StarStreet, one of the Cambridge start-ups participating in this spring's TechStars development program, is down in New York this week for the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. They're using the event as an opportunity to open up the beta test of their "sports stock market" to more people, according to founder Jeremy Levine; all you need is a Facebook account.
The first event in which you'll have a chance to participate is the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, which starts June 11th. StarStreet players can "buy" shares in teams and individual players using play money — and see how their decisions play out over time. The company eventually hopes to let you trade on StarStreet using real money (and either turning a profit or chalking up a loss), though there are some questions hovering over the legality of that. (I'm sure StarStreet would be much more hazardous to individual investors than, say, the NYSE.)
An early test during the NCAA's March Madness tournament had a small number of users trading with actual dollars, and no legal or regulatory actions arose.
StarStreet will also be part of the TechStars Boston demo night next Wednesday (an invite-only event for prospective investors). The start-up's "coaching staff" (read: advisory board) includes Viximo co-founder Sean Lindsay and Black Duck Software veterans Doug Levin and Palle Pedersen.
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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December 9: Web Innovators Group
Demos of new mobile apps and web ventures at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Free admission; cash bar.
December 10: Fintech Demo Day
Short demos from startups in the financial technology realm.
December 11: Unpitch
Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.