Supporting Small Business in New York City

by Aaron Rosenthal

Last week Phone.com had the opportunity to be one of the sponsors of the first NY Business Expo at the 69th Regiment Armory in NYC. The event was a two day expo showcasing a peppering of companies including startups and well established brands alike. As a sponsor, we were thrilled to offer all attendees Phone.com’s Virtual Office solution free for 1 year. Needless to say I’m sure plenty of startups found this a rather useful piece of expo “schwag”.

Anyone familiar with NYC’s armories is aware of the enormity of these field house sized spaces, and to NY Biz Ex’s credit they were able to mostly fill the Armory with exhibiting companies, seminars by established business executives & venture capitalists, and one rather unique room for mentors. Not that I’m any expert on trade shows and conferences, but this was the first time I had seen a mentoring program being held as part of a trade show. Startups and entrepreneurs had the opportunity to schedule one-to-one mentor meetings with an A list of successful business executives. But as the API guy at Phone.com, my focus was to hunt down companies who’s applications were communications enabled, or those companies who’s applications could benefit from being communications enabled. So here’s a couple company highlights of mine from the show:

Spacesplitter.com – I have three roommates. Splitting all of our collective bills on a monthly basis, plus getting everyone to pay in full and on time can sometimes be a challenge. So for me SpaceSplitter sounded like a home run. Although still in development, SpaceSplitter allows users to order household goods (through Soap.com) and split the bill any which way. But the features I’m waiting for, and am told are in development are integrations with ConEd and TimeWarner allowing me to use the same service to pay and split bills across other utilities. Once that happens, you can bet I’ll be using SpaceSplitter. Very cool service especially for NYC where so many people share apartments and lofts. I also expect SMS notifications and reminders being integrated into SpaceSplitter.

Herematch.com – This company was founded by a guy I’ve known for many years Neil Levine & his son. The problem Herematch tries to solve, which is a big problem and often my largest gripe with networking events, is how to effectively pair those people with services, products, & jobs with those people in need of said services, products, & jobs. Herematch allows individuls to create profiles based on what they’re looking to get out of networking, and through check-ins the application will pair those individuals up surrounding a specific event. Again, thinking about API’s this application is a perfect use case for Text Messaging where individuals can either connect via SMS, or be notified of a “match” via text or call.

Other exhibiting businesses also included professional services organizations like accountants, law firm, and financial planning. All in all I would rate NY Business Expo a success and will keep an eye out for what they plan to do next year. And expect to see Phone.com participating in events all across the metro NYC area for the foreseeable future!

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About Aaron Rosenthal

Aaron Rosenthal is currently the API Product Manager with Phone.com and responsible for the launch of their upcoming API. In addition to his API efforts, Aaron also manages Phone.com's sponsorships and partnerships alongside various other marketing activities. Aaron has been in the telecommunications industry for more than 7 years and has experienced first hand the migration of communication services from legacy carriers to internet based cloud providers.