Kevin Werbach sweet-talked Michael Arrington of TechCrunch into creating a "Top Connected Innovators" showcase at this year's Supernova. Here's the quick list of the award winners, apparently selected via a hyperdrive-submission process a la the usual TechCrunch review, and why they were deemed relevant:
- Sharpcast. Web 2.0 doesn't give you offline access, but most personal content is created by offline applications. Sharpcast aims to provide ubiquitous application access, regardless of location - as the company says, "a bridge between your offline applications, your online services, and all your devices." They're doing this with synchronization services, rather than a central repository of information.
- Webaroo. Wireless networks are a slow, shared resource, and wireless data still isn't free. Webaroo is looking at network storage trends as they try to build a "free, ubiquitous, and fast Internet."
- Postapp. Ed Anuff announced open registration today for Widgetbox, a widget marketplace. Widgets are an increasingly popular way to add content to your web site or blog, but they're still difficult to build and use. The two pieces of functionality that Widgetbox provides: a marketplace in which developers and users can connect over desired functionality, and an infrastructure that support whatever licensing model the developers and users want to set. This looks like a more sophisticated, focused version of IPswap.
- Vpod.tv. Another way to publish videos on demand. Their spin is to improve ease-of-use for upload, and provide online editing/remixing. Customization capabilities are Ajax-enabled. Interestingly, they're looking for ways to control content within communities, so your eight-year-old won't see old snippets of Jackass. The coolest part was when they showed it working on mobile phones too.
- Ether. Lots of talk about creating a services marketplace, which turned out into what they are launching today: a toll-free phone number that you can use to sell your services; e.g., someone pays you $100 and gets to talk to you for a predetermined hour on your Ether line. This is somewhat like a web-enabled 1-900 service, and undoubtedly it will atttact adult services, but it's also coolly aligned with blog monetization - you only pay a small fee once someone has paid for your services. Empowering people to "sell what you say."
- Attap. Favorite mad scientist Bruce Spector announced lifeio today - a life organizer that consolidates your digital life. The team is trying to "play well with others" by enabling users to aggregate and display a variety of content sources - Gmail, Hotmail, Flickr, YouTube, Netflix can all be displayed in the same environment. The Ajax-based framework is called Jitsu and is now open source for developers.
- GearOn. A shared mobile view (from ProtoMobl) into what your friends are taking pictures of, listening to, and planning via their mobile phones. The idea is "mobile, social, local" - though I would much rather have seen a demo, it was kind of hard to tell how it worked from the powerpoint.
- SoonR. Full access to your desktop content and email from any mobile handset. SoonR Talk allows people to use Skype from any mobile handset, which I surmise is like the EQO service.
- Zixxo. Better online coupons. 'Nuff said...
- Attensa. RSS and attention information to be used in a business environment; enterprises can know what's being said both outside of and behind the firewall, and automatically prioritize content based upon observed behaviors.
I had to leave (ridiculously late!) for the Digg pre-launch fiesta, so I unfortunately missed the tap dances for NetVibes (a good personalized RSS reader) and StumbleUpon (a way to match interests with other people, thereby discovering great web sites.)
The most cool/different announcements here for me were Ether and Jitsu. Of other note, I was pretty disappointed to see a gang of geeks (and you know who you are) heckling and laughing at some of the presenters. What is this, third grade?