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NYC's Best New Web Start-Up Companies

There's something romantic about scrappy little web start-up companies, isn't there? In a way it's like the wild e-west, every company angling to be the next big thing. After all, today's start-ups are tomorrow's Facebooks. All it takes is one good idea done right and then it's off to the races. New York City plays host to many of these companies. The nine listed here are only a small sampling of the hundreds of start-ups that populate the city. Companies spring up every day, after all. These nine, however, offer some unique services that just seem cool to us. At the very least, they all have that one good idea. Now let's see if they continue to do it right. By Lawrence Bonk.


New Years resolutions come with the best intentions, then they get tossed away like rotting fish. Fitango is a Web site and community that is hellbent on not letting that happen. The service will walk you through just about any life-change or resolution imaginable, from running the marathon to detoxifying your home. It's not just resolutions either. The service also offers tutorials on subjects like maximizing visibility on employment websites, buying beauty products on a budget and even on getting the most out of Fitango. The step-by-step approach does wonders for your motivation level as does the plentiful tie-ins with social networks. Nothing keeps you on track like annoying friends.


It's a widely accepted fact: New Yorkers go gaga for their pets. The city's canine and feline friends already have access to fancy salons, massage parlors and all kinds of other services that make animal haters groan. Now they have their own FreshDirect as well. PetFlow will deliver meals and snacks to your pets on whatever schedule you desire. There's a flat delivery fee of $4.95, which is very similar to FreshDirect's pricing. It's a great way to stock up on pet food without traversing that treacherous four-floor walk-up you should have never moved into.


Does the world need yet another video streaming application? In PlayOn's case, probably. The service is an all-in-one that allows you to consolidate just about every available streaming service into one. Then you can send it from your computer to your Xbox, iPad, Wii, or PS3. It's an easy and convenient way to have your Hulus, Youtubes and Netflixes ready to go on your TV at any time. The recent mega-success of Netflix Instant has certainly whetted consumer's appetites for this kind of service and PlayOn may help them move beyond what is offered by Netflix's occasionally limited selection.


What would happen if Linkedin and Twitter made sweet(albeit in under 140 characters) love? The resulting love-child would look something like Hashable, which is available via web or iPhone. Hashable takes the social network aspects of Twitter and coats it with a dignified shine of business acumen. Basically, the service allows you to keep track of your contacts and friends in real time. Use it to find out what they are doing professionally and who they are doing it with. Then you can use said information to make your own contacts and hopefully get a job so you can stop sitting on your girlfriend's couch and playing video games all day. Seriously. It's annoying when you do that.


First, let's deal with the elephant in the room. Yeah, we all are kind of intrigued by the disaster-plagued Spider Man musical. But if it's going to be such a train-wreck, we can't play full price for a ticket can we? That's where SeatGeek comes in. Think of SeatGeek as the eBay of ticketing. It will help you get cheap tickets for theater performances, major concerts and all local sporting events. The service also gives you a "forecast" to let you know when the best time to check in for tickets is.


This iPhone application takes the best part about cliques and shaves off all of that needless cruelty. This app allows you and your friends to create a "team" of people. You can then easily send group texts to the team, engage in conference calls or use geotagging to let the rest of them know where you are. It takes the promise of foursquare to new mobile heights. Truly the perfect way to make sure you don't wander around the city all night muttering your friend's names into empty restaurants.


It's hard for guys to buy clothes online. Stuff doesn't fit right. Returns can be a hassle. Things don't look exactly as they do on the website. Bonobos seeks to end all of that and become to men's clothing what Zappos is to shoes. The company has already made a name for itself due to it's in-house khakis, which have been turning heads since 2008. The company has since expanded to blazers, shirts, jackets, belts and even shoes. They offer lifetime returns if stuff doesn't fit right and free and easy shipping. Now you really have no excuse to lounge around in your pajamas all day. Seriously. It's annoying when you do that.


I heard a ridiculous rumor that NYC has a vibrant art scene. Ok, it's true. As a matter of fact, there is so much art to see here that it can be difficult to know where to start(Well, beyond the MoMA.) Artsy is going to be your handy tour guide. It analyzes algorithms in pieces of art and links them to similar works. All you'll have to do is tell the system a few things you like and it'll do the rest. You'll get the gallery location, when it's being shown and contact information for you burgeoning art collectors out there. It truly is an innovative service. Look for t to launch in April, 2011.


If only there was a way to capture the instant gratification of real world shopping but eliminate all of that hunting and pecking. We live in NYC. It's annoying to take a subway to a store only to find out they are out of what we came there for. The people behind Goodzer must have had the same frustrations. This mobile and web service allows you to search through more than 15,000(As of this writing) brick and mortar stores. It will tell you whether or not products are in stock, what the prices are and the best way to travel to the store. The stock is updated in real-time so you'll never have to do the whole "Well, can you just check in back?" shuffle again.

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Lawrence Bonk is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn.
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