VentureWire’s FASTech Conference Spotlights Most Promising Start-UpsOctober 12, 2010
Wall Street Journal
by Venture Capital Dispatch
Venture capitalists often say the best start-ups are funded during recessions because these companies know how to keep operations lean and mean.
To see what winners might emerge from the most recent recession, Dow Jones VentureWire examined hundreds of young technology start-ups that have raised venture capital during this challenging economy and chose 50 of the most promising ones to watch. These early-stage start-ups have all been invited to present at VentureWire’s upcoming FASTech conference in Redwood City, Calif., Nov. 3 and 4.
To assist with the selection, VentureWire teamed up with a panel of nine seasoned venture capitalists, who were presented with a long list of companies outside their portfolios. The advisory board gave their reviews of those they felt were the most promising, and the VentureWire editorial team trimmed that list to the top 50.
In some cases, these start-ups were picked because their businesses have already shown value in the marketplace, or their products are entirely innovative. In other cases, they’ve attracted influential investors, or their founders are proven entrepreneurial successes. Some have several of these attributes. The companies are all in the early stages and haven’t raised more than two rounds of venture capital financing.
The resulting list (see below) spans a broad range of industries, such as consumer Web, software and security, mobile, health-care IT and energy. Each company will have the opportunity to present at the FASTech conference and be interviewed by one of the venture capital advisors.
The FASTech conference also features a number of panels and one-on-one interviews with venture capitalists, start-up founders and executives from companies such as Cisco Systems Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Inc. and Motorola Inc. The first day of the conference concludes with a special gala and awards ceremony bringing together the winners of The Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovation Awards.
Here is VentureWire’s list of ”Top 50 Start-Ups To Watch”:
10Gen - Provides an open-source non-relational database called MongoDB.
ActiFio - Develops an IT storage-related ecosystem.
Akiban Technologies - Sells a database virtualization platform that enables scalability across nodes, both within the enterprise and in the cloud.
Animoto - Develops a web applic ation that enables users to create professional-looking slideshows and web videos from user-uploaded music and photos.
Aquion Energy - Develops a water-based sodium ion battery, which aims to solve some of the problems with lithium ion batteries.
Aurora Feint - Offers a toolkit for developers to build mobile games.
Avere Systems - Sells an appliance that monitors how a company’s data is being used and constantly arranges where the data is located in order to increase the efficiency of the existing network-attached storage equipment.
Blipify - Its website, Blippy.com, lets people share their purchases with friends.
C3 - Develops platforms for the management of carbon cap-and-trade systems.
Cloudera - Provides enterprise-level support to users of Apache Hadoop, the open source software that powers the data processing engines of many websites.
Crowdflower - Its web offering aims to enable businesses to save time and money by instantly accessing hundreds of thousands of workers in more than 70 countries.
Datameer - Offers a data analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop that helps business users access, analyze and use massive amounts of data.
DoubleVerify - Provides a software platform that enables marketers to verify their campaigns for brand safety, delivery accuracy and regulatory compliance.
DropBox - Its storage application and services are designed to enable users to store and sync files online and between computers.
EcoFactor - Provides residential services that manage heating, ventilation and air conditioning usage.
Eucalyptus Systems - Develops an open-source system that enables corporations to build on-premise cloud-computing environments.
Flipboard - Provides a social magazine designed for the iPad.
Foursquare - Its mobile application lets users broadcast their locations to their friends.
Gaikai - Provides technology that enables high quality 3D games to be played on a variety of Web sites.
Gogii - Its textPlus text-messaging program for the iPhone makes it easier for people to attach pictures or other media to messages, create address books and send texts to multiple people at once.
Gowalla - Offers a location-based service that helps people connect with their friends and share their favorite places.
GWallet - Provides a virtual currency platform for social media developers.
Heroku - Makes software tools that allow developers to quickly build Web applications and scale them.
Hexagram 49 - Develops software that operates as a storage layer for the MySQL database that will enable customers to scale up a database built for solid-state disks.
Medialets - Provides a platform that enables publishers to measure their audience and monetize their mobile applications through advertising.
Membase - Develops software based on open-source program Memcached designed for storing data behind interactive web applications.
Nimbula - Develops a cloud infrastructure and services system that allows customers to repurpose their existing infrastructure and build a computing cloud in the environment of their own data center.
One Kings Lane - Its website sells luxury goods from two or three brands a day at up to 70% off original prices.
Payvment - Its online community site provides retailers with virtual storefronts and gives consumers a shopping cart application to shop across various stores.
Proferi - Developing enterprise performance management software.
Quora - Its question-and-answer website is designed to make it easier for people to find information on a variety of topics that are currently not organized on the Internet.
Red Beacon - Provides an online service that enables consumers to receive price quotes and book appointments for local services.
Relaxed - Developing an open source indexable document database designed for the reporting and storage of large amounts of semi-structured, document oriented data.
Scale Computing - Sells grid storage systems for organizations with a small IT staff, such as schools and small businesses.
Schooner Information Technology - Develops data-access application appliances for information-intensive Web 2.0 and cloud computing datacenters.
Shopkick - Its location-based mobile application allows users to earn real money by visiting a store or restaurant, and then donating the value to charity on behalf of sponsors.
Sociocast - Delivers predictive real-time audience data to content companies and advertisers.
Sofa Labs - Offers a website built on the Facebook Connect platform that helps people meet new friends through existing friends.
Square - Sells mobile software and a magnetic card reader that plugs into a mobile phone allowing people to purchase products using a credit-card.
Stack Overflow Internet Services - Operates a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites.
StorSimple - Developing an appliance that enables companies to use a cloud storage service for Microsoft Corp.’s Sharepoint and Exchange applications.
Takadu - Developer of water network management software and services.
Tiny Speck - Developing massively multiplayer online games that include social aspects such as requiring people to form a group to build a house or perform other tasks.
Yext - Offers local advertising services to users, advertisers, and publishers.
ZocDoc - Provides a physician search engine and appointment booking services.
Zong - Its platform enables gamers and users of social networks to make payments over mobile devices that are processed by wireless carriers instead of by financial institutions.