I went to the University at Buffalo two weeks ago to attend a CodeCon that Bloomberg was putting on. 150 computer science students attended to compete for three top prizes of smart watches. Pizza and swag was provided. After the two-hour competition, the top 30 ranked students were contacted for follow up internship interviews. The event cost Bloomberg under $2,000 without the travel and accommodations they had to also pay for their representatives.
I spoke with some students afterwards. One of them will be interning at Facebook this summer getting paid $45/hour, all meals supplied (via Facebook’s cafeteria), and housing also paid for. That’s what Buffalo is competing with. That’s what the world is competing with. Facebook isn’t just recruiting the top engineers at the University at Buffalo, they’re doing it at every college. I can’t blame these kids for going out West for that. Work at Facebook, gain experience and start paying off student loans? Hell, sign me up.
Note: This position is part-time (5-10 hours/week), unpaid, provides academic credits and starts immediately in Buffalo, NY. You must be able to be onsite in our office (located in downtown in the city) at least one half-day a week.
Z80 Labs is hiring a Machine Learning Engineer Intern to build the early, key pieces of an internal tool that will uncover information to find startups we want to invest in. As a Machine Learning Engineer Intern at Z80 Labs, you will build tools to collect new data signals in order to create proprietary insights and data through statistical analysis and machine learning techniques. We want someone who loves finding patterns in past data to then predict the future based on real-time data. To be successful, you need to be great at coming up with creative ways to decipher investment patterns from structured data. As we are a small and agile team you’ll have the opportunity to wear many hats: it’s important that you are both a skilled web developer and experienced with data science and machine learning.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU
- Your work will directly impact our investments as we prepare to engage in critical transactions.
- Work closely with our Managing Director.
- You think you know about startups now, just wait until you’ve spent one month with us.
- You will play a critical role in building Z80’s core data consumption, analysis, and creation technologies. We want someone who brings a strong opinion to the table and will be proactively involved with product planning.
- Dig deep to discover what drives the momentum of private companies and investment. Get creative — whether it’s looking at DNS record changes, crawling the web with phantomjs, or building out a call center that measures mean time for businesses to pick up the phone.
- Design experiments that can structure insights and data from the vast amounts of information locked away in text on the internet.
WHAT YOU WILL WORK ON
- Extract structured data from AngelList, Twitter, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn.
- Extract structured data about funding events from the thousands of news articles about companies that are posted every day
- Detect emerging industries by analyzing the features of newly established companies and determining if they fall into a new, previously unidentified cluster
- Predict who will become a startup founder based on publicly available data about them
- Predict who will become a startup founder again based on previous startup experience and fundraising.
- Build a scalable infrastructure that can be used to experiment on new Machine Learning models and run validated models on massive amounts of streaming data
WHAT YOU NEED TO BE SUCCESSFUL
- Software development experience
- Machine Learning experience
- Skilled at Python, experience with Hadoop/Spark is a plus
- Experience (or thirst to learn) using Natural Language processing techniques.
- Can (or have the desire to) talk about Random Forests, Naive Bayes and Support Vector Machines in your sleep
- Passionate about startups, ideally with a background or at least some interest in finance
WHY WE LOVE IT HERE
- Fully-stocked fridge of Red Bull and snacks.
- Work alongside 25 other startups at the Z80 Labs and 43 North incubator.
HOW TO APPLY
- Email steve at z80labs dot com with your resume, github link, and a brief cover letter (or email) as to why you.
ABOUT Z80 LABS
- Z80 Labs, launched in summer 2012, is Buffalo’s first Internet-focused technology incubator, providing entrepreneurs the ability to build new and innovative tech companies in Buffalo, New York. Startups invited to locate in Z80 Labs are given a wide array of services including office space, education programs, mentorship, amenities and infrastructure from local sponsors, as well as expert advice from renowned industry advisors. Total funds under Z80 Labs management are $6.6 million.
The outlook for the future of the Buffalo Sabres is HIGH, according to NATIONAL media — not just local media. Here’s what national media has been saying:
A letter to Ted Black:
4-ticket season ticket holder and downtown advocate here.
I was watching the first episode of the HBO 24/7 Winter Classic for Penguins vs Capitals. In this episode, the Penguins come visit Buffalo to play the Sabres. I saw that their bus went from the Buffalo airport down the ugly 33 to the Embassy Suites downtown where they stayed. The players then ate at the Buffalo Chophouse. (I really wish they’d eat at Tempo, Mother’s or Mike A’s, as the food quality is much better in my opinion, but I digress)
Companies that are recruiting out-of-town employees to come work/live in Buffalo have the same problems that the Sabres and Bills have when recruiting talent to Buffalo — a stigma is attached in people’s minds. They have seen our city in superbowl losses playing in snow and they’ve seen us make national headlines with our blizzards over the years.
The “33” is the ugliest transportation roadway possibly in all of America — right next to Detroit’s. I really wish we could throw some paint on the walls of the 33, or make it an art insulation that is designed by the many artists in our city, or possibly commission Christo to wrap the 33 in fabric — see attached image…. but that’s years away, so in the meantime, the 33 is dreary and ugly. Not a good first impression of our city, with the abandoned projects and such that litter the 33.
I have this thought that you might have some “pull” on influencing where those buses drive when they take the team downtown. They must all use the same local bus company and it seems you could meet with a high-up manager there to explain this.
If the bus took the 33 to the 198 and then the Delaware South exit, taking Delaware into downtown….. it would add only 4 minutes to the overall drive time, and the players/guests would see: Delaware Park (at Parkside corner), lovely homes there, the beautiful Forest Lawn Cemetery as they drove through the S-curves, the mansions along Delaware, and more of the unique architecture from Allen St through downtown.
It would help make a better impression on players that are visiting.
I really believe we should roll out the red carpet for visiting teams. Honestly, I think their locker room should be as good as the Sabres locker room. Every impressionable moment that we have with those players is a moment that our city’s perception to the rest of the world can be helped or hindered when those players leave and tell the people they influence about Buffalo, NY.
Thanks for listening,
Imagine a search engine like Amazon.com, but all the products are sold by all the local retailers. So instead of having something shipped from Amazon.com, it gets shipped or picked up or dropped off by a local retailer — maybe they’d even price match if purchased through this site only, and not via the own local retailer’s site or in-location.
Keep the money local!
If Buffalo had all products indexed, this could happen.
- This was it, I’m home for good. I want to be apart of the growth/change in this great city for the next 20+ years.
- I’m going to connect the techies in this area, so we know who we all are.
- I want tech startups in this city. It’s the now. It’s the future. Job creation will come from these new opportunities.
Geek Givings Night is a night of multiple local for- & non-profit organizations presenting New Tech style, but with a twist. Once all of the groups are finished on the podium (they each get two minutes instead of the typical five minutes to present) they split up into tables at Z80 Labs and start hacking. The tech community helps the local businesses on tech issues ranging from web design to social media help, database support to graphic design, and everything in-between. Quarterly, 6-9pm, 3rd Wed of Feb/May/Aug/Nov @ Z80 Labs. Seeking a leader and co-organizers. Count on Steve Poland and Dan Magnuszewski as co-organizers.
Buffalo Beta is Buffalo’s Premier Startup Mixer. Buffalo Beta is a quarterly get-together for founders, hackers, students, investors, designers, visionaries, media professionals, and more. You can expect socializing with friends and colleagues and meeting new people from throughout the entrepreneurial community. No formal presentations – just informal, ongoing demos from awesome young companies and lots of time to enjoy each other’s company. Startups each get a table to demo their goods. Quarterly, 6-9pm, 2nd Wed of Jan/Apr/July/Oct @ Pearl St Brewery. Seeking a leader and co-organizers. Count on Steve Poland and Dan Magnuszewski as co-organizers.
BarCamp Buffalo (rebooted!) is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. BarCamp Buffalo is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees. No spectators, only participants. All attendees should give a demo, a session, or help with one. Thus, the content is provided by participants. This is called sharing and we like it. Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to join. Note: If you attended a prior BarCamp Buffalo, we lacked space and had altered the format — expect the real deal now that we have lots of space (30-min presentations, multiple presentations in different rooms at every moment to give you greater choices). Quarterly, 8am-5pm, 1st Sat of Feb/May/Aug/Nov @ Medaille College Buffalo Campus. Interim leader Steve Poland. Seeking a leader and co-organizers. Count on Steve Poland, Dan Magnuszewski, Charles Wertz, Nick Quaranto, and Sean Zawicki as co-organizers.
Ignite Buffalo is a night of presentations with a twist. Presenting on a subject of their choice, speakers have exactly 5 minutes to teach something, enlighten us, or simply inspire — backed by 20 slides auto-advancing every 15 seconds. Quick, fun, and smart. Quarterly, 6-9pm, 2nd Wed of Mar/June/Sept/Dec @ Pearl St Brewery. Seeking a leader and co-organizers. Count on Steve Poland and Dan Magnuszewski as co-organizers. Mike Canzoneri very interested in leading or co-leading.
Buffalo Startup Weekend is a weekend dive into starting a business. Anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers on Friday night. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations on Sunday evening in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups! If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, get ready for the best weekend of your life! Quarterly, 1st weekend of Mar/June/Sept/Dec @ Medaille College Buffalo Campus. Jon Spitz leading, co-organizers of Steve Poland, Dan Magnuszewski, Charles Wertz, Dan Gigante, Lisa Primerano, and Mark Branden. Seeking 8-10 volunteers and co-organizers.
7-Week Startup Buffalo is a community accelerator where teams collaborate to launch a startup over the course of seven Saturdays. The program welcomes individuals or established teams at the idea/prototype stage to pitch their business goals and form teams at the start of each 7-week session. Brunch is provided every Saturday as a speaker presents a topic on startup building and mentors the teams. Feedback is also provided every week by peers. The seventh Saturday culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. Quarterly, 2nd Sat (& six subsequent Saturdays) of Mar/June/Sept/Dec @ Z80 Labs. Co-leaders Dan Gigante and Chris Castleman. Seeking co-organizers.
- Jan 11, 2013 (tonight! 4:30pm-7pm) – 7 Week Startup @ Z80 Labs
- Feb 1, 2013 (Fri 6pm-9pm) – BarCamp Buffalo Kick-Off Happy Hour @ Z80 Labs
- Feb 2, 2013 (Sat 8am doors, 9am-5pm) – BarCamp Buffalo @ Medaille College
- Feb 2, 2013 (Sat 5pm-?) – BarCamp Buffalo After-Party @ Cole’s
- Feb 28, 2013 (Thurs 6pm-9pm) – Buffalo Startup Weekend Kick-Off Happy Hour @ Z80 Labs
- March 1-3, 2013 (Fri 5pm doors, 7pm-2am) – Buffalo Startup Weekend @ Medaille College
- March 3, 2013 (Sun 8:30pm-?) – Buffalo Startup Weekend After-Party @ Founding Father’s
More events are in the works: Buffalo I/O (led by Dan Magnuszewski, he’s seeking co-organizers — reach out to him), Creative Mornings (led by Nicholas Barone), a Ruby conf (led by Nick Quaranto), and please let me know of any other event initiatives.
This is by no means a comprehensive post, but rather some info I found on the Internet after researching the mayor position in the City of Buffalo, and what it would take to win. Pretty interesting stuff.
I found the 2009 election results for Buffalo Mayor. A total of a mere 26,464 voters determined this city’s fate — of 500,000 eligible voters. 77,000 voters are between the ages of 21-29, and 252,000 are between 30-55 (I wish this was broken down better).
Of the 26,464, Mickey Kearns wasn’t even on the ballot — he was a write-in, thus only got 158 votes. There were 8,578 votes that were ‘blank, void or scattering’ (blows my mind that 1/3 of the voters’ votes weren’t even counted!), and the remaining ~16,000 votes went to Byron Brown. [source]
In 2007 Pittsburgh, 67,000 total votes cast with 43,000 went to Luke, the kid. [source]
Some good questions by citizens of Buffalo for the mayor during last election are here (aside from the MLB/NBA tangent).
Someone that was attempting to run in 2009 and their message: http://www.changebuffalo.org/
There is also the thought that Buffalo should reform to a ‘City Manager’ system instead.
East Side Showroom for drinks or a meal (delicious and serves old fashioned drinks that take like 5 minutes to make). If in North Austin, the tres leches cake at Chuy’s. “Frank” for brunch. Magnolia for breakfast. South Congress Cafe for any meal, cool spot that is delicious. Music: La Zona Rosa, Antones, The Parish.. Typically shows are at those places. I love Austin, simply the greatest city in the world. Oh yeah, Oasis requires a car but well worth it for the sunset view, go for dinner but have enough time as a wait occurs for tables (but there are hundreds of tables literally). Salt Lick needs a car but is some amazing BBQ, it’s in a dry county so you can’t buy beer/etc there but people pack their own cooler of beer and roll it up next to their table. ‘The purple’ at Baby Acapulco if you’re feeling rowdy (they’ll only serve you two, that’s how strong they are!).
Bats at dusk under the South Congress Bridge. Go on the bridge and see the stream of black pour out from underneath — 1.5 million bats! Largest population in USA.
SXSW in March for the greatest music festival in the world, nearly 2000 bands playing over 4 days.