New Startups and Web 2.0 Products Debut at E27 Technology Symposium

Posted on Jan 28, 2006

Earlier today, I went to the E27 Technology Symposium at Stanford University. E27 is “a forum for young entrepreneurs to showcase their upcoming or new products to influential representatives from newspapers, popular blogs, progressive companies, universities, and venture capitalist firms.”

noahkagan-shivanisoporyThe invite-only event was created by Noah Kagan, Shivani Sopory, and Nancy Gong, and featured nine new startups with web 2.0 products and services. Some of the companies and products have literally just launched – one as early as this morning; others will be launching in the near future. I’ll be posting these to eHub as listings as well, but see below for notes on each product. My partner, Max Kiesler, has a podcast available of the presentations (updated 1/29).

Billmonk

billmonkBillmonk is a free web service that makes it easy to track, manage, and automate the process of sharing financial responsibilities between friends. In their own words, “Billmonk wants to ease the strains of finances on friendships…Our patent-pending technology makes it super-easy for you to tell us about bills using your cell phone or web browser, and then we do all the work of figuring who owes whom how much.”

Noted: Billmonk includes a mobile feature so you can use SMS messages to keep track of finances on the go. For example, sending a text message of “28 3 gas” to your account will record that you paid $28 dollars for 3 people for gas. You can login to the site later and add details or edit.

Next up, they hope to launch more currency options in response to international requests from web users in France, Germany, and Japan.

The Team
Gaurav Oberoi, Co-founder and Developer
Chuck Groom, Co-founder and Developer

inFreeDA’s 411metro

411metroinFreeDA is the company behind 411metro, a free directory assistance service. The service is free to users with advertisers paying to place short voice commercials while the service finds your request. Relevant ads are delivered based on the request of the customer, location and demographic. Normally, I would find this type of advertising somewhat intrusive, but the sample demo of a call request that Derek Merrill presented was fast and relevant.. and of course, free.

Noted: There were six billion 411 calls last year (despite other offline and online directories).

Founding Team
Alec Andronikov
Derek Merrill
Alexey Bulavin

Standpoint

standpointStandpoint launched this morning. The site is a “social encyclopedia of belief” and provides a way for people to represent their beliefs both individually and collectively. Similar to the social aspects of 43 Things, you can create lists of things you believe, add reasons and links that support your point of view, sharing your knowledge to help others make their own decisions, find other people who share your view or debate topics with those that have opposite opinions. It will be interesting to see what knowledge patterns approach over time and whether this will be a new model for gathering opinions and information. As co-founder Justin Smith described, it’s a great forum for debating current events and politics.

Noted: “A social approach to creating a knowledge map.”

The Team
Justin Smith
Gentry Underwood

Licketyship

licketyshipLicketyship is an online service that delivers office supplies and electronics to customers within 2 hours. Their patent-pending software tracks real-time inventories of stores and a nationwide courier fleet. Customers search for products at the site and the search returns the closest local store that carries the product.

Noted: New features are in development, including a “get it today” button. Retailers can offer this on their own websites for delivery through Standpoint. They’ll also be adding a service for online auctions (when an auction ends and the buyer is within a certain distance from you, they can have their purchase delivered in 2 hours).

The Team
LicketyShip was developed in 2004 by graduate researchers and engineering students at Yale University and the University of Notre Dame. CEO and co-founder Robert Pazornik formerly headed 3BStudios, which was acquired by CCI Interactive in 2003. LicketyShip was recently named a Top 5 Startup of 2005 by Fortune Magazine, 1 month after Pazornik’s 25th birthday.

Flagr

flagrFlagr will be launching in three weeks. With Flagr, you can “share all your favorite venues, broadcast your most recently visited locations, exchange mobile media, plan events, and find new things to do in the real world.” Broadcast your finds and tips via text message or through the site for friends or others to see and discover new activities/places/things for yourself.

Noted: Create topical maps (which can be integrated on your blog) and allow people to add their own flags to the map.

Founding Team
Matt Colyer
David Wurtz
Cole Poelker

PlaceSite

placesitePlaceSite is a strong social concept combining wi-fi access, location awareness and online community. PlaceSite provides “island Internets” at Wi-Fi cafes (or events, offices, communities, campuses). It’s currently running at Cafe Couleur here in San Francisco. I plan to go this week and check it out. PlaceSite includes open source software that’s installed on a router, replacing the default router software. Anyone who surfs on a PlaceSite island can access social services, such as a chat room, message forums, and profiles of other people on the network through the website.

Noted: “Allows the evolution of digital ‘places’ that reflect the cultures and regional flavors of the physical places they’re experienced in.”

The Team
Sean Savage
Damon McCormick
Parker Thompson
Andrew Hoag
Dav Coleman

Box.net

boxnetBox.net provides users with low-cost, online storage. Launched in 2005, they have 4,000 paying subscribers and are about to launch a new premium service with both free and pay options.

Noted: There are various uploading functions (flash 8 uploader, email attachments, and a desktop client for synching). Sharing has privacy and unlimited groups. Drag a file/folder to their name and it goes in their account. Set up RSS feeds for groups to stay updated when you add a file.

The Team
Aaron Levie
Dylan Smith

Skobee

skobeeSkobee is a planning and scheduling service that is built around the way people socialize with their friends. Rather than depending on email threads to organize group meet ups, dinners, of get togethers, Skobee organizes and tracks the conversation between people involved in making plans.

Noted: The service acts as an email, IM, or mobile organizer by keeping track of iterative changes in you and your friend’s accounts. It’s version control for electronic conversations.

Founding Team
The Skobee team represents some of the earliest employees from Plumtree Software, a publicly traded enterprise software company that
was recently acquired by BEA. This proven team has been working together closely for the past five to eight years, building high quality Web applications deployed to over 10 million licensed seats, including a number of Fortune 500 companies such as Ford Motor Co., Procter & Gamble, and Boeing.

NeuroSky

neuroskyNeuroSky “has created the “world’s first consumer-minded neural device.” While monitoring biofeedback is not new, NeuroSky’s prototype converts biofeedback (brainwaves and eye movements) into electronic signals for use in interactive entertainment (gaming) and other industries.

Noted: Johnny Liu had a prototype of the neural sensor head piece at E27 and showed a participant his brainwave read out on the laptop screen.

Founder
Johnny Liu is the Chief of Corporate Communications at NeuroSky, a Silicon Valley based start-up focused on consumer brainwave technology. He is also a professional writer of seven years for a mess of different publications, primarily in culture, technology, and gaming. He has produced television, orchestrated photoshoots, and has sat on the other side of the table, with appearances on CNN Headline News, G4TechTV, and KRON4.

Thanks to E27 for the invite and I look forward to seeing how these new applications and companies do in the next year.

Also see:
Entrepreneur27 Technology Symposium Wrap-up and Podcast by Max Kiesler. (Updated 1/29)
Nine Startups at E27 Summit by Mike Arrington at TechCrunch.
Small ideas, big companiesby Robert Scoble.

6 Comments

  1. theCreator
    January 19, 2006

    The only startups in that list that seem interesting are Licketyship and NeuroSky. The rest looks like RoR cookie cutters.

  2. james
    January 29, 2006

    i don’t agree. i think standpoint is interesting too. With the soon to release israeli question and answer engine we are seeing the emergence of collecting wisdom in new ways. james

  3. Brian C
    January 30, 2006

    I disagree as well.  I was there and many of the companies have quite a bit of potential.  Do you use del.icio.us?  300,00 people do.  And the number is growing.  Flagr is basically del.icio.us, but on your phone for the real world.  Lickety Ship sounds great but try scaling that idea.  Skobee and Standpoint, as well as others, also look like they could be quite viral.  And Europeans are going to eat up Bill Monk, as it fits very well with how they pay/track bills between friends.  Are any of these the next Yahoo?  Probably not.  But they could be bought by Yahoo.  And if one of them were mine, I wouldn’t mind that.

  4. Jason Murphy
    February 1, 2006

    I really liked the idea of PlaceSite. I often people watch and wonder who else in the room is doing the same thing, and who is thinking what. In public I may be shy, but put me on an IM client and I become captian courageous.

    I use and LOVE the BillMonk service. My friends and I use it all the time, and it makes things very convenient for split purchases on joint venture projects (who paid for a domain name, who paid for scripts, who paid for hosting, who paid for advertising, what’s owed where?). I have (or had, can’t remember) a box.net account, but it was just storage at the time so it wasn’t all interesting. Add RSS feeds to the account, and now its interesting again.

    LicketyShip? Dunno. Can’t think of anything I ever needed to have THAT day without going to the store to get it. NeuroSky? I’ll wait for the demo. Flagr, Standpoint, and Skobee all don’t have much appeal to me. But 411metro sounds like a service I could use.

  5. Sven
    April 4, 2006

    Here’s a nother one for ya, check out http://www.billhighway.com – seems they’ve been doing the “shared bills” thing for sometime now.  I’ve been using them for about six months for managing bills between my roommates.  I originally got turned on to them at school, guess they also offer a system for helping greek fraternities/sororities.  Its cool because we can use it to both track and pay bills, split payments (evenly or custom) between us, schedule reoccuring fund transfers and even have multiple “source” bank accounts.  You should check it out, I recently heard from an insider they’ve got over 100,000 customers!?

  6. Nensy Jones
    January 29, 2007

    Flagr is basically del.icio.us, but on your phone for the real world.  Lickety Ship sounds great but try scaling that idea.  Skobee and Standpoint, as well as others, also look like they could be quite viral.  And Europeans are going to eat up Bill Monk, as it fits very well with how they pay/track bills between friends.