Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TechCrunch Day 2

Attending the second day of TechCrunch. Looking forward to the Google product launch. It's a full house again today, with many luminaries present, including Esther Dyson. Met Heather Harde, CEO of TechCrunch, in the lobby. She's very nice and seems in charge of all the company and personal networking.

- First presentation in the Productivity and Web Apps session is Xobni (inbox spelled backwards).
- Next is Orgoo, an email collaboration & personal communications cockpit.
- App2You has an authoring tool for quickly creating Web2.0 applications
- Kerpoof has an application and destination site for kids learning, featuring a lovely 3D interface with drag & drop capabilities
- Google's big announcement is the launch of Presentations (a PowerPoint competitor) for Google Docs, that supports collaboration. It's based on technology from the Google acquisition of Tonic Systems
- First presentation in Revenue Model session is Spottt, a free advertising business something like Link Exchange (circa 1998)
- Clickable is a advertising revenue model business based in NYC that helps answer the question, "how are my ads doing?". Much better interface than Google Adwords.
- GotStatus is presenting an application they describe as 'Google Analytics for server backend', solving an important problem for sys admins
- ZocDoc helps you find a doctor nearby, and integrates scheduling and appointments
- The panel on getting funded was very interesting, with luminaries Jay Adelson (Digg), David Sacks (Geni), Roelof Botha (Sequoia), Sumant Mandel (Clearstone), George Zachery (CRV), Hank Barry (Howard Rice), and Jeff Clavier (SoftTechVC). They spoke about how important it is to be located close to Silicon Valley, but also that it's more important to be able to get great engineers (which is difficult in the valley).
- The first presentation from the Rich Media and Mashups session is very impressive. Xtreme Reality presented their 'Wii without a handset' software interface for computers
- BroadClip shows MediaCatcher a Facebook application that searches for and aggregates MP3 files to iTunes
- Two lovely ladies presented mEgo, an application that allows you to create your own avatar, and then use it to post your personal profile in an animated way on any social networking site. It was a very lively presentation, obviously a hit with the judges.
- Wixi users share audio and video. It is designed with a very rich interface. Leave it to the French!
- BeFunky is a company which cartoonizes stills, and animates videos. You can make 'youatars' or personal avatars. Impressive.
- The panel on Rich Media and Mashups (with musician MC Hammer) offered an interesting discussion of the IP issues (and shot down some of the business models). Definitely more edgy than some of the earlier panel discussions.
- The session on Entertainment included Flowplay, MetaPlace, WooMe, Zivity, and an unnamed wildcard company from the demo pit (a competition among companies that didn't get to present)
- Kaltura is the lucky company that won the demo pit competition (voted by the TechCrunch attendees). It's an Israeli company which provides collaborative creation (eg- editing and mashups) of rich media. There are very good community sharing features, that allow building Kaltura media into other sites.
- The overall winner of the TechCrunch 40 competition was Mint, a personal financial application. The winner receives $50,000.

Check out video of the Rich Media & Mashups Session or the Panel on Getting Funded. Both were excellent!