The Demo Conference funnels a highly competitive field of thousands of applicants to produce only 75 high quality presenters. Some presentations have a noble goal, others just smell like million dollar ideas. One new company did literally get awarded US$1 million, in the form of a media boost from the show producer, IDG. I was ecstatic to see that it was one of my favorites.
But first, there were a few other companies that really stood out from the crowd. Hand-picked by me, here's three that deserve a little extra attention, and will undoubtedly get it in the months to come.
Solstice ranks highly among the problem-solvers at Demo Conference because it strikes a very universal note. They claim to possess the magical missing link that allows you to seamlessly connect all of your gadgets and content. Aside from being imminently necessary, this conquers so many issues across hardware and software platforms that no company or individual is currently immune to. Plus, it makes collaboration much more efficient no matter what the application.
iBuildApp gives the power of creation to the consumer, which is something I'm always a fan of. They offer a straightforward, user-friendly interface allowing anybody to create their own app. Of course, the apps are built on templates, so there are limits to the functionality. But it's a great solution for small businesses and penniless visionaries who need a way to implement an app but lack the design chops.
Barrel of Jobs brings online headhunting to the next generation. Geared towards small businesses, this shockingly simple model incorporates the social spectrum in a very functional way, providing the tools (and motivation) to connect the the ideal employee with the job that needs him or her. By incentivizing users to share job openings (with actual cash) via their network of choice, and only charging employers once they've hired their candidate, there's really no way to lose. Mixing the explosive potential of social media with the practicality of Craigslist serves up a fresh atmosphere with limitless potential.
The People's Choice
Ube, the declared winner of the People's Choice Award, got my vote just because they tap a market that I had completely forgotten about (and I don't think I'm alone here). Raising the question "why aren't our homes as smart as our cars?" put their innovations into an excellent context. Put simply, they develop smart outlets and apps that help you monitor and control your energy usage. Maybe there's an economic reason this isn't already widespread, but it seems pretty obvious that this technology will be commonplace in the very near future.