Venture Capital

Real Estate Startup Gets $7M in Venture Funding

VTS Screenshot (Courtesy: View the Space)

View the Space, the real estate startup that collects leasing data and creates virtual space tours, has secured a $7 million round of venture funding.

The funding, provided primarily by Trinity Ventures of Menlo Park, Calif., will allow View the Space to expand into new markets and build the next generation of the service, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

“We believe that real estate has been, like some industries, underpenetrated by information technology,” said Noel Fenton, a general partner at Trinity, in an interview with the Journal. “There is an opportunity there to help owners and brokers execute their job more efficiently through online facilities.”

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Wired City

NYU-Poly Completes Second Half of Cyber Hacking Competition

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The  Polytechnic Institute of New York University completed the second phase of its cyberhacking competition that began in September. The school chose winners of its 10-year-old competition and closed competing until its next round in 2014.

“We are gratified to see the growth in the high school competition—from only 400 students two years ago to 1,500 today, because that signals that our efforts are working to fill the college-bound pipeline with talented cybersecurity students,” said professor Nasir Memon, CSAW founder and head of NYU-Poly’s Computer Science and Engineering Department.

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Wired City

Facebook Partners With Cisco To Expand Free Wi-Fi For Check-Ins

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Just because you’ve found free Wi-Fi doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy to connect. But starting yesterday, businesses are now able to give customers access to their free Wi-Fi in exchange for checking in on Facebook without the need to distribute a password.

The program, called CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi, is the result of a new collaboration between Facebook and Cisco. With this setup, users can get onto a business’s existing Wi-Fi connection by simply checking into that location on Facebook without dealing with a password. If they agree to that, then their name will show up on the business’s Facebook page, and the business will get access to the user’s anonymous demographic data.

But there is a way to make your check-ins private, Eric Tseng, head of Facebook’s Wi-Fi initiative, told TechCrunch. That way you don’t have to broadcast your location data to all your friends to take advantage of Wi-Fi when you’re out and about.

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Wired City

Duane Reade Boasts 1 Million Twitter Followers

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New York City drug store giant Duane Reade is connecting with more customers via social media.

Its Twitter fan base surpassed 1 million followers, a major milestone for the Walgreen-operated drug store chain among the drug, food and mass-arena segment. Duane Reade has raised its presence on Twitter more than 6,000 percent in the past year.

Calvin Peters, digital communications manager for Duane Reade, credited its loyal customers for the increase. The company has also run social media awareness campaigns for the brand within the past year.

“This social milestone is all about our customers and represents the ability and focus we have to seamlessly reach them whenever and wherever they are with useful content they crave and now have come to expect via effective two-way communications,” Mr. Peters said. “Our goal has been social community building and expanding relevant engagement to enhance our overall customer experience. achieving this while also creating social communication vehicles that can generate tangible ROI results for both corporate and vendor initiatives have proven successful.”

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Wired City

Facebook, Homeland Security Support NYU-Poly Cyber Security Week Hacking Competition

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The future of New York City and International Internet security depends on the next generation of information technology professionals, and, to prove it, more than 10,000 students gathered on the Brooklyn campus of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University last week to participate in its September Cyber Security Week competition.

The hacking competition at NYU-Poly, sponsored by social media powerhouse Facebook, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Qualcomm and a host of other companies, was designed to showcase the talent of up-and-coming IT professionals while studying issues that could potentially impact broadband security. The company sponsorships help fund the cost of student travel and expenses associated with the competition. Read More

Wired City

City Tech Partners with High Tech

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The Bloomberg administration is making a push to support the expanding tech sector, and Downtown Brooklyn is becoming a hub for tech firms.

To help train and prepare students for the growing tech job market, the city’s Department of Small Business Services has partnered with the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle and the New York City College of Technology (City Tech) to create a paid summer internship program. Read More

REIT Beat

Vornado Rebounds with Positive Second Quarter

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Vornado Realty Trust reported its second quarter results on Monday, with funds from operations up to $235.3 million, or $1.25 per diluted share, from $166.7 million, or $0.89 per diluted share, for the same period last year.

“It was a positive quarter,” Michael Knott, managing director at Green Street Advisors, told The Commercial Observer. “The first quarter was very noisy from an accounting standpoint.” Read More

Tech and the City

YouTube Going Old School?

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Lights. Camera… YouTube?

In what may be window into the future of digital companies, video streaming giant and Google-owned YouTube has announced it will open a creative television/movie studio space in Chelsea next year.

YouTube will open a 25,000-square-foot collaborative video production studio at 22 West 21st Street in October 2014, where filmmakers can apply to be Read More

Wired City

Why Businesses Have Their Head in the Clouds

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A recently released global survey of CIOs by Gartner Inc. estimated that nearly 40 percent of enterprise organizations expect to stop providing devices to their employees by 2016—it’s part of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement, and “the cloud” is the front-runner in that movement. Read More

Market Report

Class B Rents in Midtown South Surpass Midtown

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Demand for space in Midtown South, where the majority of properties are Class B, drove effective rent for buildings in that classification beyond Midtown in the second quarter, according to data from CompStak. Midtown South Class B effective rent was $46.67 per square foot for the quarter, while Midtown registered effective rent for Class B of $44.17.

Though availability is tight in the city’s hottest submarket, those companies that are able to find space are driving up rents–and there is no end in sight. Read More

Postings

The CompStak Office Index

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Overall, Manhattan rents were flat in June after posting impressive increases through April and May. Midtown’s starting rent increases continued as several more leases for high-end office space were signed. Midtown South saw leasing activity and rents drop slightly—a normal occurrence in the month after a rare large Class A office lease is signed (Facebook at 770 Broadway). Downtown rents remained flat despite reasonable activity, posting a miniscule drop, which can be attributed to large blocks of space becoming available.

June’s largest office deals included Och-Ziff in the Solow Building, New York Media in Hudson Square, and New York County Health Services Review Organization in City Hall. Read More