When pitching a creative idea to a company, often the mechanism by which you pitch the idea to clients is as important as the pitch itself. TechCrunch50 startup ClientShow, which is presenting during the Business Applications session, is hoping to help creative, advertising and marketing professionals show, pitch and sell their work to clients more effectively through real-time collaboration and… → Read More
So that was day one of Techcrunch 50. The best tech conference in the universe, that pays my wages.
And what did I learn today? Today I learned that the Rocky soundtrack makes any technical hitch a million times more dramatic. I learned that Yossi Vardi believes that any disaster can be solved with a show of hands or a forced round of applause. I learned that, where other entrepreneurs quote Sun… → Read More
Soft-spoken Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh had some surprisingly harsh criticism for the TC50 companies he saw today: Why aren’t you trying to change the world? I asked him more about that in our backstage sidestage interview during the TC50 cocktail party. “To be fair, is selling shoes changing the world?” I asked. Watch the clip after the jump to hear his answer.
I pressed Hsieh on details about his… → Read More
The second company to emerge from the TechCrunch50 DemoPit as a peoples’ choice winner is YourVersion, a discovery engine that looks to help recommend new content based on your past searches and interests. The company was among the top two recipients of TechCrunch50 tokens, which are used by conference attendees to vote on their favorite companies in the DemoPit, and shares today’s Peoples’ Choice… → Read More
Each year we see hundreds of impressive applications to TechCrunch50 — unfortunately, we always have a number of great companies that deserve attention but don’t quite make the cut as finalists. That’s why we have our TC50 DemoPit, where we invite a few dozen other strong startups to demonstrate their wares in the conference building’s main hall. Each conference attendee is given two… → Read More
It’s not often that you hear about innovation in the used car space, but Mota Motors, a new site that’s launching today at TechCrunch50, has managed to pull it off. Mota’s multi-faceted service effectively holds your hand through the entire used car buying (or selling) process, offering a level of trust and convenience that has been difficult to achieve on traditional peer-to-peer car sales… → Read More
For most startups just getting off the ground, cash on hand is extremely limited, to be reserved for only the most essential expenses. But that doesn’t mean these fledgling companies don’t have an abundance of talent. TheSwop, a new site making its debut today at TechCrunch50, is looking to help these startups and other growing companies trade ‘favors’ to each other, in whatever fields they… → Read More
Getting a meeting with Marc Andreessen isn’t easy so I made sure I cornered him and shoved a camera in his face backstage at TechCrunch50 to ask him about his new life as a VC. It’s been seven weeks and one day, and so far, he says he loves it and it’s fun. Of course, as he notes, seven weeks in there’s no expectation that companies will have exited and it’s not enough time for any of them to fail… → Read More
RefMob is launching at the TechCrunch50 event today a service that allows business owners to make more noise about their paid referral programs online while at the same time giving more people the opportunity to earn bonuses for referring people using social networking apps.
RefMob enables people to share paid referrals that they know of for a variety of business categories, like bonuses for… → Read More
As an employer, chances are you use sites like Craigslist or Monster.com to try and get the best candidates for vacant spots. If that’s indeed your modus operandi for recruitment, than you’re probably also used to receiving bad or incomplete resumes, applications from totally unqualified persons or just utter spam. LocalBacon thinks it doesn’t have to be that way, and believes the solution to the… → Read More
We grabbed Google’s Marissa Mayer backstage just after her launch of Fast Flip. Michael asked her about that name change, Google’s on going innovation with news online, and whether any big players did not want Google using their content with this new product.
Her product manager was also on camera. Mike’s question to him? Rate Mayer as a boss on a scale of one to ten. It’s just not TC50 until we… → Read More
Yext, a popular local business search engine that for some reason managed to stay under the radar so far, is launching a new product dubbed Yext Calls at the TechCrunch50 event today that’s bound to raise some eyebrows.
Local businesses can use the Yext Calls software to process incoming phone calls and organize them based on semantic analysis of what was said during the conversation, providing… → Read More
The web is loaded with sites offering listings and reviews for local services, with mainstays like Yelp and Craigslist leading the pack. But when it comes to actually executing a transaction with one of these service providers — establishing details like establishing a price and timing — most people still turn to their phone books to call the service. RedBeacon is a new service making its… → Read More
One of the cooler iPhone apps to launch last year was SGN’s iFun, which let you use your iPhone or iPod touch to control games on your computer screen. But iFun only works with SGN’s own games like iGolf, a new startup, iMo, launching today at TechCrunch50, expands the ability to all PC games.
Most PC games are still played using the mouse+keyboard combination. A lot of hardcore gamers like this… → Read More
Billed by its founders as a ‘visual endorsement engine’, Udorse is launching today at the TechCrunch50 conference a couple of months after word got out that the startup raised half a million dollars in seed funding from The Founders Fund and convinced Peter Thiel to join its board of directors.
So what the heck is a visual endorsement engine and why on earth would anyone need it? → Read More
Leveraging the power of the Web, behavioral economics and an applied branch of game theory called auction theory, Rackup is surfacing today at TechCrunch50 with a bold play on online auction platforms and the audacious goal to disrupt the $100 billion gift card market with it.
Unlike most web services in this field, Rackup isn’t about offering a trade or resale platform for gift cards but does… → Read More
I grabbed Ross Levinsohn after the advertising panel to conduct a very serious interview with the former president of Fox Interactive Media and now VC at Fuse Capital about how FIM is faring these days and the state of online advertising generally.
Then Arrington decided to Segway over and interrupt it.
Video on the jump. → Read More
Healthcare is one of the top social and economic problems facing Americans today, as the rising cost of medical care and health insurance in the United States continues to significantly impact the livelihood of many of its citizens in one way or another. America spends a dazzling $2.4 trillion annually on healthcare, 75% of which is estimated to go to chronic, largely preventable diseases like… → Read More
Lots of people purchase tickets for events like sports games, rock concerts, etc. on secondary markets like eBay or StubHub, where they can often be picked up at huge discounts. Of course, it’s a bit of a challenge to know when to make a move and buy tickets exactly.
The main problem with buying tickets on secondary markets is that you have no clue if they reached their lowest price already or if… → Read More
So former Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone is starting a new company, Clicker. It’s like a TV guide for online video, and the experts named it as one of their favorite companies they saw today. I like Lanzone, but I had to ask: Does a company with a well-known CEO and $8 million already in the bank really need to win our $50,000 prize?
His answer and more about why he’s jumping back into the start-up… → Read More
DataXu is a Boston-based startup founded by a couple of tech entrepreneurs and MIT alums who are committed to making waves in the online advertising landscape by debuting the first real-time ad optimization system working across exchange platforms from the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Essentially, the aim is to bring more power to advertisers – rather than publishers – who are looking to… → Read More
Remainder aka remnant advertising are not exactly widely known terms, but the average person browsing the web for content knows perfectly well what it is. Anyone who’s ever browsed their favorite news site and has been exposed to advertising units that seem totally off base with the publisher brand, or even completely – even if unintentionally – juxtaposed to the content that’s being viewed has… → Read More
In between startup sessions at TechCrunch50, we are hosting a number of heavy hitters in a panel titled ‘Creating scarcity, value and brand protection as we face limitless ad inventory” in collaboration with AdMeld. On the panel we have Michael Barrett from AdMeld, Kenneth Fuchs from Sports Illustrated, Kal Patel from Best Buy, Peter Foster from Hi5, Jim Heckman and Ross Levinsohn from 5to1 and … → Read More
More and more television content is making its way online. But because of different deals by various networks, it’s all over the place. Even the huge sites like Hulu, only skim the surface in showing what is out there. Clicker, a service launching today at TechCrunch50, wants to be the most comprehensive way to find the video content you’re looking for on the web.
While there are no shortage of… → Read More
Slingbox owners love their devices. They allow you to watch your home television content anywhere you are in the world with an Internet connection. A new startup, Spawn Labs, launching today at TechCrunch50 wants to extend that concept to video games.
But Spawn Labs offering is actually a bit more robust because it includes a social element as well. A key part to playing video games is playing… → Read More
Eventually, it’s probably safe to assume that all electronics will be in some way connected to the Internet. As long as you’re not worried about a Skynet-style Terminator apocalyptic future, that’s probably a good thing. With that in mind, the online gaming network SGN began working on a secret project to connect children’s toys to the Internet. Today, ToyBots is being unveiled at TechCrunch50… → Read More
Adobe’s Flash product has obviously been an integral part of the web for many years now. But it still has a major weakness when it comes search engines and complexity. While Adobe and others have been working on solutions to make Flash-based website more Google-friendly, they’re still nowhere near as crawl-able as regular HTML-based pages. FluidHTML or “Fhtml” is a new server-side markup language… → Read More
Remotely connecting two computers is still a pretty big pain. It usually requires two parties jumping through a bunch of hoops to get things working. This includes each computer having the same software, using various passwords, and waiting on a connection. iTwin, a new startup launching today at TechCrunch50 aims to make the process entirely plug and play.
iTwin takes the idea of remote… → Read More
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand keywords. Today at TechCrunch50, Microsoft senior vice president Yusuf Mehdi announced a new visual search feature on Bing which returns results as an interactive gallery of images.
For instance, if you type in “dog breeds,” it organizes them for you in a grid of images that you can scroll through using a slider on the right. When you hover over a… → Read More
Seems I’ve also been roped in by Sarah Lacy to act as gopher and occasional co-host for her backstage interviews with some of the event’s more interesting experts and pitchers.
First up was Penn Jillette, fresh off stage from pitching the Penn and Teller iPhone app. The application essentially lets you text Penn & Teller after which they’ll perform some magic over the air. The way they do it… → Read More