By Perks |
A few of our team members were very excited to join Perks client, DataRockit!, at TechCrunch Disrupt this week. The event included three days chock-full of panels, presentations, networking, surprise appearances and innovation. Besides learning about more than fifty new startups that are vying to burst through the clutter, Disrupt provided a great opportunity to hear from top executives about how business models are changing and how technology is adapting. Below are some highlights from the conference:
Be A Square
One of the new applications that got high markings from almost everyone in the audience is Square, a way to pay with a credit or debit card using your mobile device anytime and anywhere. As demonstrated by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, after downloading an application from squareup.com you receive a card reader that plugs into the top of your phone. A credit card is scanned through the mobile plugin and a signature is taken by using your finger on a touch screen. This easy-to-use, sexy application could very well be a game-changer in mobile payments.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg made a surprise guest appearance at the conference to share news of the NYC Entrepreneurial Fund, a $22 Million fund created to support technology-based start-ups in the city. Mr. Bloomberg announced that the first company to receive a share of this money is My City Way, a participant in the TechCrunch Disrupt Hack Day competition. My City Way was selected because of its NYC Way application, which won three awards at the recent Big Apps Competition. The mobile application helps users identify local amenities, restaurants and events, and is currently available on iTunes.
The iPad Revolution
One of the afternoon panels on the first day of the conference discussed whether the iPad would change the way that news is digested and shared. As sales have continued to shake the scales, the panel agreed that the iPad has enormous potential and is challenging the innovation of fellow technology companies. The consensus seemed to be that all content based on iPads will eventually move to the web even though developers are pushing to keep the information on applications. In line with Apple’s business model, companies are forced to sell applications rather than web-based subscriptions. We agree with the panelist that argued that Apple might have to reconsider their model as competition enters the market and offers users additional choice.
Of the twenty start-ups and products in the Startup Battlefield, just one made it past the judges’ critical eyes. Soluto, a service described as anti-frustration software, won the final prize of $50,000 and the heralded Disrupt Cup. Created by a team based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Soluto aims to end the frustrations that PC users encounter. The service uses a form of crowd sourcing to offer potential solutions to your problems and inform users of which applications may the cause of the anguish they are experiencing. Congratulations, Soluto!
If you’re interested in learning more about the companies that took part in TechCrunch Disrupt or want to watch archives of the panels, visit the TechCrunch website. We’re already looking forward to the event next year.