Web2Summit: Launchpad Companies – RealiusTripit, SpiceWorks

The six Web 2.0 Summit Launchpad companies have taken the stage. They are each only here because they received funding from a VC firm. They were selected and critiqued by

  • Chris Albinson and Mike Jung – Panorama/JP Morgan
  • Mark Jacobsen – O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures
  • Michael Skok / Dayna Grayson – North Bridge Venture Partners
  • Jim Lussier – Norwest Venture Partners

Here are the first three:

TripIt is a trip organizer that uses email as one of the main interfaces. Once you’ve booked your flight online you can email your itinerary to Tripit and it will create a trip based on your destinations. Tripit provides maps, weather data, and other associated data that you and traveling partners might find handy for planning purposes. They make it easy to export your data via microformats and iCal.

Today they are releasing a command-line interface. It allows you to interface with Tripit via email and SMS. You can send in “get hotels” or “get flights”.

After the demo the VC panel critiqued Tripit. Chris Albinson did not think that Tripit was anything but a feature. Mark Jacobsen defended it noting that most travelers are using airlines sites and could use Tripit to book the rest of their trip.

Personally, I like and use this service. (Disclosure: Tripit is funded by OATV, O’Reilly’s VC arm)

SpiceWorks produces a free tool that automatically inventories everything on a local network. It will also monitor hard drive space and printers. It connects SMB IT professionals via their community site. Their page views are growing.

Why free? IT Pros are used to free web-based services. So why not try an ad-based solution? The ad-based business software is growing. They have 160k IT pros using it in 85 countries. They predict that there will be more

Chris Albinson loves it and feels that they have penetration. Counterpoint: this space is already littered with companies not making money.

I want to see where this market goes.

Realius is a fantasy real estate game that lets you be a real estate tycoon. They claim that there are lots of obsessed real estate agents and home-owners. The weekly games follow the real market (US-only I assume) including the Sunday Open Home. It combines the casual game market with real estate. They launch very shortly starting in Berkeley, CA.

Point: It combines the real estate market, virtual worlds, and casual games. Counterpoint: Casual games ride on hits. This will either make it or not. But the real issue is the size of the market, the prediction is that it will plateau eventually.

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