The NY Tech Meetup was founded in 2004 by Scott Heiferman (Founder of Meetup.com) and Dawn Barber. Right now it accounts for over 30k members.
Every month 850 technologist gathering at the NYU Skirball Center For The Performing Arts to watch 9 to 10 start-up demos.
That was third NY Tech meetup that I happened to attend.
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And every month it’s all starting with same thing - a hassle of  getting a ticket to the main event (there are also “simulcasts” wich also a great opportunity for networking). Event  organizers release tickets in three batches. Unfortunately for me,  I missed first two releases and was hoping to grab one ticket ( $10) from the third release. Oh, naïve Zhenya. At 1:02 pm (2 minutes after release) meetup page showed no RVSP button. I discovered that all third batch of tickets sold out within first minute (imagine 35 meetup members competing for a one seat). So I wasn’t even able to see “RVSP” button. But we won’t gave up that easy right? There is always somebody who can’t come. Hopefully for me after posting a message on the meet up wall, a person named Raj gave me a call and said that his friend can’t attend because of work and he would like to sell me one ticket. Awesome! I’m in!
What I like about this event is that there are no VIP rows or seats. So you can easily get a place in the first row and actually see those excited faces of founders featuring their demos. What I can’t understand is that no one is taking them? I always show up just 5 minutes before it starts to find out that first and second rows are empty. Well, it’s not in my interest for people occupy them either. (I’m afraid that next time there will be no empty seat there).
Each time before the start, host and Managing Director Jessica ( link) asking who came for the first time. I noticed that each time there is a substantial part of audience who are first comers. Having that in mind I want to give a tip to anybody who is planning to attend this meetup. If you are going with your friend or coworker – don’t sit together. Somewhere in the middle of the event you will have an opportunity to network. Everyone turns to their left and their right and has a little chat. So if you want to have a chance to pitch to an angel investor or a VC, make sure to sit between two unknown to you fellow technologists.
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Demos:

Helps you to plan where to go on next date. Offers you deals from local businesses. 1000 existing subscribers.
HowAboutWe
Social network based on interests. Founders are  from okCupid labs. Idea came from dating web site’s okCupid.com profiles. Once signed up, you can rate each specific interest. There are around 110 000 ratings already left.
Better youtube. Claimed to have a new way of suggesting videos.
Volunteer your computer skills to non- profits and nice for- profits.
Analyzes data from internet. Example was made on coffee snobs on tweeter (majority is in Oregon).
Better Google analytics. Analyzes stats for your web site.
I got an idea that it’s a small department in big MLB Media company that focused on broadcasting to iPhones and iPads.
8. Dawn Robotics  (no comprehensive web site)
Touch pad technologies. SmartTile that is touch aware and capable to track trajectories of how people walk. Possible implementation can be analyzing trajectories of customers in malls.
Apps for publishers, writers, journalists and anybody who works with big quantities of unstructured material. During the demo, a little piece of a hardware was presented that enables  motion sensing interaction (think Kinect) with the app.
After the demos at the networking event my attention was drawn to a videographer who had this interesting piece of equipment:
Padcaster-w-shotgun-front
It’s a simple iPad with the Padcaster case on it ($150). That videographer named Josh was an inventor of the Padcaster.
What Josh wanted to do with his iPad is to be able mount his favorite lenses. He wanted to use professional lenses that he uses with his video camera.
Josh kindly shared his story with me.
This idea came to him about 2 years ago. Padcaster is his first products that he invented, prototyped, manufactured and marketed.
First strep was creating the 3D model. 3d model was ready in one weekend by a guy he found online. Next step was prototyping.
Prototyping was done in the US. With CAD files in hand and $5k, Josh made 3 prototypes of the case (it doesn’t mean that costs of a production are over $1.5k per item, it’s only for prototyping). 
(note: Josh’s father works in manufacturing so it was relatevely easy for him to find prototypier and manufacturer).
Once the product and market demand was tested the next step was manufacturing of the first batch. That is usually done in China. Manufacturer MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) was 1000 items.
His first orders came from Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 2012 where he had a booth and was walking around and recording attendees (check this video made by Engadget.com) . The Padcaster web store went live since July 2012.
Right now Josh works on deals with major retail stores similar to BestBuy and B&H.
Good luck Josh!
Watch full February NYTech Meetup here.

 

Let’s see what the March NYTech Meetup will bring us.  Make sure to buy a ticket on March 11, and March 15 at 1 p.m. (again, tickets are sold in 1 minute, so be at the web page 2 minutes before)

 

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