Demo Fall 07 wraps up

By October 12, 2007

After the last of the 69 demos, Chris Shipley used a string of qualifiers to describe the trends represented by this year’s companies: rich-media, social, collaborative, secure, business-aware, creative, global and mobile. It abou

t sums it up. Because of the intense pressure weighing on the presenters for two days, the closing dinner felt like a collective sigh of relief with the sense of having survived a sort of baptism by fire. It is the custom for the conference to bestow DEMOgod awards to those presenters who performed most gracefully under pressure and best engaged the audience. One of the 2007 DEMOgod is Chaim Indig. For the 29-year old serial entrepreneur, the recognition was the crowning moment of an event that has already resulted in coverage of his company Phreesia, maker of an electronic patient check-in clipboard, in USA Today and several other media. For Indig, Demo has already paid off handsomely. And now a closer look at six last companies. The search continues Only three companies were presenting in this category despite its importance in the online user experience. Exlead This New York-based company is headed by AltaVista veteran François Bourconcle who claims that Exlead’s latest product, Baagz, is the first engine to capture the Web 2.0 by combining search with social networking capabilities. As you use Exlead’s search engine, the results show the “baagz” of other site users. You can grab some of their favorite sites and drag them into your “baagz”. Taking the social aspect one step further, you can ask other users questions and add them to your network of friends. Baagz is currently in private beta. Building trust This track mainly addressed questions of security, rather than the issue of trusting content. CodaSystem Based in Paris, CodaSystem has been providing a photo and video authentication solution to large companies for a while (one example is a chain of stores needing to prove to its suppliers that they are displaying their products as agreed). Now the solution is becoming available to everybody with a smart phone running Windows Mobile or Flash. A watermark is inserted into the pixels and disappears if the photo is altered in any way. Photos are stored on CodaSystem’s secured servers. Applications in real estate, construction, display advertising and police work come to mind. Marketing 2.0: the customer in charge Pudding Media San Jose-based Pudding Media will offer free calls over the Internet. The twist is that, thanks to a voice recognition technology, the site picks up on your conversation and brings up relevant content as you chat. Some of that “content” is targeted ads. “We don’t keep records and we are not backed by the NSA,” assured founder Ariel Maislos to respond to widespread criticism that his service is an Orwellian, eavesdropping scheme that takes targeting a little too far. Myndnet. On Wikipedia, experts share their knowledge for free. On Myndnet, they sell it. To customers looking for leads, new recruits and any type of information vital to their business, the East Palo Alto company offers a venue to post their question online. For example, a recruiter would be charged $35 per name (a refund policy comes with the product). The “expert” who provides a valued answer gets $14. Life is mobile Truphone James Tagg, the CEO of London-based Truphone, wants to bring the benefits of VoIP to millions of cell phone users. On stage here, he even demonstrated what he claimed was the first web call made on an iPhone. Whenever a cell user is within range of a Wi-Fi network, the calls transit over the Internet and become free. mig33 Steven Goh and Mei Lin Ng, the two co-founders of mig33, say that their service is already used in 200 countries by 7 million users sending 30 millions messages a day. That sounds impressive and now they are bringing the service to the US. What is mig33 about? A sort of MySpace on the cell, it allows cell users to connect to their buddies on any web-based email system, to send them photos or to call them cheaply across borders. Isabelle Boucq in San Diego   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at

Legal mentions © L’Atelier BNP Paribas