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Do You Know the Difference Between a House of Cards and a House of Lego Blocks?

Here’s a house of cards:

 

And here’s a house of Lego blocks (well, sort of ..)

Explanation here.

 

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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

[email protected]

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.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

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iPhone? Android? It’s All Irrelevant when you Can’t Get a Signal

Will iPhone users move to Verizon? – goes the speculation, based on a study published @ Fortune showing AT&T drop calls 3 times as frequently as Verizon.

From my vantage point even dropped calls would be a luxury – meaning you can get a strong enough signal to place calls in the first place.  Apparently I live at the end of the World.  Sometimes I tell friends if Friedman is right and the World is really flat, this is where you fall off the edge. 🙂

But it’s not really the “end of the world” – Pleasanton is (was) was hometown to software giants like  PeopleSoft, Commerce One,  Oracle, Workday, or to name a few more traditional businesses, grocery chain giant Safeway, or mega-HMO Kaiser Permanente.  Yet this is what AT&T’s coverage map looks like:

at&t coverage map

Ad no, we’re not even talking about 3G data, this is for voice calls.  Now, being in the “good” (on the boundary of moderate) zone may not look so bad, until we look at how At&T defines good voice coverage:

Should be sufficient for on-street or in-the-open coverage, most in-vehicle coverage and possibly some in-building coverage. This AT&T owned network provides GSM, GPRS, and EDGE service

Possibly some in-building coverage?  Calling that good?  How pathetic.  But let’s look at other carriers’ definition of “Good”.  T-Mobile:

You will likely be able to place calls outdoors, in a car, and occasionally indoors.

Occasionally?  What are they smoking calling this “good” coverage?  Hm, let’s check Sprint, home to the uber-super HTC EVO 4GS and the superfast Overdrive 4G hotspot:

You should generally receive a signal strength sufficient to make calls outdoors, in a car and in some buildings.

How Pathetic.  All these companies must speak a different version of English, where “good” means “no can do” in most buildings.  Insanity.

That only leaves Verizon, which has solid red (best coverage) in my entire area.  Which makes my choice easy: all those comparative reviews of the iPhone 3G and 4G, HTC Incredible, Nexus One, HTC EVO 4G are so irrelevant, if I can’t get a signal.  HTC Incredible (Android) and Verizon, here I come.  By default.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve)

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Under the Radar: Commercializing the Cloud – Apply to Present / Discount Tix Here

UtR-Iam-Going Under the Radar is Silicon Valley’s most established startup debut platform: a conference series organized by Dealmaker Media, covering business applications, social media, entertainment, mobility..etc.

This year’s conference in Mountain View, CA on April 16th will focus on Commercializing the Cloud – that’s a fairly wide definition, and one that perfectly mashes with our focus over @ CloudAve, so we’re proud to be Media Partners at this event. That means we’ll be covering it before, during and after, and if you decide the attend, we’ll get you in at a discount rate.

In this American Idol of startups typically 32 finalists are selected, who are grouped in categories of 4 each and each has about 15 minutes to present in two parallel tracks. They get grilled by the judges and audience, and at the end of the conference the winners of each category are announced.  A few years ago I participated in the pre-selection of startups, and I remember having checked out hundreds of companies to come down to the finalist set.  At the moment 19 finalists are announced:

AppDynamics, AppFirst, Aprigo, Cloudant, CloudShare, CloudSwitch, Conformity, CubeTree, Fonolo, GoodData, Layerboom Systems, Makara, MaxiScale, Neo Technology, NorthScale, Reductive Labs, RiverMuse, SaaSure and SendGrid.

This means two things:

  • A dozen or so slots are still open
  • The Selection Committee will likely sift through another 100+ applications to fill those slots.

So if you consider your startup a (future) leader in Saas | Collaboration | Business Apps | Development Tools | Compliance |  (and more!), don’t waste time, apply here to be a presenter.

A personal note: the roster so far is quite infrastructure-heavy, which I’m sure makes Krish happy… but as the dumb non-techie business guy, I’d love to see more Business Apps, too 🙂

Past presenters include: Heroku, Get Satisfaction, Marketo, Eucalyptus, Zuora, Box.net, Ribbit, Hubspot, Twilio, New Relic, CloudKick, Jive Software, and many more.  Many (54%) of the UtR participant received funding, some grew to fame, others disappeared… but disappearance is not always bad  – as is the case of 2008 Under the Radar graduate 3Tera, which just got acquired by Computer Associates. 🙂

And if you’re not presenting, you sure would like to attend 🙂 CloudAve readers get $100 off their tickets here!

Under the Radar is not only a great startup showcase, it’s perfect good networking and and deal-making forum in Silicon Valley. Stay above the clouds – see innovation in its earliest stages – and get deals done; one handshake at a time. Mingle with 350 VC’s, journalists and C-level executives seeking to find, connect and partner with startups who’s products, technology and teams fit strategically into their road maps.

Remember to use our discount – and see you there!

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve )

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Socialist Democratic Republic of Berkeley

berkeleyrepub

Yeah, I know .. but it’s the weekend:-)

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USGS Now Embraces Twitter as Source of Earthquake Information

earthquake This time it was personal.  The earthquake hit three miles from my house.  It was a minor one, magnitude 3.7, but I felt it very strongly, albeit very shortly, too. Just a sudden kick in the butt, nothing more.  Perhaps that’s the difference between being right above the epicenter or feeling it remotely.

I jumped on Twitter, and I was among the first few to report the quake.  Within seconds there were dozens, then hundreds of reports.

Not that it was a surprise, we’ve seen Twitter become the primary initial news source be it earthquakes, fires, military coups…etc.  (For a while Google thought I was some  earthquake expert simply because I pointed out Twitter was the first to report quakes in Japan and China.)  But clearly, not all information on Twitter is reliable, as was the case of the fake LA earthquake video.

Wee need both speed and reliablity.  The first comes from the crowd – nothing can beat having millions of “reporters” on the field, wherever, whenever significant events happen.  But we typically do expect some form of verification, be it a traditional news agency, or in the case of earthquakes often USGS, the US Geological Survey.  Until recently the information flow was one-way.  But after yesterday’s quake I found an interesting link to the Google Maps mashup above. It’s created by @usgsted, the  USGS Twitter Earthquake Detector. Here’s the explanation:

In this exploratory effort, the USGS is developing a system that gathers real-time, earthquake-related messages from the social networking site Twitter and applies place, time, and quantity data to provide geo-located earthquake detection within 60 seconds of an event’s origin time. This approach also provides a central directory of short first-impression narratives and, potentially, photos from people at the hazard’s location.

Social Internet technologies are providing the general public with anecdotal earthquake hazard information before scientific information has been published from authoritative sources.  People local to an event are able to publish information via these technologies within seconds of their occurrence. In contrast, depending on the location of the earthquake, scientific alerts can take between 2 to 20 minutes. By adopting and embracing these new technologies, the USGS potentially can augment its earthquake response products and the delivery of hazard information.

To be fair, the USGS has not been entirely deaf even before: once you locate the relevant quake info (which is quite an achievement in itself) there is a Did You Feel It? link where if you are really persistent, you can provide feedback.  The form is asking for a lot of data, takes a while to finish – enough to deter most.  Which is why the fact the USGS is now embracing Twitter is a major milestone: it combines the speed of crowdsourced reporting with the verification / authority of experts.

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve )

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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 [email protected]. 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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SVASE VC Breakfast with Hummer Winblad in San Francisco – Focus on Software as a Service

We’re in a deep recession, VC investments dried up, startups are shutting down and the World is coming to an end…  or not?

I’m just back from a very lively Under the Radar conference where 32 startups presented and the audience was full of VCs looking for the next investment opportunity.  Those who missed the UtR deadline, or just did not fit this event’s profile (Cloud Computing) will soon get another change at Launch Silicon Valley, co-presented by SVASE, Garage Technology Ventures and Microsoft.

In between these conferences there re are several smaller, more intimate events, like the SVASE VC Breakfast Club series.  After a long time I’ll be back moderating the next breakfast meeting this Thursday, April 30st  in San Francisco.  As usual, this will be an informal round-table where up to 10 entrepreneurs get to deliver a pitch, then answer questions and get critiqued by a VC Partner. We’ve had VC’s from Draper Fisher,  Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Mohr Davidow, Emergence Capital …etc.  This Thursday’s VC is Lars Leckie, representing the first exclusively software-focused venture firm, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

These breakfast meetings are a valuable opportunity for Entrepreneurs, some of whom would likely have a hard time getting through the door to VC Partners. Since I’ve been through quite a few of these sessions, both as Entrepreneur and Moderator, let me share a few thoughts:

  • It’s a pressure-free environment, with no PowerPoint presentations, live demos, Business Plans…etc, just casual conversation; but it does not mean you should come unprepared!
  • Follow a structure, don’t just roam about what you would like to do, or even worse, spend all your time describing a problem, without addressing what your solution is.
  • Don’t forget “small things” like the Team, Product, Market..etc.
  • It would not hurt to mention how much you are looking for, and how you would use the funds…
  • Write down and practice your pitch, and prepare to deliver a compelling story in 2-3 minutes. You will have about 8-10 minutes, the first half of which is your pitch,  but believe me, whatever your practice time was, when you are on the spot, you will likely take twice as long to deliver your story. The second half of your time-slot is Q&A with the VC.
  • Bring an Executive Summary; some VC’s like it, others don’t.
  • Last, but not least, please be on time! I am not kidding… some of you know why I even have to bring this up. Arriving an hour late to a one-and-a-half-hour meeting is NOT acceptable, but we’ve had too many such incidents, so here’s a new rule:  if you’re late by more than 20 minutes, you will not be allowed to join the session.

Here’s the event info page, and remember to register – the previous event with Hummer Winblad sold out in advance.

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Heat

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SVASE VC Breakfast with Hambrecht Geneva Ventures in San Francisco

Fincancial crisis or not, VC investments did not entirely disappear, it’s just getting increasingly difficult to get funded.  But VCs are still on the lookout, and as proof I’ll be moderating another SVASE VC Breakfast Club meeting this Thursday, October 2nd in San Francisco.

As usual, it’s an informal round-table where up to 10 entrepreneurs get to deliver a pitch, then answer questions and get critiqued by a VC Partner. We’ve had VC’s from Draper Fisher,  Kleiner Perkins, Mayfield, Mohr Davidow, Emergence Capital …etc.  This time we’ll welcome Peter Morrissey, Managing Director, Hambrecht Geneva Ventures.

These breakfast meetings are a valuable opportunity for Entrepreneurs, most of whom would probably have a hard time getting through the door to VC Partners. Since I’ve been through quite a few of these sessions, both as Entrepreneur and Moderator, let me share a few thoughts:

  • It’s a pressure-free environment, with no PowerPoint presentations, live demos, Business Plans…etc, just casual conversation; but it does not mean you should come unprepared!
  • Follow a structure, don’t just roam about what you would like to do, or even worse, spend all your time describing the problem, without addressing what your solution is.
  • Don’t forget “small things” like the Team, Product, Market..etc.
  • It would not hurt to mention how much you are looking for, and how you would use the funds…
  • Write down and practice your pitch, and prepare to deliver a compelling story in 2-3 minutes. You will have about 8-10 minutes, the first half of which is your pitch,  but believe me, whatever your practice time was, when you are on the spot, you will likely take twice as long to deliver your story. The second half of your time-slot is Q&A with the VC.
  • Bring an Executive Summary; some VC’s like it, others don’t.
  • Last, but not least, please be on time! I am not kidding… some of you know why I even have to bring this up. Arriving an hour late to a one-and-a-half-hour meeting is NOT acceptable, but we’ve had too many such incidents, so here’s a new rule:  if you’re late by more than 20 minutes, you will not be allowed to join the session.

Here’s the event info page, and please remember to register the next three Entrepreneurs get in free, contact me here.

See you in San Francisco!