Barcelona Startup: Groupiest, Create Your Own Social Networks

Groupiest, Barcelona startup,Spanish startup,startups,social networkWhen you scale down social networks to their core, you’ll quickly realize that they’ve been around a lot longer than Facebook. MMC groups on AOL, bulletin boards on Prodigy and even dial in BBS’ back in the 80’s would equate to what has evolved into the current social network. Albeit today’s social networks have many more features, users and points of entry.

While Facebook continues to grow, and currently tops over 1 billion users, siloed or vertical social networks are starting to pop up all over the place. You have your one big public network and than you have your “clubs”. So what if there is no network for your interest yet? You could opt to be entrepreneurial and create a startup for it, with a practical likeliness of failing. Or you can find a startup that lets you create your own mini social networks.

That platform is Barcelona startup Groupiest.

Groupiest allows users to create their own community of interest for free (read mini-social network). Using Groupiest users can share what their passionate about and build their own personal brand in their own network of like minded folks. Think Yahoo Groups or even Usenet on steroids.

We got a chance to talk with the founders of Groupiest. Check out the interview below:

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West Virginia Startup: Reel Deal LLC Uniting College Students Through A Set Top Box


Interesting is the first word that comes to mind when checking out a new startup based in Wheeling West Virginia of all places. Reel Deal LLC was founded by Ramee Naja, Broderick Colaner and Phillip Mshelbawla, three students at Wheeling Jesuit University.  These guys obviously aren’t afraid of a big idea. Rather than a straight up online social network, a new movie streaming site, they’re offering will come in the form of a set-top box for college students in the spring of 2013.

Reel Deal is combining a social network of college students, through their University while simultaneously offering over 1000 movies via the set-top box, that college students are known to love. The set-top box will offer ways for students to interact, important classroom and institution information and of course some entertainment content.

Reel Deal plans to offer their service in conjunction with the universities and colleges that sign up. After the partnership is formed the students enrolled at those colleges will be able to access the service through the set-top box that will be a one time $49.99 fee via their technology account.

“Our company is based off our own ideas of what we think would help improve higher education. We focus on giving kids an avenue in which they can receive all their academic and social information, while being rewarded for choosing Reel Deal,” Naja said in a statement.

Beyond the initial $49.99 (which barely covers the hardware) Reel Deal will make money through targeted advertising delivered directly to the set-top box.

We got a chance to talk with Naja about Reel Deal and what it’s like to launch a startup in Wheeling WV. While the Wheeling ecosystem is still in it’s infant stages, they are just 40 minutes away from Pittsburgh which is flourishing.

Check out the interview below:

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California Startup: Helping Legacies Live On Through Social Media

Back in March we were the first site in the world to report on UK startup This unique startup allows people to let their social media channels live on after death. After someone passes away, messages that they set up in advance can continue to inspire (or haunt) those they knew through social media and in real life. Mortality is an issue that more and more people are facing and that was actually the motivation behind As we found out at South By Southwest, the founder of is dead serious about the startup.

Many don’t like to bring up tragedies but if you take a look back at the tragic incident at Columbine high school in 1999 and compare it to the recent tragedy in Aurora Colorado this past week, you may have noticed how much technology has changed in the previous 12 years. While social networks were just blossoming in the late 90’s today through social media many of the Aurora victims have Facebook tribute pages set up, walls with thousands of pages of comments, Twitter feeds with thousands of Tweets and more. In fact some of the survivors of the Columbine massacre have reached out to the victims of the Aurora tragedy via, you guessed it social media.

Combine things like that, with the tragedies surrounding mortality that we face all the time and it’s no wonder that Mario Horvath the founder of SplashHead LLC has created

While Hovarth is simultaneously launching and another startup called at the same time, is what he  focuses on in our interview.

Taking mortality into consideration and the way that people cope with tragedy actually makes a lot of sense. A few years ago some may think the concept is morbid but not anymore.

With people can create social media pages for those recently deceased in a tribute fashion. Often reminiscing, even if it’s just in the online context, can help people cope with the loss of a friend or loved one, whether they died of natural causes, fighting an illness or some other tragedy.

People sometimes don’t know what to do to cope with the feelings that come up after someone passes away and actually helps them harness those feelings.

Check out our interview with Hovarth, below:

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Las Vegas Startup: SpoonerSpot Prepares For Global Rollout


A new Las Vegas startup called SpoonerSpot is preparing for a global launch. Their socially charged recommendation platform has been in beta for a while. The develops are putting the finishing touches on the official public release and tidying up their website.

SpoonerSpot is trying to bridge the gap between the physical world and the world. This is achieved by users posting “spots” or places and recommending them on a global map for others to see. Its like a crowd sourced, map based version of Yelp.

SpoonerSpot was born when Las Vegas startup CitySpoon pivoted from a coupon platform along the lines of daily deals, to recommendations. Users, called “spooners” could report their own great or hot deals to the social community. Now the platform is for any kind of “spot” and soon it will encompass the globe.

The company did an extensive beta test which they report gave them lots of feedback:

Feedback from beta users of SpoonerSpot has allowed the site to increase its overall User Experience, continuously creating an even more engaging social networking platform. Beta user demand has given the team insights that has led to a notification system, so users can be updated on recent changes in their SpoonerSpot social network, a more robust layout that brings all of the site’s features to the forefront of the experience, and an easy to use method of finding friends on SpoonerSpot by searching for either user name or first and last name.

CitySpoon was launched in Las Vegas’ thriving startup community last summer and they pan to release the first version of their public product by the end of the week.


For more info on SpoonerSpot visit this site

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Official Google Buys Meebo, But What About Google+

It’s official Google has announced that they are acquiring social network company Meebo. This comes right on the heels of Google Plus’s one year anniversary. While this is great news for Meebo, it leaves some people wondering why purchase a social network when Google is telling everyone that Google plus is going so well.

Meebo began as an instant messenger type of service and then evolved into a social networking platform of it’s own with it’s user base hitting around 100 million.

“We are always looking for better ways to help users share content and connect with others across the Web, just as they do in real life,” Google said in a statement. “With the Meebo team’s expertise in social publisher tools, we believe they will be a great fit with the Google Plus team.”

According to Yahoo Google Plus currently has 170 million users but they are having trouble converting those users to regular daily users, as with Facebook and Twitter. Google’s number of users has been widely criticized because they recently lumped a bunch of their services under the Google+ umbrella. Also, new users to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, are persuaded to sign up for a Google+ account to activate their phone’s operating system.  Google has also made it really easy to hit a big button to sign up for Google+ when signing up for a new, free GMail account.

It’s cases like Android activations and new GMail users which result in a bunch of new users being created that never actually do anything with the social network.

Meebo specialty is working with web publishers and engaging users for longer more frequent periods, which is something the Google Plus team definitely needs.

Kevin Rose, the founder of Digg and Milk was recently acquihired by Google to lead the Google Plus team. It was announced in a separate announcement last week that Rose is moving onto the Google Ventures team and exiting his post with the social networking arm of the search giant.

Meebo seems very excited about the news of the acquisition. As with most Google deals the financials have not been revealed. Over the weekend we reported that Google acquired the software from DC startup KikScore for an undisclosed amount.

Google has spent more than $16 billion dollars acquiring over 140 companies since 2009. That does include the $12.5 billion dollar acquisition of Motorola.

Source: Yahoo

Israeli Startup: YouHoo Location Based Social Networking For Friends And Strangers

(photo: pcmag)

An Israeli startup called YouHoo was in the Israeli pavilion at startup alley at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012. They have a new spin on social networking, and in particular,location based or proximity based social networking.

As you’ll see in the video below, YouHoo takes your location and polls the people closest to you. It then turns around and shows them to you on your Android powered smartphone. Your actual friends are in pink, your mutual friends are in blue and strangers are in white.

Founder Ohad Assoulin talked to us for a while about his new social network and how he hopes to turn groups of strangers into groups of friends.

YouHoo would make a great icebreaker for trips to the beach, and other locations where a lot of young people are congregating.

Israel is becoming a hotspot for social networking startups, earlier this week we featured a 15 year old named Tal Hoffman from Israel and his new social network based on interests called  iTimdi.

Take YouHoo for a spin, sign up for their beta below and watch the video:


Sign up for YouHoo’s beta here

More of our TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 coverage here

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Facebook Acquires Karma

After a topsy turvy day on Friday for Facebook, and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s nuptials on Saturday, the company has decided to extend their good Karma. They’ve done this by purchasing San Francisco based startup Karma.

Karma is an application that allows users to send gifts. Karma says while their are a number of social gifting apps on the market, they differentiate themselves by combining intelligence, social discovery and easy gift giving.

Facebook recently acquihired the team from photo app Lightbox sans their Creative Director Giles Peyton Nicoll who started his own agency. Of course we also know about Facebook’s $1 billion dollar acquisition of photo app Instagram which is expected to close in the second half of the year.

Like Instagram the Karma purchase was a complete acquisition. Karma and Facebook are both saying that for now Karma will continue to operate as is, with a bigger “back bone”.

An acquisition of a startup like Karma makes sense since it is a social app that would inherently give “more” to the social experience. Until we see what’s to come, the LightBox acqui-hire didn’t make that much sense since Facebook did just acquire Instagram which is in the exact same space as Lightbox. In fact Lightbox used to directly compete with Instagram in their outbound marketing to Android users.

source: Engadget

Ohio Startup: Whotever, A New Social Website To Discover Whotever You Want

After South By Southwest in Austin Texas earlier this year, the last thing people want to hear about is a new “discovery” app or platform. It seems everyday another startup is launching to help discover people socially.  Well this startup, based in Ohio, called Whotever is hoping to fix that problem.

As more and more social discovery sites pop up, actually using the web or your mobile to discover information on the things you actually want to know about gets harder in harder. Even with basic search engines like Google, the results you get today are much more polluted than the results of say a 2005 Google search.

That problem became evident to Timi Azeez and the other co-founders of Ohio based startup Whotever, 8 years ago. Azeez told

“About 8 years ago, the three of us were in a heated debate and it prompted us to confirm our facts/findings on the internet. During the research online, we discovered that we could not find exactly the information we needed for our debate. Instead, we spent hours sifting through the data page by page defeating the purpose of the discussion. We realized the internet experience was more hectic than fun and this precluded us to start It was the first step to improving the users’ experience on the internet.”

That’s the foundation for this new startup that they hope to launch later this year.  We got a chance to talk a little more in-depth with Azeez about whatever.

More after the break
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Facebook Hit With $15 Billion Dollar Class Action Suit On IPO Day

Friday was supposed to be a great day for Facebook and by most accounts it was. There were many reports about a party and speech by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday the eve of the IPO, that was one last hoorah.

Friday morning started off great. The stock debuted at $38 as it was supposed to. By midday trading it was up to $40.00 and then closed at $38.32. The performance on the stock market was so-so by some accounts, underwhelming by others. But that’s not that wasn’t the worst news for Facebook on Friday.

Facebook was served with a $15 billion dollar privacy related class action lawsuit on Friday. The lawsuit filed in Federal court in San Jose combines 21 previously filed privacy cases across the U.S. Law firms Stewarts Law and Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny are representing the plaintiffs.

Stewarts Law issued the following statement:

Facebook users today filed an amended consolidated class action complaint in federal court in San Jose, California in the case In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314-EJD. The class action asserts federal statutory and California State causes of action related to the revelation in September 2011 that Facebook was improperly tracking the internet use of its members even after they logged out of their accounts. The action consolidates 21 related cases filed in more than a dozen states in 2011 and early 2012.

The plaintiffs assert claims under the federal Wiretap Act, which provides statutory damages per user of US$100 per day per violation, up to a maximum per user of US$10,000. Even if Facebook’s alleged actions constitute a single violation of the Wiretap Act per class member, that implies more than US$15 billion in damages across the class. The complaint also asserts claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Stored Communications Act, various California Statutes and California common law.

The class action is being led by court-appointed co-lead counsel Stewarts Law US LLP and Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny, P.C. David Straite, Partner at Stewarts Law, stated: “This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications.” In addition to co-lead counsel, the court has appointed a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee which includes Keefe Bartels in New Jersey; Mandell, Schwartz & Boisclair in Rhode Island; Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy in New Jersey; Bergmanis Law Firm in Missouri; Burns, Cunningham & Mackey in Alabama; and Murphy, Falcon & Murphy in Baltimore. The court has also appointed a committee of former State Attorneys General to advise the class, including former Mississippi AG Mike Moore, former Arizona AG Grant Woods, former Hawaii AG Margery Bronster, and former Louisiana AG Richard Ieyoub.

The lawsuit cites federal wire-tapping laws pertaining to Facebook tracking their users.  As you can imagine, on such an exciting day, Facebook hasn’t commented to any site on this matter.

source: Stewarts Law via TFTS

Atlanta Startup: LaunchTable, Find & Collaborate With The Ultimate Team

launchtable,, startup,collaboration,founderdating,nibletzOne of our favorite startups is Cleveland based Foundersync which links founders with each other without the stuffy, snobbery of sites like Founderdating. Foundersync has an excellent back end that will continue to grow over the next few months with an intelligence layer that will yield great results connecting likeminded co-founder teams.

Atlanta startup Launch Table takes over and helps find the rest of the team. Whether you’re a coder with a great idea and you’re looking for a marketing guru, an entrepreneur, and a mobile expert, LaunchTable is a place to find them all.

LaunchTable is obviously a play on lunch table, can you remember the conversations you had about taking over the world at the school lunch table? The best practical jokes, collaborative assignments and parties were planned around the lunch table. One person had all the friends, the other had the parents going out of town, while one person new where to get the extra-curriculars. Little did you know, those collaboration skills would come in handy down the road.

In fact, LaunchTable founder Ian Jones told us in an interview that LaunchTable is for startups looking for that next great business idea or students working on a project. When we attended the Duke University startup challenge earlier this spring we found that several of the startups in the contest had just one or two co-founders based at Duke, others were at Stanford, Princeton, M.I.T., UT and other schools across the country. Had LaunchTable been around earlier they could have taken advantage of it.

LaunchTable shouldn’t be confused with a social network. You’re not there to pick up as many friends as you can. The purpose is to build, create and innovate together. If you’re familiar with Dustin Moskovitz’ new startup Asana, Launch Table is more similar to Asana then Facebook.  Now for a minute imagine that you don’t necessarily know the people you’re collaborating with yet. Say you want to meet them and then dive into a project. That’s the back bone to LaunchTable.

We’re really excited for Ian and what he’s building in Atlanta. Like the Nibletz team he’s out running all over the east coast getting people excited about creating at the LaunchTable.

Check out our interview after the break
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Santa Barbara Startup: Talentwire Connect To Mentors Who Do What You Do INTERVIEW

Do you like what you do? Are you looking for like minded people? Do you feel like you could offer someone who does what you do advice? Would you like to learn more about the profession you’re in? These are just some of the questions that will be answered when you join the new platform.

Talentwire is a platform that connects professionals to each other and allows mentorship, sharing and more. Users can share via simply writing about what they do, asking and answering questions and even doing how to videos. Talentwire integrates with Facebook for quick logins.

Once you’re in the Talentwire site at you can select your profession, or “what you do” and then drill down even more. For instance I found a category for news media after clicking through media and arts.  There’s categories for every profession under the sun from healthcare to actors, computer coders to fashion, and the platform is still building.

Talentwire founder Sam Sperling has been hard at work promoting his new startup. They debuted at South By Southwest in Austin Texas this past March and then went on to TheNextWeb conference in Amsterdam. At SXSW Sperling was flanked by scouts from other social networks in the professional space like LinkedIn, BraveNewTalent and Dice.

We got a chance to speak with Sperling.

Interview after the break
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Wisconsin Startup: Planduck A Social Network Based On Schedules INTERVIEW

A new Wisconsin startup was pitched at last weeks Startup Weekend in Madison Wisconsin as Schedule Link. Now they’ve changed their name to Planduck. The company has been recruiting developers and plan on doing something that doesn’t appear to have been done before. Planduck is launching a social networking platform based on scheduling and events.

To start off PlanDuck will cater to college students, faculty and staff by being a centralized location to plan, and share events. With PlanDuck it won’t be just one singular event like a Facebook event but all of the events that people are having in their lives and that they want to share across the social network.

When we were preparing for this interview I didn’t exactly get the concept, as you’ll see I asked him was it just event sharing, was it like Path. PlanDuck founder Mike Walsh admitted that Path founder (and former Facebooker) Dave Morin is one of the people that he looks up to and hopes that PlanDuck will one day be able to integrate Path APIs.

So let’s talk with Walsh about PlanDuck and launching a startup in Wisconsin.

What is PlanDuck?

PlanDuck will be a social networking platform that helps people find, share, and create all the events in their lives. It will start with the University of Wisconsin – Madison and immediate surrounding community.

More after the break
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India Startup: MyPurpleMartini Is India’s First Nightlife Focused Social Network

While Saarthank Gupta was studying in the UK he found it very easy to go out and have a good time. Every good club, restaurant and bar had a website and there were a few good portals in the UK to tell you what was hot any given night of the week. When he returned to India, that wasn’t the case.

India does have it’s fair share of good night life including clubs, bars, restaurants and social clubs, the problem is Indian business owners were stuck in their ways. Most of the advertising for Indian nightlife was by word of mouth. Word of mouth is good and free but to really drive patrons to your business you need more than that, especially nightlife.

When Gupta first started MyPurpleMartini it was more of an information site with limited interaction. Since September 2011 they’ve pivoted and become much more social.

“I have always been an avid party goer. While I was in the U.K it was very convenient for us to go out partying to a place we liked going to, as everything there was online. It just took a couple of minutes and we knew where we were heading on a particular night. When I came to India, I saw a big gap when it came to information regarding nightlife/ events/ parties. In India, at that point, it was all about word of mouth publicity. To see the response in the Indian Market, we initially started an information based website but with the phenomenal success in its initial phase and seeing the potential for the social media, hospitality and lifestyle space in India, we re-launched MyPurpleMartini as India’s First Social Networking Nightlife & Lifestyle portal in September 2011. The response has been amazing so far and I hope it continues this way,” Gupta told Indian website

More after the break
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Florida Startup: WUBB Wants To Be The One Social Network For Business

A Cooper City Florida company has launched a new social network called WUBB. Their mission seems to be targeted at business and very multi-faceted. If WUBB takes off it’s going to be spectacular for them however if it doesn’t it’s going to be one crazy hodge podge of social mess.

This morning WUBB described itself as “a platform for social entrepreneurs across the world that inspires, connects, communicates and manages your business and professional network by joining Entrepreneurs, Cofounders, Freelancers, Investors, Employees, Family and Friends. It is a multi-user, community-based, business networking hub where people join only to be benefited.”

The home page and dashboard look like a hybrid between Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. Speaking of which you can login with your Facebook or LinkedIn account or create your own account.

In addition to the usual dashboard links like dashboard,profile, people and even companies, you’ll also find tabs for contests, services, projects, ideas and even domains and websites. WUBB gives you a portal to buy domain names and buy and sell websites. A little odd for a social network but most likely a revenue stream for the new company.

More after the break
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