Startup Weekend NYC just the beginning of road to entrepreneurship

Melanie Moore is CEO of ToVieFor

Fill the meeting space at General Assembly on Broadway with designers, developers and marketers out to create new ventures; add experienced speakers and mentors; and then shake things up for 54 hours. That was the order of business at the latest Startup Weekend New York City which concluded Sunday.

The program, a breeding ground for new web and mobile applications, brought together eager tech-heads and business professionals looking to create the next big thing. Ideas evolved for social travel booking, crowdsourcing contact management, connecting brands with photos on personal blogs and even some basketball fan–driven distaste for LeBron James.

The first place concept was, which lets users search friends’ tags across their existing social networks. Winning the prize is a starting point for a journey that can test the resolve of those who want to leave their mark on a highly competitive landscape.

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Internet Week New York brings out TechStars

Tisch is a seed stage investor.

New York City alumni of TechStars took the stage at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Thursday to discuss how startups can benefit from the business accelerator program.

TechStars provides the early-stage technology companies accepted into the program with three months of mentorship and the chance to pitch their ideas to investors.

According to David Tisch, managing director of TechStars in New York City, the program received more than 1,050 applications from startups for just 10 spots in the summer session which begins in July. “We’re harder to get into than Harvard or Yale,” he said.

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Sony hefting cost of data theft

Hackers continue to sting Sony Corp. much like an aggressive swarm of hornets chasing larger prey. The company said Wednesday that email addresses and phone numbers, but not credit card information, of some 2,000 users of mobile phone venture Sony Ericsson Canada’s website had been compromised. This follows a series of cyber attacks that swiped personal data, including some non-U.S. banking and credit card account details, concerning a combined 100 million users of Sony’s PlayStation Network, Qriocity music and video streaming service and the Sony Online Entertainment gaming network.

The price of coping with data theft is quickly adding up for the company. Sony said in a statement Monday it estimated its costs associated with the spate of breaches to be about $170 million, or 14 billion yen, for its fiscal year ending March 2012. That includes security enhancements, legal costs, identity theft insurance services offered to affected customers and incentive offerings for customers such as free game time, music and videos.

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Prospecting for ad revenue in the video stream

Online video may be a conduit for reaching audiences in dynamic ways but challenges can arise when it comes to swaying advertisers to invest in the medium. Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones offer marketers the chance to intimately target individuals who are on the go. Some viewers, however, may watch online video to reduce their exposure to product pitches. That can leave marketers and advertisers in a quandary as they try to reach this audience without turning them off.

During Wednesday’s sessions of the Streaming Media East 2011 conference in New York City, a panel of professionals from the online video sector convened to discuss monetization and video advertizing. Read more of this post

Fighting data theft on new fronts

Miller (Kroll Fraud Solutions photo)

Beneath the quiet hum of hard drives, the battle continues for control of digital treasure. Companies fight to protect data coveted by increasingly sophisticated information pirates. According to some experts, the war has entered a new phase of complexity.

Jeremiah Miller, director of operations for Kroll Fraud Solutions, said even small bits of data can be exploited by cyber thieves. Kroll Fraud Solutions, in Nashville, Tenn., is a provider of identity fraud solutions. “There are things you can do with a couple of pieces of information to build a more complete profile about somebody,” Miller said. That can include matching names to information left public on social networks such as Facebook, he said.

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