MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--The month of September was jam-packed with the launch of more than 100 new start-ups and services at high-profile conferences like Demo Fall and TechCrunch50. In a much smaller gathering Tuesday night at Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus, just 10 companies--all in the seed stage--got to pitch as part of Vator.tv's Juice Pitcher event.
Some were new, while many were already launched and looking to pick up investments to get off the ground. These range from a new service that helps you rent out your car to strangers when you're not using it, to a mobile app that lets you haggle with local retailers on prices for goods and services. Here's a rundown of the presenters:
Viralogy (which actually launched back in May) calls itself an "Alexa for people." It lets you pit people and blogs against one another to determine who has the higher online social rank. Its "Vscore" system figures out those rankings using a mix of things like Google Pagerank, how much traffic your blog gets, how many people are linking to your blog, and your popularity on services like Twitter.
All these factors are rolled into a person or blog's Vscore, which can be compared with others and tracked over time.
In Viralogy's pitch, CEO Yu-kai Chou said that the Vscore system will eventually incorporate other social services like Facebook, YouTube, Digg, LinkedIn and FriendFeed.
IDNTITI is a social-rating tool that's trying to get rid of a standardized rating system in place of having users etch in the merits of a particular business or product using one of the rating systems it provides.
What's really odd about the system is that IDNTITI is not making these ratings a public affair. If you rate a business or product, others cannot see that you left that rating unless you decide to make it visible, either through a widget, or if a user goes out of their way to request to see who left that rating. That's a very different approach to something like Yelp, where a users' reviews define them.
RelayRides is a peer-to-peer car sharing network. Car owners can put their car up for rent so that they can make money when it's not in use. RelayRides then provides insurance and keeps a records that cars, and all the times it's rented out to others.
The company installs an unlocking and starting mechanism similar to something like ZipCar, so that the owner doesn't have to worry about being around to swap off the keys. Owners also get to pick how much they charge, where they're going, and when they're available. In turn, the company picks up a 15 percent transaction fee for each rental.
The service is launching in Baltimore in the next few months and plans to roll it out to other markets if successful.
TribeVibe lets users track how content is seen shared and linked around the Web, basically providing a dashboard to see all the places it goes once it's up. It measures its reach across the Web, then turns that into a "drumbeat." This number can then be stuck into any particular piece of content's to show users how popular it is--kind of like the retweet or Digg button but more passive.
The company is currently in stealth mode and going into private beta later this month, and plans to go mainly after bloggers who want to know a little more about their audience. Along with its core analytics tools, TribeVibe will also have a way for users to plug the system into their own analytics tracking tools for $20 a month. … Read more