NYC’s Hottest Startups for 2013 Weigh in on Tumblr

Time Inc. kicked off Internet Week on Wednesday with a celebration at the Hudson Hotel honoring its 2013 picks for 10 NYC Startups to watch.

Past winners include startups like Stamped, Marissa Mayer’s first acquisition at Yahoo!, and eyeglass maker Warby Parker, now a mainstay among the hipster set. This year’s honorees came from a pool of 75 nominees, said Susanna Schrobsdorff, assistant managing editor at

And they all have a common theme—capitalizing on data.

“I think what we are seeing now is that, because of the way we function on the Web, and because of technology that is changing, we are inundated with data. A lot of the companies we looked at are giving marketers ways to sort user data,” Schrobsdorff said.

Honoree is focusing on personalized data, said Michael Menenhall, co-founder and CEO.

“What we know is very, very important to people and to the world in general, is personalization. And that is the idea of know me, and be relevant to me. So instead of just building a social network, we are building a personal network,” Menenhall said.

The data that hot startup Hukkster is using helps consumers aggregate sales, or “hukk” right down to the color and size shoppers are looking for, said co-founder Erica Bell. And the information is kept private, adds co-founder Katie Finnegan, so your social network won’t be privy to what you are shopping for and when.

“That is not just end-of-season markdowns, its in-season, coupon codes, friends and family discounts,” Bell said.

FiftyThree, creator of top Apple productivity app “Paper”, also made the list this year, and co-founder and CEO Georg Petschnigg said the company is positive it can prove to be more than just a one-hit-wonder in the tech world.

“We think this is just the beginning,” Petschnigg said. “Paper is really where ideas begin, and it shows that Paper is the simplest most beautiful way to capture your ideas on iPad… When you look at the top four productivity applications on iPad, three of them are from Apple and the fourth is from FiftyThree.”

Fitocracy, an exercise community platform, is paving its own way in an admittedly-saturated market, said co-founders Brian Wang and Dick Talens. The concept is turning fitness into a game, and helping its users get in shape while having fun.

“The one thing we have been able to demonstrate is and incredibly passionate group of users that are really inspiring each other and motivating each other to reach their goals in ways they never thought possible,” Wang said.

And these companies on their own potential verge of “blowing up” were all in support of the tech community’s latest breaking deal news—Yahoo!’s Marissa Mayer acquiring David Karp’s Tumblr for $1.1 billion. In fact, many said they would take a similar deal if offered, and that Karp is a marketing master.

“I think these large companies are strategic partners, they are going to get a very broad reach and they are going to get great advertising revenue they may not have had access to otherwise. So when looking at an acquisition, we always talk about it’s not really just about the dollar amount, it’s about what both of you bring to the table,” Hukkster’s Finnegan said.

FiftyThree’s Petschnigg said he congratulates Karp and the deal will place much-deserved attention on NYC’s burgeoning startup community.

“I think the pairing between Tumblr and Yahoo is a good one,” Petschnigg said. “As a media network, what Tumblr shouldn’t be bothered by is [building] the advertising side of it, and they got that with Yahoo. So I think that is a really, really, great match.”

Hukkster’s Bell had lighter things on her mind.

“I just want to know where he is spending his summer,” she said of Karp. “Because it sounds like he is going to have a great one.”

This year’s startups are: