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Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian

Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian is our new weekly show that visits rising New York City startups and provides never-before-seen access to the men and women building our future. Back in 2005 Ohanian was a founder of Reddit — which modestly calls itself "the front page of the internet" — and he went on to launch companies like Breadpig and The Hipmunk. Be sure to check back every week for a new episode diving into the fast-paced New York startup scene.

  • Nov 12, 2013

    Verge Video

    'Small Empires': Kitchensurfing and the disruption of the private chef

    SME 009 still
    SME 009 still

    Hiring a private chef is typically considered a luxury reserved for only the wealthy, but one Brooklyn startup aims to change that. Headquartered in Gowanus, Kitchensurfing is opening the private-chef industry to the masses by creating a new platform for undiscovered chefs to build up their own personal brands and enrich the diets of their customers. Whether users are looking to learn how to prepare new styles of cuisine, host a party with friends, cater an event, or simply eat differently in their own homes, Kitchensurfing is connecting people with better food.

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  • Oct 29, 2013

    Verge Video

    Small Empires: Maker's Row and the future of American manufacturing

    Navigating the world of manufacturing hasn't always been a walk in the park. Factories and sourcing facilities are hard discover, unless you know people in the business or are willing to shell out a huge fee for directory information. Enter Maker's Row — a new attempt at cataloging, organizing and representing the best American manufacturers so designers and entrepreneurs can go from concept to prototype without going overseas or going over budget.

    This is the world of Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian, our weekly show where we give you a never-before-seen look at rising New York City startups, offering an inside look at the people behind the companies.

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  • Oct 23, 2013

    Verge Video

    Small Empires: the art of ideation with Paper by FiftyThree

    Tribeca, whose name derives from an abbreviation of "Triangle Below Canal Street," is a neighborhood in downtown New York, most noted for its annual film festival and historic industrial constructions converted to lofted live / work spaces in the '60s and '70s.

    One of those spaces is now the home of FiftyThree, a group of designers, developers and entrepreneurs founded by a group of Microsoft Research veterans that worked on the secretive Courier project. As Small Empires turns a new page and takes a look inside the colorful world that birthed the hit app, Paper, see how FiftyThree develops design-minded software that aims to help regular humans communicate their ideas effectively and beautifully.

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  • Oct 15, 2013

    Verge Video

    Small Empires: finding love with 1s, 0s, and OkCupid

    SME007 OKC still
    SME007 OKC still

    Small Empires is back! Join Alexis Ohanian as we give you a never-before-seen look at the world of New York startups.

    This week, we check out OkCupid, the dating site with a propensity for data research. Alexis sits with Christian Rudder about how he and the SparkNotes founders went from study guides to an online dating network — and from there, how the startup functions after being purchased by Match.com owners IAC.

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  • Ross Miller

    Oct 9, 2013

    Ross Miller

    Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian returns Tuesday, October 15th!

    Small Empires 1b teaser
    Small Empires 1b teaser

    Vacation's over. Small Empires will return this Tuesday, October 15th.

    Every week, join Alexis Ohanian as he visits rising New York City startups, offering an inside look at the people behind the companies. This next slate of episodes feature an online dating service, a company that set out to help anyone make beautiful artwork (first on screen and now on paper), an "Uber" for private chefs, and more. Enjoy the teaser below — and if you've missed a few episodes or need a refresher, we've got you covered right here.

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  • Ross Miller

    Oct 4, 2013

    Ross Miller

    'Small Empires' panel with Alexis Ohanian at the Paley Center in New York!

    Small Empires CU
    Small Empires CU

    Small Empires is nigh upon us — we'll tell you more very soon, promise — but if you want a sneak peek at the next series of episodes, join us this Saturday in New York for our PaleyFest panel!

    Our own Nilay Patel will be moderating and fielding audience questions about rising NYC startups, entrepreneurship, and video production in the new media era! Panelists include Alexis Ohanian, Stephen Greenwood (producer of Small Empires), FiftyThree CEO Georg Petschnigg and Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena.

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  • Ross Miller

    Sep 27, 2013

    Ross Miller

    Join us for a 'Small Empires' panel with Alexis Ohanian on Saturday, October 5th at the Paley Center in New York City!

    Small Empires CU
    Small Empires CU

    Small Empires is coming back... and we'll tell you more soon. But in the meantime, anyone located in New York is invited to join Alexis Ohanian, Stephen Greenwood (producer of Small Empires), FiftyThree CEO Georg Petschnigg and Squarespace CEO Anthony Casalena for a special panel discussion at The Paley Center for Media's 2013 PaleyFest to talk about rising NYC startups, entrepreneurship and video production in the new media era. Other panels include those centered around Boardwalk Empire, Orange is the New Black, and The Americans, so we're in some very good company.

    The panel is Saturday, October 5th at 2:00PM ET at The Paley Center for Media (25 West 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019). Tickets are just $10 when you enter the code 'SEPF2013' — so spend a Saturday afternoon with us and come ready with questions!

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  • Ross Miller

    Aug 29, 2013

    Ross Miller

    Small Empires: 3D printing from Bacon to Narwhals with Shapeways

    Small Empires Shapeways
    Small Empires Shapeways

    "A company within a company." That's the story of Shapeways, a startup that began in an incubator within Dutch conglomerate, Philips. And Shapeways itself is something of an incubator — a 3D-printing marketplace that allows for others to make a business out of their work.

    Small Empires is our new weekly show that visits rising New York City startups and provides never-before-seen access to the men and women building our future. Join Alexis Ohanian as he talks to Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen, as well as Shapeways artist / cufflinks aficionado Peter Knocke, whose work is made via Shapeways. (Note: this is our mid-season break. We won't be back next week, but we'll see you soon!)

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  • Ross Miller

    Aug 20, 2013

    Ross Miller

    Small Empires: Artsicle's mission to rent artwork to the masses

    SME artsicle dog
    SME artsicle dog

    Discover, rent, maybe purchase. It's a business model we've seen in various forms for video, audio, and even games. But what about one of the most timeless creative endeavors — art?

    Small Empires is our new weekly show that visits rising New York City startups and provides never-before-seen access to the men and women building our future. Join Alexis Ohanian as he talks to co-founders Alex Tryon (formerly of American Express) and Scott Carleton (formerly a nuclear engineer), as well as Brooklyn-based artist Dan Bina.

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  • Aug 14, 2013

    Verge Video

    Small Empires: Fitocracy's quest to make working out fun

    Small Empires 3
    Small Empires 3

    Gaming can be addictive. Working out? Not so easily. Cue Fitocracy. It's the product of two people unhappy with their own body image, trying to figure out some way to motivate themselves getting in shape, and putting those efforts into a company.

    Want more? Check out last week's episode with Rap Genius!

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  • Aug 6, 2013

    Verge Video

    Small Empires episode 002: Rap Genius

    SME 002 rap genius porch
    SME 002 rap genius porch

    Rap Genius (née Rap Exegesis) began as a quest to understand Cam'ron lyrics. It has since blossomed from a destination for understanding and critiquing rap lyrics to an annotation-fueled machine with a quest to "explain everything" — including current events, terms of service agreements, and poetry.

    Small Empires is our new weekly show that visits rising New York City startups and provides never-before-seen access to the men and women building our future. Join Alexis Ohanian as he takes a look behind the curtain at the company's Brooklyn-based headquarters and later visits poet Joshua Mehigan about his experience as a "verified" user.

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  • Jul 30, 2013

    Verge Video

    Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian episode 001: ZocDoc

    Small Empires CU
    Small Empires CU

    This is a big moment for us. The premiere of Small Empires with Alexis Ohanian. It's a new weekly show that visits rising New York City startups and provides never-before-seen access to the men and women building our future. This week? We visit ZocDoc. The company was founded in April 2007 to support the health care industry — to make it as easy to schedule a doctor's appointment as, say, ordering a pizza.

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  • Sam Sheffer

    Jul 29, 2013

    Sam Sheffer

    'Small Empires' premiere: a live Q&A with Alexis Ohanian! (update)

    alexis sme
    alexis sme

    Our new web series Small Empires debuts across all internets Tuesday, July 30th, but we’re broadcasting the first episode one day early! That's right — tonight at 8PM ET / 5PM PT, you'll be able to watch the first episode with the show's host, Alexis Ohanian. The episode will officially be available on demand starting tomorrow morning.

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  • Ross Miller

    Jul 24, 2013

    Ross Miller

    'Small Empires', our new video series with Alexis Ohanian, debuts Tuesday, July 30th!

    alexis sme
    alexis sme

    It's almost here! The Verge and Alexis Ohanian have teamed up to bring you a brand new video series on the frenetic and exciting world of New York City startups. It's called Small Empires and we're happy to announce it'll premiere Tuesday, July 30th. The show will feature Ohanian (an all-around charming chap known for Reddit, Breadpig, and Hipmunk) giving us an inside look at a wide range of startups — big, small, and virtually unknown. As Alexis sees it, the show will be something akin to "Inside the Actor's Studio meets Dirty Jobs for tech in New York." And obviously, we liked the sound of that.

    Our first episode will debut next Tuesday, with new episodes available every week. Stay tuned for more, and in the meantime, enjoy a behind-the-scenes look from our first episode.

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  • Joshua Topolsky

    Jul 1, 2013

    Joshua Topolsky

    Coming soon: 'Small Empires' with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian

    Alexis Ohanian
    Alexis Ohanian

    We're incredibly excited to announce that The Verge and Alexis Ohanian have teamed up to bring you a brand new video series called Small Empires. Ohanian — a Reddit co-founder and all-around delightful chap — will visit rising New York City startups, offering an inside look at how the people behind these companies are building amazing and disruptive products. As Alexis sees it, the show will be something akin to "Inside the Actor’s Studio meets Dirty Jobs for tech in New York." And obviously, we liked the sound of that.

    The show will start towards the end of July and new episodes will be available every week. Stay tuned for a lot more info soon. While you wait, check out the story The Hollywood Reporter did on the project.

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