Vine Is Not Dead, Gary Vaynerchuck Launches Talent Agency For Viners

Gary Vaynerchuck, video, vine, Instagram

New York entrepreneur, wine connoisseur, angel investor and now talent agent. Gary Vaynerchuck must believe that Instagram’s Thursday introduction of 15 second video clips won’t hurt Twitter’s popular Vine product.

Vine allows users to create 6 second videos that are looped for eternity and then share them across Twitter and Facebook.

It was long reported that Instagram was working on a video product to rival Vine. The Facebook-owned company unveiled that feature for Android and iOS users on Thursday. It became an instant success (no pun intended), especially with Instagram users who hadn’t started using Vine.

As for the Vine users, the verdict is still out. Several Vine and Instagram users posted “goodbye Vine” videos on their Instragram channels. Others quickly learned that the looping feature wasn’t available on Instagram and that sometimes 15 seconds is too much.

Vine gained almost instant popularity among popular bloggers, like the crew at Phillip DeFranco’s SourceFed and several sports stars and celebrities. 6 seconds gives viewers just enough of a glimpse into people’s lives that it’s fun. It’s quick enough that it doesn’t sidetrack viewers for very long.

Some people are getting very creative with Vine, often using the six second loop to make a continuous movie of sorts.

Vaynerchuck is no stranger to how successful video can be. He started a very successful YouTube show about wine in 2006. Now he thinks Vine is where it’s at.

“I’d seen this rodeo before,” Vaynerchuk tells Fast Company. “I started a YouTube show in 2006, so I lived that phenomenon. I lived what happened on Twitter for the first year and a half, before quote, unquote, real celebrities were on it. It’s just so obvious to me that this is going to happen.”

Vaynerchuck’s Vine talent agency is appropriately called Grape Story, and Virgin Mobile is his first client.

Though the talent will have a level of creative freedom while crafting contracted videos, they’ll incorporate specific Virgin Mobile messages. Vaynerchuck wouldn’t disclose how much stars will be paid per video, but according to Fast Company he did say that a star who made about 20 videos each year could make a living. That’s only two minutes of video. In a year.

Vaynerchuck isn’t the least bit worried about Instagram’s new video feature.

Ron Fairs, Virgin Mobile’s head of brand marketing, and Vaynerchuck’s first client for this venture added “I often question when a platform has its tried and true, which is photography, still photo, moves into another medium,” he says. “What is really the motivation behind it? . . . There could be a host of reasons other than this is what the consumer wants. Vine is something that was born into the model of [six]-seconds of video. And I think when you see other people trying to replicate that model, it’s not going to have the same organic lift and success as the person who came up with it first did.”


Move over Gary Vee, this New York startup says they’re the Wolverine of wine startups.

Gary Vaynerchuck image, vimeo

CES 2013: DC Startup Troop ID Validating Veterans Past & Present In The Civilian World

TroopID,DC Startup,Pitch video,video,CES 2013,Startup AmericaThe members of the U.S. armed forces are heroes. Going all the way back to the revolutionary war, and the military that helped deliver our freedom to the British, to those troops that have helped curb the unrest in the middle east, time and time again we honor them by calling them heroes, recognizing military at events and in tributes on all types of media.

Another way that we, as American’s, have honored those who are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice in our military, is by giving them military discounts and other benefits in a civilian context at retailers, restaurants and services across the country.  In some cases these tiny tributes can result in saving our military heroes a little extra time, a little extra money and a little extra pain in day to day civilian life.

Unfortunately wherever there’s a discount program, or a benefits program, there’s also the other side of Americans, those trying to cheat and game the system. In the online world, it makes it hard for online retailers to offer discounts to military because they can’t tap into the government database to validate veterans past and present.  While some online retailers have felt the benefit to recognizing the veterans is worth the loss they take in discount fraud, other companies just can’t afford it.

Traditional offline retailers, restaurants and services don’t have the same problem. They can recognize veterans by their uniforms and in some cases by their military ID cards. Online sites can’t see either.

That’s why DC area entrepreneur, and veteran, Blake Hall has created Troop ID. This startup serves as a validation clearing house for military personnel and they are able to do this not with some top secret government clearance and access to the official database, but by leveraging partners like USAA.

Hall already has several partners lined up who are using the system to validate military personnel and open up avenues to offer them discounts and speedy service. He has also given the use of the Troop ID service free to Startup America for their veteran’s initiative launched in November 2012.

Hall got the chance to pitch a team of judges during the Launch.It showstoppers event at CES 2013. This event included special guest judge, the world renowned Guy Kawasaki.

Watch Hall’s pitch video below and hear about the milestones he’s achieved in a short time since he started working on Troop ID.

Several veteran founded startups will be in the Startup Village at The Startup Conference



Video Interview With Chicago Startup: Care Content

One of the more interesting startups at last week’s Startup City event, part of Tech Week Chicago, was CareContent.

Kadesha Thomas is the founder of CareContent at care The new startup is a library of content for hospitals and other medical services that publish websites, newsletters and other resources for both patients and consumers.

Thomas has a background in publishing content for hospital websites and newsletters. While working as an editor for a hospital’s patient facing online resources Thomas was constantly sourcing content to fill the gaps that she hadn’t already written for the facility.

After she left that job as an editor she became a freelancer where she would get commissioned for jobs at hospitals to write stories about procedures, after care, medical trends, new hospital developments and more.

Now with CareContent Thomas is making her personal library as well as the works of others within the CareContent editorial network, available to hospitals and medical facilities either as packages or ala carte.

If a hospital needs new content for a landing page, blog entries or newsletter content they can sign up for a subscription plan to CareContent where Thomas and her company will make sure that the facilities have the content they need when it’s time to publish.

CareContent had a lot of people visit their booth at Startup City. There are article depositories, newswires and other resources for most kinds of publications but not one quite like this for the medical field.

Patient facing content is a lot different than the types of stories published in medical journals. Thomas has to take that kind of content and make it easier to understand, and not so overwhelming or sometimes scary, for patients that have either just had a medical procedure done or are thinking about having a medical procedure done.

Even with the long hard hours involved in launching a startup, Thomas is very enthusiastic about CareContent and it’s prospects in the Chicago startup scene. Thomas is just beginning as well. They just launched the company last month after months of research and they are also participating in Chicago’s Lean Startup Challenge and Chicago’s Medical Tech Pitch Event later on this summer.

Check out the video interview below:


Check out CareContent here

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We Talk With Matt Burris Founder Of Startup Weekend Crane In Indiana VIDEO

The Nibletz nationwide sneaker strapped startup roadtrip pulled up in Indianapolis Thursday to check out Verge Indy’s startup event. The event is held on the last Thursday every month and brings together a tremendous amount of people from Indianapolis and the surrounding areas’ startup and entrepreneurial tech scene.

We got a chance to meet Matt Burris who co-founded Startup Weekend Bloomington with Super Nick. Burris is a hardware and product guy that’s working on some awesomesauce in his top secret lab by day. By night Burris is a strong advocate and evangelist for the startup scene in both Indianapolis and Bloomington.

This October though, he’s headed to Crane Naval Base (well just outside of it) for one of the first Startup Weekend’s centered around a military base to date.

Burris already got his feet wet with the Bloomington event, now he’s able to focus on a truly unique Startup Weekend that he believes will produce a large number of hardware and product ideas vs the traditional mostly software and social media ideas that commonly come out of Startup Weekend events.

Check out our video interview with Burris below and check back with us in a little while to hear more about what Burris is working on at his company RT6:

Ahhh the Linkage:

Find out more about Startup Weekend Crane here at this link

Check out Matt’s daytime job where he is founder of RT6 here

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E3 Coverage: Video The Nintendo Wii U In Action

It’s a critical time for Nintendo right now. Over the past two years they’ve lost tremendous market share in the mobile space to smartphones, and tablets. As mobile game developers get better and better alongside the processors and hardware, it’s hard to stomach spending $19.99 on a game cartridge when you can download a mobile game for $.99

The next generation game consoles have to be better, faster and stronger, a lot stronger than their predecessors. Game consoles haven’t been updated since the mid part of the 2000’s and we’re looking at a holiday season next year with three new consoles.

All of the consoles are going to have to have extremely great graphics, out of this world speed and the ability to play cloud based games. Nintendo is going with their interactive approach that was introduced with the Wii and than replicated with Xbox Kinect and the Sony Play Station move.

In the video below Brent was able to film a man playing a rowing game as part of Nintendo Wii U.

Check out the video below:

Interview With Boston Startup Jaxx, A Social App For Dudes

Jaxx is a mobile social application just for guys they call it “an app for your entourage”. Jaxx stands by the fact that women and men communicate differently. Where women need face to face interaction men prefer shoulder to shoulder.

That’s why the Jaxx app has three key elements. Jaxx allows men to form entourages of friends. Within the entourage they can “throw down” bets on games, “call out” friends to challenges and “roast” each other.

The roasting part was actually pretty funny. It’s a location portion of the social mobile app which allows you to leave a smack talking roast when your “bro” gets close to that area. For instance if you know your bro is going to play tennis you can leave a roast like “Man you hit like a girl” and when he gets to the tennis court he’ll get that message.

Jaxx launched a beta at TechCrunch Disrupt for iPhone and they plan on launching an Android app as well. They were handing out an investor prospectus at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 which said they were expecting major growth in 2013 an d2014 and they were seeking a $500,000 seed round.

At this point in time Jaxx is more of a novelty than anything serious. There are several social networks revolving around sports that men may find a lot more appealing, and a bit more mature. Judge for yourself though, check out the video below:


Check out Jaxxapp here at their website

See more of our TechCrunch Disrupt coverage here

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DC Startup: Naaya Great For Kids, Great For Parents VIDEO

Washington DC area serial entrepreneur Amir Hudda is at it again. This time though, he’s created a new startup for his kids. Hudda has had several successful exits bringing tens of millions of dollars in profit to his investors.

The story goes a bit like this. As busy as Hudda is, he and his wife still noticed that his children spend a great deal of time on the computer. Furthermore they spend even more time on iPods,iPads,iPhones and as Hudda puts it “i-everything”. With his background in technology he wanted to do something about this problem but he didn’t want to strip his children of technology.

That’s we he founded Naaya. Naaya is a web and mobile based learning platform that provides a lot more than simple coloring games and match the picture games.  The World Of Naaya takes kids through a fully immersive experience where they explore worlds, while learning robust curriculum targeting reading, social studies and 21st century skills.

While there are a lot of companies offering e-learning through the web and mobile Naaya is the first that isn’t targeting just kids and students. Hudda wants parents, teachers and schools to get involved as well.

Naaya features an entire parent portal that will offer reporting to the parent on what the child has been learning, messages they have been sending and receiving, and target areas where the child may need help.

More and video after the break
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We Check Out NY Startup TAPP, Automagically Updates Your Address Book

We caught up with the founder of a new startup called TAPP at TechCrunch Disrupt this week in New York.

TAPP works like Plaxo. It essentially updates your contacts and address book automagically. When your friends, family members and colleagues update their phone numbers, instant messaging id’s and email addresses TAPP updates them for you.

TAPP just recently moved to New York where they are launching their app to iOS and Blackberry first. They have plans to work on an Android version very soon.

TAPP also has other features like TAPP ID now you can communicate via TAPP ID rather than your actual phone number if you so choose. You can also customize your TAPP ID with a link that’s easy to share across your network of contacts.

This is just one of many startups in the telecommunications field at TechCrnuch Disrupt. Most of them were focused on conference calling and messaging.

Here’s the video interview:

Baltimore Black Owned Startup: Point Click Switch Presents At TechBUZZ DC

capitcalconnection,techBUZZ,dc startup,nibletz, phil croskey

Point Click Switch CEO & Co-Founder Phil Croskey Speaks At TechBUZZ DC (photo: Nibletz inc)

Phil Croskey,, CEO and Co-Founder of Black Owned Baltimore Startup, Point Click Switch took the stage today for four minutes to talk about his business which has a solid foundation to stand on because “everyone needs electricity”.

Point Click Switch is a web based application that helps people who live in de-regulated states discover, compare and sign up for utilities. The deregulated states are: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,Montana,Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia.

Point Click Switch is like an Expedia or for your energy choices. The site aggregates 7-10 of the most competitive offers and allows the user to compare rates and offers side by side from the comfort of their computer.

When the user is done making their selection, Point Click Switch allows them to initiate service through their site. They will still be billed by the utility itself and they will also still call the utility directly with outages and problems.

Croskey told us that he thinks the rest of the country will eventually adopt the deregulation of energy and electricity which will add an even larger base for Point Click Switch.

Here’s the video:


Check out Point Click Switch here

Check out more coverage from this event here

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New Orleans Startup: Red Ticket Games Shows Off Extreme Trivia At TechCrunch Disrupt VIDEO INTERVIEW

Here at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 we got a chance to meet Barrett Conrad, CEO and PlayerOne at Red Ticket Games. Red Ticket Games is based in the Silicon Bayou, New Orleans to be exact.

We talked with him a bit about their innovative trivia game called Extreme Trivia where you can become an expert on anything, especially because the user creates the questions.

The game is a break from traditional trivia games. One of it’s mean differentiators is the fact that the users create the questions. To conceptualize that idea, think of a it like this: You’ve got a group of friends and you probably have some common interests. Well most trivia games will have the generalized questions based on your topic, but with Extreme Trivia you can do relevant questions based on your knowledge.

Imagine if the guys from Big Bang Theory played a game like this. Obviously their intellectual ability far outshines the game writers at Parker Brothers, but with creating your own questions you have a better chance at stumping your friends, or helping them out.

As a special part of this interview our managing editor Cameron Wright talked to Conrad a bit about the thriving startup scene in New Orleans and what it’s been like to rebuild after the storm. Admittedly there wasn’t much of a startup scene in New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina. After the storm New Orleans was like an open canvas in their rebuild.

While New Orleans hip hop scene migrated to Atlanta, Houston and Dallas, their tech scene started to bubble. In fact there was just a launchpad event earlier this month right smack dab in the middle of Jazz Fest.

Whether you want to know more about Red Ticket Games, Extreme Trivia or the New Orleans startup scene, you should definitely check out this video.


Find out more about Red Ticket Games and Extreme Trivia Here

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TechCrunch Disrupt: I Shot A 50 Caliber Rifle At A Fax Machine, Thanks To Twake

Twake, a new big data startup, had a great attention grabber at their booth at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC’s Startup Alley. Twake hired a man in a wooded area in a remote location with an arsenal of high-caliber fire arms and a junk pile of computer gear. Old cpus, monitors, fax machines, radios and other electronics were put in the pile for the man with the guns.

Meanwhile back at TechCrunch Disrupt Twake had an iPad app where passerby’s could choose a device they wanted to shoot, and the gun they wanted to shoot with. After they made their selections they would hit a button labeled “fire” which sent a signal back to the man with the guns to go ahead a fire away at the old computer junk.

This was very reminiscent of Tommy Jordan, the laptop shooting dad in North Carolina. Now even though I didn’t get to fire the gun myself, I could feel the thrill and satisfaction of popping a cap in that fax machines ass.  The boys from Office Space would be proud.

So what kind of company goes through this much promotion to attract people to their booth? That would be Twake, a recently launched big data startup.

Twake is a secure, agnostic, scalable recommendation service. In their own words they describe Twake as:

“Twake’s cloud-based service maps anonymous referential data on customers, products and services with behaviors such as view, like, buy, and comment along with the sentiment and significance of each. Our wave propagation and interaction algorithms analyze patterns, recognize highly relevant items that are far removed from the source and synthesize recommendations that resonate”

We would say it’s a predictive recommendation engine. The idea of being able to recommend what a customer may buy next is often the competitive edge companies need, provided the data is right.

Twake’s platform is scalable to most industries. Their unique adaptive recommendation engine can handle e-commerce, app discovery, deep personalization, restaurant suggestions, smart pre-fetching, sentiment analysis, genome research, social discovery, travel planning, business intelligence, and network planning.

Is that too many verticals? Twake is so new that we’ll have to wait and see how it all comes together.  It will be great to see what developers can do using Twakes API’s.

Check out the video here:




TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Interview With NY Startup hoppit

We got a chance to talk with the founder of hoppit at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012. Hoppit was the winner of the best “Big Data” startup at the recent NY Tech Day.

So what is hoppit?  Well hoppit is a discovery platform that lets you discover places completely based on atmosphere. Yelp, Urban Spoon and other restaurant recommendation sites use reviews that focus on cuisine to attract customers. With hoppit their engine takes into consideration keyword phrases that describe ambiance.

For instance, hoppit looks for multiple instances of groups of words like “romantic dinner” from there it would be able to dig deeper and determine that a restaurant is smaller and more intimate. This may be exactly what someone is looking for.

techcrunch disrupt nyc 2012, hoppit,startup,nibletz

Right now hoppit lets you choose from eight different vibes; classy & upscale, hipster, watering hole, romantic, cozy & quaint, mad men,swanky & posh, trendy & chic, vintage & old world, and chill & relaxed.

After a long work week you know what you want and hoppit will help you find it. Check out our interview Steve Dziedzic below:


See more of our Disrupt coverage here

Hands On With The LG Optimus Vu VIDEO

LG Optimus VU, LG, CTIA 2012, Nibletz, Thedroidguy, Samsung Galaxy Note

LG Optimus Vu (left) next to Samsung Galaxy Note

Last year at IFA in Berlin Samsung introduced an entirely new device with an entirely new form factored. The device, dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Note, was a cross-breed of tablet and phone. Many are calling the device category “phablet” or “phoneblet”.

Samsung is having great success with the Galaxy Note. They recently announced that they’ve sold 5 million of the devices to date.

It didn’t take LG long to develop a device to compete head to head with their South Korean rival.  LG’s new 5 inch Optimus Vu looks to do just that.

The Optimus Vu features a 5.0 inch display with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1024×768. LG uses the IPS panel in the Optimus Vu that you can find in the LG Optimus LTE 2.

Like the Samsung device, LG’s Optimus Vu also features a stylus. Their stylus is a little more bulky, about the size of a #2 pencil. That may actually be a good thing as many have found the stylus that ships with the Galaxy Note to be a little too short and a little too thin. Samsung actually offers an accessory to make the stylus more of a pen size.  Unlike the Galaxy Note though the LG Optimus Vu doesn’t have a place on board to store the digital pen, which may result in costly accessory purchases.

The LG Optimus Vu runs on top of a 1.5ghz dual core processor. It has 1gb of RAM and supports 4G/LTE (as does the Galaxy Note). It features an 8mp camera on the rear which shoots 1080p HD video.

The LG Optimus Vu is available now in Europe and Asia. The LG Spokesperson in the video below wouldn’t mention anything about a U.S. release.