TechCrunch Disrupt NY has helped many startups gain some traction in the highly competitive tech world, and the 2016 edition once again did just that. The three-day event took in 2,300 attendees, and dozens of participants vying for the Disrupt Cup and the $50,000 prize that comes along with it.
This year’s Disrupt Cup went to Beam, a Twitch-like alternative that reportedly boasts much faster features. Beam CEO, Matt Salsamendi, says there are huge communities forming around specific video games. Enabling people to chat and socialize about these games will be key in creating a totally different social media experience. Beam addresses that need and improves upon what twitch seemingly perfected. They will both see competition in the game streaming space with Facebook live but that is a different article for a different day.
Viewers of Beam streams will be able to advise broadcasters on choice of weapons before heading off into battle. Then there’s group play, a feature built into Beam that allows viewers to become the player. In essence, instead of having one broadcaster having total control over the in-game action, a group of viewers will be the ones controlling the game. This might be a gimmicky feature, but it’s something to stave off the boredom just in case there aren’t any interesting broadcasters around.
After all the excitement around Beam finally died down, Jessica Alba took the stage on day 3. The actress and entrepreneur talked about the troubles that her company, The Honest Company, experienced in its early days. Most of the problems were infrastructure-related, something which she and her co-founders had to live with like most startups. She the went on to discuss, how successful she and her team have been able to cement The Honest Company into the world of e-commerce. They’re planning to open several retail stores in Los Angeles and New York—two of their biggest markets.
In a bit of a twist, however, the question of “how organic is your organic-only product line” popped up, The Honest Company duo of Alba and CMO Chris Thorne refrained from giving us any specifics. In case you didn’t know where we’re going with this, we are referring to the lawsuit that The Honest Company is being faced with. The organic-only company is being accused of using unnatural ingredients in their baby formula product. Thorne deflected this inquiry, saying that the FDA has certain criteria that deem whether or not something is considered organic. Basically, he’s saying take it up with the FDA, because The Honest Company is following the FDA’s guideline when marking their products.
Also of note was the introduction to Viv. Anyone with an iPhone is familiar with Siri (Siri was introduced in 2011 was first made available in the iPhone 4s). She is everyone’s personal assistant on the go and although often underutilized is viewed by many as a precursor of artificial intelligence. Sire was developed out of SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center, and is a offshoot of their CALO project. Dag Kittlaus, on of the original Siri co-founders, unveiled Viv at TechCrunch’s Disrupt event in Brooklyn New York. Viv is a new artificial intelligence personable assistant platform that enables developers to distribute their products through an intelligent, conversational interface.
Alba panel essentially wrapped up the final day of TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016. Everything in between was just as interesting. Im very much looking forward to San Fransisco.