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Sep 9, 2008

TechCrunch50 and Demo 72

TechCrunch50 Session 2: Memes & News

TechCrunch50’s second session introduced four companies related to breaking news and online trends. The judges for this panel were: Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube; Marrissa Mayer, VP product and search; Google; Ron Conway, prolific Angel investor; Dan Farber, Cnet, Editor in chief. You can see our coverage of the first panel here. A sampling of the judges’ comments follows the company summaries...

Marissa Mayer
Dotspots - I loved it. When we launched Chrome, it was clear that given what’s possible having more ratings and reviews are done differently on every site, so a general tool would be very powerful. It’s a really beautiful idea.

With Angstro - As we know from Google alerts, following people you know is big. An issue is the business model - would it be subscriptions or advertising driven?

Live Hit? There is a design and user experience issue. I usually break these things down as push versus pull. In general social networks are passive - people want push. I can’t tell how good the maps of these sites are - there seems like too much hunting and pecking - it’s hard for the user to navigate. How to make it more self evident, without so much work for the user.

StockMood - I thought it was clever - haven’t seen an analysis versus articles site before. A concern is whether it would be too sophisticated for lay people. And conversely, high end investors often have a personal way to analyse stock so getting them to adopt a new model is an issue. I liked that you all have a real technoligy which holds it all together.

DotSpots - Great idea - but where is the business model?

Dotspot repsonded: Out model is first ubiquity - come to the orchard in spring time! Ubiquity is key if we hit critical mass. We solved it with Shopzilla, we can do it again.

Dan Farber
Says that Google will give Dotspots the ubiquity it needs to hit critical mass…
StockMood - Thinks that it will appeal to users with large portfolios
LiveHit - Optimization of finding content is a big market
Angstro - It seems like something LinkedIn could use. Instead of being an island of information, could do this.. since it is already a focused business network.

Ron Conway

How are you going to monetise and commercialise the site? I thought Angstro and StockMood for consumers were very interesting. The variables that produce the ratings that you give… for commercial acceptance there need to be credibility for the consumer. What you lack in monestisatoin you have significant intellectua property.

StockMood responds:With the business model, there are lots of way to monetise. Our CEO is a trading systems guy and you can bet he would make trading systemns use this information. The lowest hanging fruit is subsciption alerts which help people to make money. Especially in the reasoning and AI - the underlying the mood judgements. We wrestled with this a bit becuase we can let the user drill down quite far to the formulas. How big percentage of market will want this is hard to say. There may be 2 diff categories of users.

Chad Hurley

DotSpot seems like a great consumer play and you are not just a destination but something that travels across the web. Angstro has an an interesting presentation of a newspaper like site - but the LinkedIn Comparison may provide more value. LiveHit - The Colours are less important than the product just working. What you’re working on will be more important for the future and you have to figure out ways to serve content. StockMood - I though that this was interesting and different in presenting information. I liked the simple ratings and moods system.

Session 1: Youth and Culture. 9:00-10:15am

  • Blah Girls - Backed by Ashton Kutcher, Blah Girls is a gossip site that features a group of animated teenage girls who provide opinions on what’s going on in the world of entertainment
  • Tweegee (CB) — A hub for tweens, Tweegee offers the youth market a suite of online tools for social interaction and organization
  • Shryk (CB) — Web-based financial software for children aimed at promoting financial literacy and good saving habits
  • Hangout Industries (CB) — Blends social networking with virtual worlds by creating a 3D, online environment where 16-24 year olds can chat and share media

Session 2: Memes & News. 10:30 - 11:45am

  • DotSpots (CB) — Tracks the memes spreading across the web, aggregates the content associated with them, and gives everyone Wikipedia-like control over that content
  • Angstro (CB) — Lets you set up a feed of news about your friends, instead of news by your friends
  • LiveHit (CB) — Tracks the music, videos, and entertainment sites people are clicking on right now
  • Quant the News (CB) — Creator of StockMood.com, a service that tracks the sentiments of online news stories about stocks and then measures their potential impact on the direction of those stocks’ prices

Session 3: Enterprise. 2:30 - 3:45pm

  • FairSoftware (CB) — Creates virtual shares around software projects that gives each contributor a portion of any resulting revenues
  • Yammer (CB) — A web application designed for businesses and organizations that asks its users to answer the question, “What are you working on?”
  • Connective Logic (CB) — Along with the company’s real-time middleware, Blueprint will make it easier for developers to design, generate code, and deploy complex multi-core software applications without requiring expertise in multi-threaded software development
  • Devunity (CB) — A platform for writing code in a browser-based editor that doesn’t force developers to use a proprietary layer
  • OpenTrace - Traces items through the supply chain and adds them together to show the impact of products on the environment

Session 4: Advertising & Commerce Monetization. 3:45 - 5:00pm

  • Burt (CB) — Collects user data to tailor individual advertising campaigns and target users more effectively
  • Adgregate Markets (CB) — Brings online stores to consumers through a display ad that is a fully transactional widget
  • Adrocket (CB) — Contextual text-based advertising for email; assigns keywords to each address depending on known demographic and contextual data
  • OtherInBox (CB) — Provides an easy way to quarantine the spam and the messages you receive from online services

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Session 5: Collaboration. 9:00 - 10:15am

  • Tingz (CB) — Offers a unified platform for delivering internet content across multiple devices including mobile phones and PCs
  • MIXTT (CB) — A group based social network/dating site that encourages real world interaction that’s more comfortable than the 1-on-1 format of most similar sites
  • Imindi (CB) — Based on neuroscientific principles, Imindi’s Thought Engine tries to exceed human thought and help its users find new ideas, concepts, and questions on the Web
  • Popego (CB) — Surfaces the most meaningful information from within your social graph based on your interests and other factors

Session 6: Finance & Statistics. 10:30 -11:45am

  • PersonalRIA (CB) — Allows users to shadow a professional investment advisor’s portfolio, automatically executing trades (which most brokerage sites cannot do)
  • Emerginvest (CB) — A global finance portal that helps you invest in international stock markets.
  • ExchangeP (CB) — Dubbed a “fantasy stock market,” ExhangeP’s service allows users to sign up for free and start investing in private companies
  • Me-trics (CB) — Lets you see how mood, weight, and goals correlate with other metrics, including web services like Facebook or RescueTime
  • iCharts (CB) — YouTube for embeddable, interactive charts

Session 7: Mobile. 2:15 - 3:30pm

  • Mytopia (CB) — A gaming platform that lets players compete across mobile devices and social networks
  • Tonchidot (CB) — Makes the Sekai Camera, a camera system that aims to merge the virtual and real worlds by using a digital device as a viewfinder
  • Mobclix (CB) — An analytics and monetization platform for iPhone developers
  • FitBit (CB) — Developing a small wireless sensor called the Fitbit Tracker, which automatically records data about a person’s activities, calories burned, sleep quality, steps, and distance throughout the day

Session 8: Language & Communication Tools. 3:45 - 5:00pm

  • Alfabetic (CB) — Translates any blog or Website into another language and places ads alongside it in the new tongue
  • Postbox (CB) — Based on Mozilla technology, Postbox saves users time when looking for particular information within their email
  • Swype (CB) — A new method of text input on touch screens; does away with traditional “hunt and peck” in favor of a more fluid motion
  • DropBox (CB) — Provides an easy way to backup your files, share them with coworkers and friends, and synchronize them between computers

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Session 9: Rich Media. 9:00 - 10:15am

  • VideoSurf (CB) — A visual video search engine that allow users to search across millions of videos for a given actor and to view summaries of videos through a series of detected keyframes
  • Session 9: Rich Media. 9:00 - 10:15am

    • VideoSurf (CB) — A visual video search engine that allow users to search across millions of videos for a given actor and to view summaries of videos through a series of detected keyframes
    • GazoPa (CB) — An image search engine developed by Hitachi that uses visual similarities between photos to suggest matches (rather than simply relying on keywords).
    • Fotonauts (CB) — A photo sharing application that turns every album instantly into a Web page.
    • Bojam (CB) — Although there are a slew of online music services already on the Web, Bojam is trying to do something a bit different: it wants to connect musicians and allow them to collaborate over the Web.

    Session 10: Games. 10:30 - 11:45am

    • Grockit (CB) - A “Massively Multi-Player Online Learning Game”
    • Akoha (CB) — A web-based social game played with trading cards aimed at spreading good deeds around the world
    • Atmosphir — A platform for creating 3D interactive games by selecting blocks (such as a sand castle tower, fireball-breathing bird, or trap door) and snapping them onto a grid.
    • PlaYce (CB) — Provides a 3D virtual world inside the browser for games and social interaction that is based on the real world

    Session 11: Vertical Social Networking. 2:15 - 3:30pm

    • Birdpost (CB) — A social network for birdwatchers
    • Closet Couture — Fashionistas need a social network too and Closet Couture is looking to give them one by connecting them to other fashion lovers, stylists, and retailers
    • Footnote (CB) — For those looking to create historical records of loved ones or themselves, Footnote offers a timeline-based archive where you can upload photos and documents linked to historical databases
    • Causecast (CB) — Causecast leverages social networking to connect nonprofits, leaders, celebrities and brands with those who want to make a difference through good causes
    • Shattered Reality Interactive (CB) — A new massively multiplayer online game (think World of Warcraft) that lets the crowd guide the direction of future expansions

    Session 12: Research & Recommendations. 3:45 - 5:00pm

    • GoodGuide (CB) - Provides information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of products and companies
    • GoPlanit (CB) — A one-click travel planner that assembles a customized trip itinerary with the click of a button; also supports mobile microblogging
    • TrueCar (CB) - A site that allows users to assess the current market value of their automobiles in a given geographic area
    • Goodrec (CB) - A mobile and online recommendation service that provides brief, to-the-point recommendations from friends and trusted sources

LIVE: TechCrunch50 Conference: Meet Ponies And Dogs

Earlier: Virtual fifth panelist weighs on TC50 finalists:

Company: icharts. 900 billion charts get printed every year, 20,000X as many as are online right now. No simple service that lets you create online easily. This is Youtube for intereractive charts. Simple, easy. Can add audio commentary. Can download all charts as Flash files, can embed anywhere including PDF, Excel, etc. Launch customer second-largest publisher of scientific info. Private and public versions. Also has icharts portal, with data optimized for search engines (i.e., not images).

Stated use: Easily create and share interactive charts online.

Reaction: Love it. May not be a huge business (feature vs. company), but damn does the web need one of these. If as easy as he says, we will be using these on SAI instantly. We're a publisher, so different needs set than consumers, but a screaming need for this. Business model is "pro" version. (Cuban suggests simple business is licensing to web finance companies.). Maybe also a business with portal (advertising). DING DING DING DING DING 

Demo Conference Agenda

Countdown from 72. … We have ignition.

72 companies. Each with six minutes to show their product to the world. It doesn't get any more straightforward and fast paced than that.

Moving the Chains
Most innovation is smart incrementation. These products build on concepts, ideas and platforms we've explored at past DEMO events, each taking earlier concepts, adding new technology and insight, and creating an entirely new experience.

Adapx, Inc.
Plastic Logic, Ltd.
tikitag, an Alcatel-Lucent Venture
Alerts.com, Inc.
Telnic, Ltd.

Television Meets the Web; Web Meets the Television
The lines between high-definition television experience and the on-demand Internet video experience are beginning to blur. Television modalities are shaping the Internet experience and Web video is improving to meet the expectations of demanding television viewers. But the question remains: Is there anything good on?

Awind Inc.
RealNetworks, Inc.
RemoTV, Inc.
Invision TV, LLC
ffwd.com, Inc.

Words, Pictures and Music
Every day, we each create and consume what collectively is easily terabytes of digital content. What are we doing with all those words, photos, songs and videos? Here are some products that make creating, sharing, and consuming these digital bits more enjoyable.

UGA Digital, Inc.
Trinity Convergence, Inc.
Blue Lava Technologies, Inc.
Kadoo Inc.
MixMatchMusic, Ltd.
Photrade, LLC

The Echo Nest Corp.

Your Mobile, Your Life
If you think your mobile phone is the centerpiece of your busy life now, just wait until you see these applications. In a different ways, these products deliver new value, convenience, entertainment, and perhaps an extra measure of security.

SkyData Systems, Inc.
Dial Directions, Inc.
Asyncast Corp.
Maverick Mobile Solutions, Pvt. Ltd.
WebDiet, Inc.
Message Sling
Xumii, Inc.

Special Session: Walt and Kara: Head-to-Head
As the hosts of The Wall Street Journal's esteemed D Conference, Walt Mossberg andKara Swisher have challenged the leaders of the digital world with tough questions and probing interviews. Their toughest interview isn't with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, though. It's with each other. The Dynamic Duo of All Things Digital debate each other on their blog, AllThingsD.com, and now live on the DEMOfall stage. What lies ahead for the Digital Age? Walt and Kara go Head-to-Head.

Open Studios: Designing, Building, Working Together
Whether building an interactive game, working on an important business opportunity, or just sharing your latest creation, collaboration is at the centerpiece of today's work and social interactions. Some of these products couldn't be more different from the others, but each embraces the trend toward seamless cooperation.

Sim Ops Studios, Inc.
MeWorks, Inc.
Cinergix, Pty Ltd.
DesignIn, Inc.

Protecting What's Yours
It's easy to think of security as enterprise firewalls and encryption techniques. But as individuals become increasingly responsible for libraries of work and personal data, protecting and managing digital assets takes on many facets.

CoreTrace Corp.
Usable Security Systems, Inc.
Paragent, LLC
Enterprise Informatics, Inc.
Fortressware, Inc.
UbiEst S.p.A.
Unity Solutions, LLC

Getting Embedded with Social Networks
While Facebook has established itself as the operating system for social applications, the social network itself isn't a destination. It is thread that is woven into range of applications.

Accordia Group, LLC
TravelMuse, Inc.
TurnTo Networks, Inc.
Best Buy
Paidinterviews, LLC
Arsenal Interactive, Inc.
Koollage, Inc.

DEMO Roundtable:
The Changing Venture Model: Making VC Work for Investors and Entrepreneurs

The discussion explores whether the current model of venture investing and how VCs approach it still "works" and if not, how could it change to make it serve both parties better. (Keeping in mind that entrepreneurs first and foremost need money from VCs and VCs first and foremost need to make money from entrepreneurs.)

Moderator:Matt Marshall, Editor & CEO, VentureBeat
Panelists:Chris Greendale, General Partner, Kodiak Venture Partners, Krishna ‘Kittu' Kolluri, General Partner, New Enterprise Associates, Eric Tilenius, Partner, Maveron

It's Easy Being Green
Over the last 12 months, we've encountered a lot of products that wash themselves in green paint, hoping to capitalize on the eco-IT movement. A collaboration application may mean you don't have to drive to a meeting, but calling it "green IT" is a bit of a stretch. These products, on the other hand, really do stand to make an impact.

Mapflow, Ltd.
Microstaq, Inc.

And it's Getting Easier to Manage the Green, too.
Ever since Scott Cook and Tom Proulx decided to take on pen and paper checks in the late 80s, personal financial management software has changed very little, but for its move from disk to online service. These two companies bring a fresh new set of thinking to the management of finances, and go well beyond balancing of a check book.

Rudder, Inc.
Green Sherpa

Mission: Possible
There is plenty of talk about double and triple bottom lines and about a new age of activism. But how do you get involved and how do you know you're making an impact?

Zazengo, Inc.

Web 2.0 Gets to Work
Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Web 2.0 innovation cycle is the influence of Web 2.0 concepts, architectures, and user sensibilities on business applications. From SaaS to social applications, Web 2.0 will make its mark on business software.

Quantivo Corp.
PlanDone, Inc.
Qtask, Inc.

Defining the Next Web
The Next Web, the phase that comes after but is tremendously influenced by Web 2.0, will be defined by several key attributes: transparency, distribution, and proactive smarts. Transparency of business model, participants, data uses, and motivation is critical to bring trust and with it increased mainstream adoption of the social Web. In the New Web, sites needn’t attract and aggregate audiences; instead, they will distribute their data and applications as widely as possible to other sites and outlets. And the smarter Web will surface the information you need, when you need it, in a form that allows you to best use it.

SitScape, Inc.
iWidgets, Inc.
TetraBase, LLC
Infovell, Inc.
Intelius, Inc.
Rebus Technology, Inc.
Radiant Logic, Inc.
Semanti Corp.
Cerego, LLC

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    Thanks for writing about OtherInbox on your blog. The TC50 conference in San Francisco earlier this month was a great forum to launch our new service to the public and we were really honored to be chosen to participate. We'd like to invite you to join our private beta that we announced at the conference, and we're happy to extend the invitation to your readers as well! Because we're in private beta, you need to have a special URL to sign up. This URL will work for 26 invitations (one for you and 25 for your readers) if you want to post as a followup on your blog.


    Please let us know if you have any questions about the service. Thanks again!

    ~ The OtherInbox Team


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