisch School of the Arts. The team won the 2008 NYU Stern Business Plan Competition for the Socialbomb concept.

Mike Dory (Co-Founder / CTO)
has spent the last ten years studying the ways people communicate and working to make their conversations better. Mike has most recently worked to develop installations, sites, and games for Unified Field and the Institute of Play, and prior to that worked with high technology communications agency Text 100. His personal and collaborative projects have appeared in the New York Times, National Public Radio, Gothamist, BoingBoing, CNET, Gizmodo and MAKE Magazine. Mike holds a BA in Journalism & Media Studies from Rutgers University and an MPS in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU ITP, where he is now an adjunct professor.

http://www.windowfarms.org/

WindowfarmsTM
Want to grow some of your own food but don’t have a yard? WindowfarmsTM are vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials.
Goal 1: Empower urban dwellers to grow some of their own food inside year-round.
Goal 2: Create a web platform that allows citizens to collaboratively innovate globally toward more sustainable cities using locally available materials to suit locally specific conditions, a process we call R&D-I-Y.

Britta Riley
Founder, CEO, Head of R&D
WHAT DO YOU DO?
When short-hand is called for, I refer to myself an artist, an exhibition/interaction designer, or a social entrepreneur. I’m obsessed with the culture of innovation, what real people think about all this environmental change, and logistical realities.

I’ve started a lot of businesses. 5 to be precise. 2 were pretty successful all around. 1 was a complete flop. 1 died in the final round of the Stern/Berkeley Social Entrepreneurship Business Plan competition. 1, well, I’ll get back to you next week . . .

Basically, I’m a shape-shifting interdisciplinarian who can understand just about anybody’s jargon and can get them to do the @#$%@ that needs to get done (usually, especially if I give them enough beer and play calming classical music during routine meltdowns). I have worked more different jobs than most 80 year olds because I’ve been poor a lot and refuse to ever ever ever go back into advertising, which is truly the devil’s work, as we all know.

BUT WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING?
I do what I want. I put everything I’ve got into projects I believe in & I make the money part work out for everyone. There is no formula. There’s no school that teaches one how to do this and no accreditation for it. You just gotta grow some cajones, make proposals, listen to people, take big risks, lose everything sometimes, have incredibly high personal integrity, and be ever vigilant for where misunderstandings are brewing. Also, a huge number of projects I would like to work on, I have to turn down because sometimes people’s expectations don’t match up with reality. I really hate the job of convincing people they are wrong. Would rather stick to eating PBJs, thank you.

Friday, September 17th, 2010
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