New York: How the Alley Can Compete with the Valley

New York CityCan New York Compete With the Best of the West? New York has to shake its reputation of being “media-focused” as opposed to “technology-focused” if its startup action is to match Silicon Valley’s. Most big New York startups — think Foursquare — have a heavy social media component. The area focuses on advertising, finance and retail, which is fine but doesn’t attract the same VC money as the West Coast’s tech projects. A parallel problem: New York is perceived to have a lack of strong engineering talent. Digital Trends

Skype Will Acquire GroupMe: Skype has agreed to acquire New York-based startup GroupMe, a year-old company that provides group messaging services on smartphones. Users can text or make conference calls to several friends or colleagues simultaneously. It’s a big success for the small company, which was created last year at TechCrunch Disrupt. It raised $11.5 million from Lerer Ventures and others, and will be sold for around $80 million. The co-founders will become Microsoft employees though the company will remain independent and in New York. The New York Post

Peeking Inside Apple’s New Grand Central Store: Although Apple didn’t want renderings of its Grand Central space to go public, the MTA released images anyway. The space looks light and airy, leaving observers to speculate what it will really look like when it’s crowded and what Apple will do on product launch days, when thousands of people routinely show up at Apple stores to get in on the action. The New York Times

Apple Will Open NYC Offices: Kaufman Organization has signed a 40,000 square-foot lease with Apple at 100-104 Fifth Avenue in the trendy Union Square/Flatiron section of the city. Apple has already set up shop in 10,000 square feet of the building for its iAd group, but is now s expanding to make room for its first executive offices here. The company will start new business projects, and rumor has it the décor will share the sleek stylings of a typical Apple store. Business Insider

Where to Get Your Coworking Done: Shared tech workspaces are all the rage. They foster creativity and cross-fertilization, are relatively cheap for small startups, and attract VC investors. According to The Next Web, the five coolest coworking spaces in the city are General Assembly, WeWork Labs, Projective Space, New Work City, and Dogpatch Labs. The Next Web