Oct 18

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Web2Summit: Launchpad Companies - G.Ho.St, Cleverset, ClickForensics

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 second three: provides a virtual, hosted PC for every user. The name comes from "Global Hosted Operating SysTem". They are an Israeli start-up and a big consumer of Amazon Web Services. They provide 3GB of storage to each user (S3) and their virtual computers are hosted on Amazon's (EC2).

Zvi, the CEO, is doing the only live demo (so far) and its very impressive. They are aiming to help people never have to set-up a new computer again. Never have to move files again. They have made the UI as Windows-ish as possible.

Pro: They are making it easier for people to have Con: Will people really leave their desktop apps behind? An ending suggestion was that they should ditch the UI and go with the Virtual File System as a product.

I use lots of online apps, but I can't picture wanting to access them via another web app.

ClickForensics helps companies guard against click fraud in their advertising campaigns. They are trying to prevent fraud caused botnets and made-for-ads that send low-quality traffic. ClickForensics crawled sites using YPN and Google's Ad Network. They estimate that 71% of Yahoo advertisers and 76% of Google's are made-for-ads sites. They also evaluate incoming traffic for publishers and help them decide what type of ad they should show.

They have a very cool ClickForensics Index if you want to see which countries cause the issue.

Pro: Necessary business. Potentially a big business. It can't be one of the search engines. Could be very big in the future. Con: The search engines are trying to fix this problem and without their buy-in ClickForensics will have trouble tying into their networks.

Personally, I think that this is a smart business. Even if Google and Yahoo! fix the problem there will always be doubt about their numbers.

CleverSet uses behavioral modeling for commerce companies (to enable "me-commerce). These models are used to power recommendations for products, ads, and media. They try to find unique relationships by modeling every user action and pulling in in explicit and implicit data (sadly, they didn't elaborate on this point).

Pro: Chris Albinson -- he loves it and brings up MySpace's new moves in targeting. Points out that improving sales is always good for business. Con: This is an old business and not necessarily a money-maker.

Personally, I think smaller companies could really benefit from having access to this service -- just like startups use Amazon Web Services already.

The show ended with the following awards:

Best In Show: CleverSet
Best Presentation: G.Ho.St (the benefits of going live)
Most Creative Idea: Realius
Most Likely To Exit First: CleverSet (the next AWS?)

See my post on the first three Launchpad companies.

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Comments: 2

  Rami [10.19.07 03:42 AM]

A quick correction, is a joint Palestinian-Israeli startup...

  Chris Twyman [10.19.07 08:01 AM]

I think someone needs to reconsider the name "LaunchPad" as it clearly does not apply anymore. After looking at the companies featured this year (all very exciting businesses) I have concluded that they are all well funded and many month past launching. In one case way past series B. LaunchPad WAS an excellent vehicle for highlighting new talent when that talent didn't have a bottomless marketing budget. Sadly that is not the case anymore.

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