Built In Brooklyn: HappyFunCorp Helps Startups Build New Products

For the tenth and final episode of Built in Brooklyn, we tried to do something a little different — instead of visiting another startup, we talked to the team at HappyFunCorp, a design and engineering firm that’s helped a bunch of local startups get off the ground.

HappyFunCorp’s clients include New York City companies like Boxee, CoPromote, Paperless Post, and SimpleReach. (It also works with bigger customers like American Express, Victoria’s Secret, and AOL, which owns TechCrunch. Oh, and the firm employs TechCrunch columnist Jon Evans.)


With that experience, I figured co-founders Will Schenk and Ben Schippers could offer a broader perspective on how the Brooklyn startup scene has changed — not surprisingly, they both had mostly positive things to say. And even though Schippers acknowledged that parts of Brooklyn are getting more pretty damn expensive, he argued that there’s still room for young, broke startups.

“There are still huge pockets of Brooklyn that are inexpensive, so I think you’re seeing people really, truly bootstrap startups,” he added. “I don’t know that there’s any specific vertical that’s hot in Brooklyn, but what you’re seeing is the opportunity to live in Brooklyn at a fair wage, if you’re willing to go a little further out. And because of that, you’re going to get a lot of innovation, you’re going to get a lot of young people, they’re going to take risks.”

Schenck and Schippers also recounted starting the company in an attic, talked about their HappyFunAcademy training program, and showed off a new product called Benevolent Gaze for monitoring your office network.


Since this is the last episode of Built in Brooklyn (at least for now), I want to close with a big thank you to TechCrunch TV producer Steve Long , who’s shot and edited every segment. And thanks to everyone for watching.