I was down in Microsoft’s office in Mountain View again today, attending “The Business of Web Apps: Where the Web Goes to Work” thrown every year by DealMaker Media since 2003. I was part of this year’s selection committee, who chose 32 startups to present their companies in front of a panel of industry experts and an audience of insiders, in only 6 minutes.
This year’s UTR had approximately 350 people, mostly tech company biz dev execs, presenting entrepreneurs and according to the website, 16% VCs. There was also a strong Israeli angle: Five of the startups who presented in the conference were Israeli, or started by Israeli entrepreneurs – that’s almost 20% (!).
These are Israeli startups who participated in Under the Radar 2008:
Nuconomy – the analytics site to measure user engagement and web 2.0 features (I love the “page views” are dead comment by CEO Shahar Nechmad). Nuconomy, a participant of the Israel Web Tour, is based in Israel and San Francisco. It recently raised a series A from WPP. I’ve been using Nuconomy for the last couple of months and it’s really a new way of experiencing site analytics.
PageOnce – Another web tour alumni, led by Guy Goldstein. PO calls itself the first internet personal assistant to group all their personal accounts into one page including cell phone minutes, airline miles, bills, financial accounts and more, without using multiple browsers. So far the company has raised a series A of $1.5M from Liron Petrushka and Bobby Lent.
Magento, an open source e-commerce platform based in LA, was presented by CEO Roy Rubin. Magento competes with osCommerce, Zen Cart and so on by offering a feature rich system with complete flexibility for the merchants. The basic version of the software is available for free. The company has not gotten VC investments to date and it’s completely bootstrapped. See screen shots here.
Support Space – founded in 2006, SupportSpace is a tech support service provider for small businesses. The company is led by co founder and CEO Yair Grindlinger and it is headquartered in RedWood City, CA. So far they have raised a series A of $6.5 million from Gemini Israel fund and BRM Capital.
Clarizen, SaaS project management tool for the enterprise. Provides improved project visibility for management. Clarizen was one of the “graduate companies”, who were selected as sector leaders, but no longer qualify for being “under the radar”.
I spotted a few trends today:
* Focus on monetization – companies are starting to look beyond PPC advertising. Premium services, paid subscriptions and licensing contracts were popular with almost every startup that presented. NuConomy on the other hand, is completely free to the surprise of panel judge Maha Ibrahim of Canaan Partners. According to CEO Shahar Nechmad, the value is in the data.
* APIs, Open Platforms – A large number of products cater to developers. In a not-so-bright comment, a panel member asked “where are all these developers coming from?” – a member of the audience quickly commented that there are over 17 million developers in the US alone. Don’t give them fish, teach them how to build fish factories.
Worth noting, the talk with Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels and Robert Scoble was very interesting. Vogels is the guy you want with you as a chief technology officer. As a friend of mine put it, he’s so smart in what he does, that you almost feel in owe when talking to him about technology.
Below is a more comprehensive look into today’s Under the Radar:
Act-On Software | Blist | Cozimo | DeviceVM | dimdim | DocSyncer | ELASTRA| Eyejot | FeedbackFx | filtrbox | Get Satisfaction | HiveLive | HubSpot | JumpBox | kwiry | LiquidPlanner | Magento | Marketo | Mumboe | NetBooks | NuConomy | Orgoo | PageOnce | Ribbit | SlideRocket | SlideShare | SupportSpace |TimeBridge | Tripit | Universant | Vello | Yoics
GRADUATE CIRCLE COMPANIES:
Other Speakers Include:
Maha Ibrahim, General Partner | Canaan Partners
Steven Li, Director – Advanced Technologies | Webex/Cisco
Michele Turner, Vice President – Platform Business Unit | Adobe
Sanjiv Parikh, Corporate Ventures Group | HP
Jas Dhillon, Sr. Director – Office Live Business Development | Microsoft
Stephen Stribley, Director – Office Live Business Development | Microsoft
Jai Das, Partner | SAP Ventures
|Pete Cashmore | Mashable
Robert Scoble | Scobleizer
Richard MacManus | ReadWriteWeb
Ismael Ghalimi | IT|Redux
Marshall Kirkpatrick | New Media Consultant
Josh Jaffe | Tech Confidential
Jon Burke | alarm:clock
Jeremy Toeman | Stage Two Consulting
|Rafe Needleman | Webware
Leon Ho | Lifehack.org
Bryce T. Roberts | O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures
Stowe Boyd | /Message
Brian Solis | bub.blicio.us
Rod Boothby | Innovation Creators
Eze Vidra | VC Cafe & Ask.com