Over the past two days at the DEMO conference in Palm Springs, California, 52 companies have stood on stage and presented their company in a short presentation. There are just a couple of rules - the presentation must be live, finished in under six minutes and absolutely (thank you!) no PowerPoint.
At the end of each conference, six "DEMOgods" are chosen by DEMO's producers and one more company is chosen by popular vote to walk away from the conference with a cool million bucks. Here are the six DEMOgods and one crowd favorite of 2011.
As VentureBeat's Matt Marshall said when he kicked off DEMO yesterday, this show has been "all about social." From social CRM systems to photo sharing to video and group chat, DEMO 2011 has evidenced the continuing power of the idea of a "social" Web. At the same time, we saw a number of futuristic devices cross the stage, from an altitude simulating pod to virtual dressing room software and brainwave reading headbands.
In the end, only six can win, and here they are. Descriptions are taken from the DEMO website.
"The Webcam Social Shopper is an advanced apparel visualization and social media engagement product that's licensed to online retailers. The product enables online apparel shoppers to visualize if an item's style is right for them by replicating the in-store experience of taking an item off the rack, holding it up to themselves, and asking a friend (or the mirror) 'What do you think?' All the shopper needs is a computer and a webcam."
"Nimble is the world's first Social Relationship Manager. It easily connects all of your Contacts, Calendars, Communications plus Social Listening and Engagement into a simple, affordable Web-based platform for individuals and teams. Nimble integrates LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google & Email into one seamless environment. Nimble empowers small businesses in today's socially connected world to collaborate more efficiently, to listen and engage with their community to attract and retain the right customers."
"The ecoATM is an automated self-serve eCycling kiosk that uses patented machine vision, electronic diagnostics, and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy-back used electronics directly from consumers for cash or store credit. ecoATM kiosks provide a convenient trade-in solution that electronically and visually inspects any consumer electronic device, pays consumers immediately in cash and/or store credit, and automatically administers trade-in / trade-up promotions for retailers and manufacturers."
"Stratosphere supports up to 400 virtual desktops in a 2U server. These virtual desktops are faster than traditional desktops, use 1/30th the power and cost significantly less than other virtual and traditional desktop solutions."
"Manilla is a free personal account management service that helps consumers manage all of their household accounts including bills, finances, travel rewards programs and subscriptions in one place online. Manilla gives customers an automated, organized view of all their account information, reminders to pay bills and lifetime storage of all their statements, notices, offers and bills."
- Ecobe (alpha pitch)
"'Why should that guy get paid so much for using my content? - He shouldn't.' Ecobe.com gives back 75% of our search engine's advertising profit to content providers. Our patented profit sharing formula uses visits by Ecobe search engine users to a domain, as the basis for calculating a monthly profit share. In essence, Ecobe charges a 25% commission for allowing content creators to leverage a search engine's profits to monetize their content."
- People's Choice Award (and the cool million bucks): GutCheck
"GutCheck is an innovative do-it-yourself Web application for conducting qualitative research, which enables one-on-one chat interviews with target market consumers, at 10% of the cost of other traditional methods. In a matter of minutes you can be connected with a specific target consumer (ie. Females, aged 24-36, HHI of $45k-$65k and drives a mini-van) and obtain feedback and insights for your marketing, advertising or product development."