One of the biggest who's who events of the year for technology startups, TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013, will have a Sarasota connection.
That will be through opprtunity.com, a firm that aims to become a digital matchmaking service for businesses. The idea, says co-founder Janis Krums, is to connect people with like-minded business needs and backgrounds to each other using their LinkedIn profiles. The site is free for now, while in beta testing, but the founders hope to eventually make money off the service.
“We've had a really good response,” Krums tells Coffee Talk. “We have done well with small business owners and entrepreneurs.”
The firm next hopes to do well at TechCrunch Disrupt. The conference, scheduled for April 27 to May 1, is a coming-out party of sorts for tech startups worldwide. Opprtunity.com, says Krums, who founded the firm with Sarasota entrepreneur Bill Jula, will be part of an event called Startup Alley. That's where conference organizers invite 100 companies to pitch business models and concepts to venture capitalists, angel investors and fellow startups.
Krums, who, like Jula, has started several tech businesses, has been in the spotlight in the New York area once before for his technology prowess and good timing. That was on Jan. 15, 2009, when he was a passenger on a Staten Island ferry and witnessed US Airways Flight 1549 make a now-famous emergency landing in the Hudson River. Krums took a picture of people being rescued and tweeted it with this message: “There's a plane in the Hudson. I'm on the ferry going to pick up the people. Crazy.”
That picture was viewed 40,000 times on twitpic.com within hours, and many newspapers nationwide ran the picture on the front page the next day.