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Launch Silicon Valley: 30 Startups Debut Tomorrow

Somewhat late notice, but there’s an exciting startup debut event in Mountain View tomorrow: Launch: Silicon Valley, co-presented by SVASE, Garage Technology Ventures and Microsoft, provides the next generation of emerging technology companies with the opportunity to pitch their products to, and network with, an audience of Silicon Valley’s top VCs, Angels, corporate business development executives, prospective customers and partners, bloggers and media.

The event is in it’s fifth year now (Happy Birthday!) and as usual, will feature 30 startups selected from hundreds of applicants in information technology, mobility, digital media, next generation internet, life sciences and clean energy.


Selected demonstrating companies for Launch: Silicon Valley 2010 include:

Company

Application

Web Site

Appbackr

App marketplace

www.appbackr.com

BCCThis

Sticky notes for email

www.bccthis.com

BioVantage Water reclamation www.biovantageresources.com
Breakthrough On line mental health counceling www.breakthrough.com

Jungle Cents

Auction

www.junglecents.com

Convergence CT

Healthcare data

www.@convergencect.com

Digital Sun

Water Management

www.digitalsun.com

Electradrive

Electric Drivetrain

www.electradrive.net

Evolver

3D characters

www.darwindimensions.com

GreenPlatform

Data center storage

www.greenplatformcorp.com

Highflex

Flexible photovoltaics

www.highflexsolar.com

jMango

build once, deploy all, app platform

www.jmango.net

Laster

Augmented reality glasses

www.laster.fr

Linqto Many to many collaberation www.linqto.com
Micello Indoor maps www.micello.com
NMBI Painless Injections
Optic Lanes Active traffic management www.opticlanes.com

Pilus Energy

bacteria energy cell

www.pilusenergy.com

RiverMuse

It management platform

www.rivermuse.com

ScanAvert

Food ingredient detection

www.scanavert.com

SDK BioTech

Cell platform

SocialAmp

see what friends are buying

www.socialamp.com

STI-Medical

medical imaging

www.sti-hawaii.com

Taggstr

Location tagging – Make your Mark

www.taggstr.com

TenCube

cell phone security

www.tencube.com

TrueDomain

Anti Phishing

www.truedomain.net

Vizibility

Presearch

www.vizibility.com

Youi Labs

Reduced cost phones

www.youilabs.com

Zikon

Electronic Ink

www.zikon.com


The event starts tomorrow morning at Microsoft’s Mountain View campus.  Here’s the Agenda and registration link.

There’s a pre-event party in Palo Alto tonight at 6pm – you’ll get details upon registration.

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As Twitter Takes Over IM, We Need Clients with Friendly Nicknames

twitter breakup It used to be Yahoo, MSN or AOL chat. Then Skype took over – it is my default IM system now, despite it’s obvious flaws. But nowadays the fastest way to reach most of my contacts is DM on Twitter.  That is if I can remember their Twitter account names. While @firstnamelastname has become a quasi standard, quite a few users have more cryptic names.

@bhc3, @treerao,  @scottfarkas, @tardate,  @ricmacnz, @nielr1, @philfree, @tardate, @sfishy – how am I supposed to remember all that?

Other communication systems have a “contacts” directory with customizable nicknames  – perhaps it’s time Twitter Clients look at this feature…

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Has SXSW Peaked?

How do I know, when I’m not even there?  By reading what others say.  For starters, here’s Jolie O’Dell who attends this year’s conference:

Too many people, not enough tech.

…non-technical people aren’t here to learn; they’re here for self-congratulation and mutual masturbation. People I’ve never heard of are referring to themselves as Twitter celebrities and generally making me ill.

This show isn’t fun, and I won’t be coming back.

For contrast, non-attendee Danny Brown says: Why I’m Not Missing SxSW.  Dennis Howlett chimes in: The not attending SXSW grump report Yes, Dennis is a self-proclaimed curmudgeon, but he has a point, and he does not seem to be alone.

I dropped by at the Cloud Connect conference yesterday (yes, dear organizers, I sneaked in with my badge from the previous event hosted by SAP’s CEOs, as your registration closed early.)  From the full house (standing room only) at Geoffrey Moore’s session I tweeted:

So are all the workabees @ #ccevent while the party types went to #SXSW?

Chirag Mehta picked up on my teasing Geoffrey Moore:

Well, all iPhone folks are at #SXSW RT @ZoliErdos: Geoffrey Moore needs to update his speech- said look at your Blackberries LOL #ccevent

You probably get the drift by now… but here’s Jeremy Pepper spelling it out for you: I Don’t Do SXSWi

For the past few years, I keep hearing the same thing about SXSWi:

  • It’s spring break for social media
  • It’s a week long party
  • It’s one night after the other of bars and alcohol
  • It’s great networking
  • I go every year, and make my agency pay for it no matter what because it’s a great party (this said to me by a former boss when I asked what the value is there – notice nothing about actual work, though).

I rarely hear “it’s a great event for my company/agency to reach the right people for product A, B or C”. It’s always about the drinking.

… take a step back and think of this: can you justify missing Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday to your boss or client? And, well, the rest of the week is a wash also if you’re hungover.

And, as a sage executive said to me about CES: there’s going to be a bad day of reckoning for social media. Corporations are going to ask for ROI, and going to party is not ROI.

Sour grapes?  I don’t think so.  But back to the question on how I know SXSW has peaked?  Because declaring non-participant status is becoming trendy.  This would have been unthinkable last year.  So my prediction for next year: there will be even more : “why I am not going” declarations, and the year after SXSWI will be “uncool”.  The trendsetters move on to another party conference :-)

Image by Hugh MacLeod, who calls it the annual 5-day drunken orgy (which he is attending, btw….)

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Why I Quit Reddit – Actually, Reddit Quit Me

broke reddit Three years ago I was quite active on Reddit – at least for a while, until I realized just how manipulated it became. I’m not really holding it against reddit, the same happens on Digg and probably on all similar sites – nothing new here, you’ve probably read all this a thousand times, so I won’t be the 1001st :-)

Suffice to say, I reduced my activity level, but occasionally still found interesting items I voted up or down there. Hack, I even broke Reddit – or that’s what it said.

Then it broke me. A few months ago I noticed I could no longer log in with my usual credentials.  No reason to worry, that’s what password recovery is for:

reddit no user

Oops.. “no email for that user” – I don’t exist.  Reddit killed me :-(  Except it’s not really true.  Reddit still knows me as a user:

reddit zoli

Still no reason to panic – that’s what support is for.  Or so I thought.  Most of the support links require logging in, which I obviously could not do, but eventually I found a feedback form, which I duly filled out – and am waiting for a response ever since.

As a last resort I tweeted up @reddit – but as it turns out that’s not a real Twitter presence for Reddit – it’s just a marketing bot that reposts popular reddit entries.

End of story… and I don’t really care.  I’m quite happy with StumbleUpon instead.

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The Risk of Starting Your Tweet with @name

This is so obvious, yet little known – and although Mark Suster warned us all, I keep on falling in this trap.  Just today as I wanted to announce yet another great post by Mark, I tweeted this:

@msuster discusses how the Ice Age is thawing for Venture Capital

Big mistake.  Had I written “great discussion by @msuster”, a lot more people would have seen it. Why?

Read on to find out

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Brits, the Masters of the Universe… the Facebook Universe

University of Salford

Image via Wikipedia

The University of Salford in Manchaster will offer a Masters degree in Social Media, focusing on Facebook and Twitter.

Salford claims to be the world’s first to offer a Masters course in social media, but they are not.  That title goes to Birmingham City University which announced their one-year course in Social Media in March. For a cool £4,400 ($7,200) you get a Master’s Degree of … well, let’s just say questionable value. 

Continue reading

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Startups, Present @ Launch: Silicon Valley 2009. Few Days to Deadline.

Startup Entrepreneurs who did not make it to the recent  Under the Radar event, here’s your second chance: join us at Launch: Silicon Valley 2009, co-presented by SVASE, Garage Technology Ventures and Microsoft.

In fact it will be more than a second chance: while the UtR event focused specifically on Cloud Computing, Launch 2009 is designed to uncover and showcase products and services from the most exciting of the newest startups in information technology, mobility, security, digital media next generation internet, life sciences and clean energy. The inaugural Launch event was in 2006, combined with Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start conference.

Are these events worth attending? It’s your call … all I can say is since 2006 presenting startups received a combined $80+ million in venture funding.

So if you are building the Next Great Business in the areas mentioned above, are (almost) ready for launch, meaning that by June 9th, 2009 you will have a product or service available, but have not been out in the marketplace for more than a few months, then by all means send an Executive Summary of no more than 2 pages to Launchsv@svase.org. Submission deadline: May 8th, 2009 – yes, just a few days left. (Garage Technology offers a useful Writing a Compelling Executive Summary guide.)

Last year over 300 companies from all around the country and even overseas applied, so clearly the presentation spots are in high demand. Based on the submissions up to 30 companies will be invited to present at the Launch: Silicon Valley 2009 event on June 9th at the Microsoft Campus in Mountain View, California. Presentations slots are 10 minutes, running in 6 sessions of 5 companies each. Each presenting team will also be assigned a cocktail table in the Networking Room where they can meet with interested audience members one-on-one to answer questions and explore possibilities.

The evening before, on June 8th the presenting companies, registered audience and selected bloggers and media will be invited to a Pre-Event Party at a prestigious location in Palo Alto, providing a further opportunity for networking with Silicon Valley’s movers and shakers.

So if you are a qualifying startup Founder, remember the deadline: May 8th.  For additional details and later for updates check http://www.launchsiliconvalley.org/ and you may also want to follow the event (actually the President of SVASE) on Twitter.

Guy Kawasaki called Launch: Silicon Valley “the poor man’s Demo”. SVASE proudly wears that badge, since this is an event with a price tag that won’t keep any startups away. It’s your turn now: send in the Executive Summary and launch with SVASE in June.

(Cross-posted from CloudAve. To stay abreast of news, analysis and just plain opinion on Cloud Computing, SaaS, Business grab the CloudAve Feed here.)

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Two Days Left for Under the Radar Online Registration – Get Your Discount Here

We’re at the final countdown stage for the Under the Radar: Clarity in the Cloud conference – it’s coming up this Friday, April 24th, 8:00AM – 6:00PM @ the Microsoft Campus, in Mountain View, CA.  

If it’s named a conference, it has to have a keynote or a panel, and that’s what you get at 9am: the Buyers’ Wish-list Panel:

  • What are technology buyers are hunting for?
  • What cloud technologies have they adopted?
  • How you can get on their wish list?

But that’s where all similarity to a conference ends.  The rest of UtR is actually a giant Startup Launchpad – the American Idol of startups.  Except UtR won’t take months to declare the winners.  The finalists present in a rapid-fire format  – they are grouped in categories of 4 each, in two parallel tracks  and each presenter has about 15 minutes. They get grilled by the judges and audience, then all attendees get to vote  ( I wonder if they upgraded from paper ballots to SMS yet..) and at the end of the conference the winners of each category are announced.

UtR has a good track record of the participants getting funded – about half of them got funded or acquired in the past. (See more stats here.)  If we can believe InformationWeek’s Top 50 Startup list, this year’s roster will also be worth paying attention to:

           
          

          

                      

 

Then there are the Graduate Circle Companies – fomer UtR presenters, who are no longer truly “under the radar”, having proven themselves:

       

       

 

So if you want to be part of 2009 startup history, network with entrepreneurs, VC’s, media, corporate decisionmakers, join us on Friday.   CloudAve is a media partner for this event, several of us (Krish, Graeme, Raju and myself) will be there, and most importantly, we have a deal for you.  Use our VIP registration site for $100 off the non-member price.

If you can’t commit full day, drop by just for the afternoon (it’s Friday).  For the first time in the history of these events, you can now get an after-lunch pass for $275.

See you there!

(Note to PR types: thanks for all your interest, but I am not making advance appointments.  UtR is too vibrant, dynamic, there are too many interesting people to bump into to make such commitments – better go with the flow.  But it’s a small place, and several of us from CloudAve will be there, so I’m sure we’ll meet your startup clients anyway.)

(Cross-posted from CloudAve. To stay abreast of news, analysis and just plain opinion on Cloud Computing, SaaS, Business grab the CloudAve Feed here.)

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Master’s Degree in FaceBook? It’s Not April Fool’s Day Yet

Seacole Building of Birmingham City University

Image via Wikipedia

Birmingham City University in the UK will offer a one-year course in Social Media that earns you a Master’s Degree for £4,400.   Current Birmingham students think:

“Virtually all of the content of this course is so basic it can be self taught.  In fact most people know all this stuff already. I think it’s a complete waste of university resources.”

Indeed it is.  Also a waste of money, if you consider the price.  After all, you can get a Master’s Degree for $499, (nofollow) without having to fiddle around with any  courses whatsoever.  Just don’t ask me what you can do with that degree. smile_eyeroll

Update: apparently early April Fool’s jokes are not that unusual.

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Startups: Present at Under the Radar

Under the Radar is Silicon Valley’s most established startup debut platform: a conference series organized by Dealmaker Media (for those with a longer memory, they used to be IBDNetwork) , covering business applications, social media, entertainment, mobility..etc.

The 11th Under the Radar conference in Mountain View, CA on April 24, 2009 will focus on Cloud Computing and Business Applications and as such it’s an obvious fit for CloudAve – media partners for the event.

While a conference in name, it’s actually a giant Startup Launchpad – the American Idol of startups.  Typically 32 finalists are selected, who will present in a rapid-fire format  – they are grouped in categories of 4 each, in two parallel tracks  and each presenter has about 15 minutes. They get grilled by the judges and audience, and at the end of the conference the winners of each category are announced. 

But why bother in the middle of the worst recession most of us have seen?  After all, no startups get funded now – you may think.   Well, if you think VC investment all dried up, just look at these two UtR companies picking up $27M in funding.   In fact Dealmaker Media claims that in the past 3 years alone, presenting companies have gone on to raise over $1.36 Billion. Some additional stats on Under the Radar “graduates”:

49% have gone on to raise funding or be acquired
14% have been acquired by companies such as Google, eBay, Microsoft, Yahoo and Cisco
$14 Million average has been raised by presenting companies

I guess the Dealmaker name is justified, after all smile_regular.  Other than the presentations, these events are also an excellent networking opportunity amongst the 400 or so attendees, so let’s look at the previous years’ attendance statistics by provided by Dealmaker Media:

http://sheet.zoho.com

It certainly looks like the right crowd to mingle with for investment-hungry startups.  Currently about half the slots are filled by these finalists:

Ctera, Eucalyptus, Heroku, New Relic, Sauce Labs, Symplified, Tap In Systems, Twillio, uTest, Virsto Software, Zephyr, Zetta, Zimory, Zuora.

Obviously that means there is still room for more.  So if your startups fits one of these categories: 

Cloud Infrastructure | Platforms | Virtualization | Saas | Mashups | Collaboration | Communication | Business Apps | Development Tools (Utilities, OS, etc…) | Mobile Office | Semantics | Commerce | Social software/ networks | Sync (online/offline)

and meets the general criteria:

  • Unique value proposition
  • Ability to monetize product/business
  • Large market opportunity
  • Must still be considered "under the radar" – launched in 2009
  • Company must be an actual startup – not a new product from a large company

then what are you waiting for?   Apply now to present at Under the Radar.  Non-presenting attendees can register here.

We will talk about UtR more over @ CloudAve – it will no doubt be an exciting competition.

(Cross-posted from CloudAve.  To stay abreast of news, analysis and just plain opinion on Cloud Computing, SaaS, Business grab the CloudAve Feed here.)