Local development corporation Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is holding a business pitch competition among companies in Brooklyn and a bitcoin startup is included in the mix. The prize money of $50,000 will come from Partnership co-chairs MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and chief executive of Forest City Ratner Cos., and Bre Pettis,founder of 3-D-printing company MakerBot.
Nearly 70 startups joined the competition and the finalists are set to give short speeches and answer questions from the judges for four minutes.
Brooklyn-Based Bitcoin Startup
“I’m sharpening up,” said Joswell Valdez, co-founder of the mobile app sync.cr, “Four minutes is long, you know? They could give you some tough questions.”
This mobile app allows for the delivery of bitcoin through social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. According to Valdez, the app will be particularly useful for sending payments between countries with different currencies.
The app features a simple interface which allows the user to link social networks with a bitcoin wallet. With that, the user can be able to form business circles that are interested in bitcoin transactions and send funds easily.
“We were interested in bitcoin because it’s worldwide,” explained Valdez. “It has no barriers or politics.” Indeed bitcoin has been used in a number of fund transfer platforms, particularly in money remittances in Asia. The primary appeal of bitcoin in these transfers is that it features lower transaction costs compared to credit cards or traditional money transfer facilities like Western Union.
The recent mix of companies participating in the competition reflects a shift to a more tech-savvy Brooklyn, as it has evolved from artisanal products to include a bitcoin startup and a spacesuit manufacturing company. Other startups joining the competition are Toilets for People, which makes Crapper or Compact Rotating Aerobic Pollution-Prevention Excreta Reducer, and Final Frontier Design.