NextWeb – Startup pitches round 3 (Day 2)

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Internet people: Theoretically millionaires

[Live notes from The Next Web conference]

This Dutch startup has a browser button plugin allowing you to share any content with your network on Hyves, Twitter or Bemba’s own network. Select the social network you want to post a page to, post to Twitter, has a widget, see what others are sharing. Useful for people who use multiple social platforms. Full API, Statistics, Delicious and Google shared items import. They want to understand what peolpe are sharing to generate keywords and URLs on which to base a portal. (Hmmnnnn, Reminds me of Digg but without voting – see what people are sharing, right? This feels like a commoditised market to enter though?). Business model is ads on, contextual targeting etc etc. Their better is the branded content marketers could seed into the network. Three experienced founders. (My pitch verdict: OK-ish).

Backbase’s main product line is its Enterprise Ajax framework for building Ajax applications. Apparently they’ve sold 3 million copies in 80+ countries. They started off talking about the fact that we’ve evolved from dumb-terminals to cloud computing. Transform your platform from a flat, dull one to a richer experience. (Pitch verdict: Ok, but overly detailed and over-ran)

Based in Germany, this site connects users who do similar searches on search engines. The idea is to allow people to meet who have the same or similar interest because of the search terms they use. They looking for 1m EUR in funding. They think that because people post stuff online already that they would expose their search requests as well. So, “I can see other people who are searching for this band and then find them”. [Er, no. I find THE SITE where the other fans of the band are on and then explicitly interact with them. But the IMPLICIT searching I did to get there is not something most normal people want exposed. THIS IS A BIG FAIL.]

We already reviewed this extensively. (Pitch verdict: Ok, but I’m starting to wonder why startups seem loathe to come across as fucking enthusiastic about their idea? What gives? (It may be that some do not feel confident with pitching in English – that could be it… hmnnnn – also a lot of these guys are first timers – they are not confident and don;t seem to have been coached in any way on how to present)

This Romanian startup wants you to manage all your conversations in one place. Er…. ambitious to say the least. Looking for 500k Euro. Ok pitch but forgot to say how much funding they want. Launching early may. Dull pitch in that didn’t really identify what problem they are solving., sorry.

This is a tool to facilitate networking at conferences – it’s in closed beta and they said prior to the Next Web that they would launch at the conference. But they didn’t. Er…..

  • Paul J.

    But Mike, tell us, how do you really feel about andunite? :)

  • Ben Ayers

    Gawd andUnite sounds bonkers.

  • shafqat

    I don’t get it. If these startups are paying money to present and have an opportunity on such a big stage, they should be bouncing off the walls with excitement. Did someone sedate them?

    Regardless of the stage, if you are startup founder, passion should be exuding from ever pore. I really hope its just a language problem..

  • Bernd

    Several thousand andUNITE users say that andUNITE sounds bonkers (@ Ben: Thanks!) and is a lot of fun. Just try it!

  • DC Crowley

    I am a bit surprised that backbase were among the startups. I subscribed to their newsletter 3-4 years ago. They were doing a kind of proprietary AJAX before there was any AJAX. They had a free license back then, but it just gave you permission to play but not deploy what they were doing. That last step needed an expensive license.

  • Dragos uberVU

    Our product helps people filter the noise in their social media. We allow people to start distributed communities based on their interests and start conversations with people across multiple platforms.

    But what is the problem we’re solving (we had like 10 slides about the problem in our presentation):

    You follow your friends around on multiple platforms and manage your content on multiple platforms. Maybe you DON’T like to know that your aunt got a new cat, or that some distant friend watched some lame movie.

    But maybe you’re interested in, say, photography. You post to your blog about photography. You upload pics on Flickr. And people respond. They comment, they digg your stories, they write similar stories. How do you connect with these people? How do you manage the conversation? How do you start a community that features all of this content and conversations, from people that you may not know personally, but that’s related to what you’re passionate about? How can other people join the community and this distributed conversation?

    That’s what uberVU is trying to solve: building distributed communities, centered around interests, on top of social platforms, so that people can contribute and connect regardless of the platform they are using.

  • Ryan M.

    I like the andUnite concept. I would find it interesting because I am searching for specific types of collectibles that most people have in personal collections but do not sell. And the people who do sell them usually inflate the price way too much. So I see this as a potential way to find people with the same interest that broadens the market beyond vendors who display goods online. It seems like a way to communicate with the people who do not take the time to post on message boards or get involved with a particular site (the visitors rather than the users) — assuming they would be open to communication.

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