(Photo courtesy of the NYC Press Office)
The idea is that it can be a sort of connective tissue for the city’s tech ecosystem.
This isn’t the city’s first go at this. The Made In New York Digital Map had been in place for a year when Technical.ly Brooklyn started and several people referred us to it. We found, immediately, that its painful UI wasn’t worth wading through because the information found once one muddled through it was almost always wrong. That’s the trick for resources like this: they don’t maintain themselves.
Kyle Kimball, the head of the NYCEDC, says in the site’s promo video that the resource will be updated in real time. Maybe that means it has staff working on it. That’s the only way it will stay valuable, at least until the robot overlords get much smarter than they are now.
We took it for a spin and were happy to find some tech companies in Brooklyn that haven’t covered yet. If your startup isn’t listed on the map (and, it’s probably not, there aren’t that many listed in Brooklyn), there’s a form you can fill out. If that’s something you’ve got time for.
We also found some companies that should have been taken off the directory long ago, however. Results were a bit mixed. Here’s some of what we found:
- CabCorner. This Carroll Gardens company is helping people save money on cabs by sharing them (the same business that Downtown’s Bandwagon is in). According to the CabCorner website, they even reach Mumbai. Get the iOS app.
- Cologuard. This is a huge data center located in Sunset Park. A subsidiary of another company, it has 15,000 square feet of servers and we didn’t know it was here.
- DynamicOxygen. This Crown Heights-based company helps businesses improve the effectiveness of ads in search.
- 2FindLocal is some sort of database of local businesses, located in Sheepshead Bay. Google searches don’t yield much information about it, but it is affiliated with business listing network Yext.
- ArtCycle. We found this site, which may or may not be for a company that still functioning. Its Twitter feed hasn’t seen an update since 2012 and that’s when the clips on its press/news page stop, too.
- Broadcastr. This one closed in 2013, according to CrunchBase. Its website is not loading.
So, the quality of the information on here is mixed at best.
This is the challenge with directories. It’s almost more important to get out of date information off than it is to get good new information on.
Hopefully, enough attention will be given to the directory, now that it will become something better than a catalog of failed concepts. This is the challenge of tracking the startup scene. It moves very fast and most projects don’t come together. Making matters more flummoxing, founders open their doors with fanfare, but they tend to close them quietly. That’s why doing something like Digital.NYC well will be tricky.
There’s no want for gushing about it, though:
One company that we did know about but have been meaning to follow up with, UltraCoin, is listed. This BitCoin challenger hopes to build contracts into your money. We included it in a startup roundup in July. The Ditmas Park company is listed.