Start-ups in control

Start-ups in control

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

We just got a rundown on the start-up companies that will be presenting demos at PC Forum today and tomorrow. Here are the cool ones:

Kosmix. A specialized search engine. It does health care, travel, and politics right now. I've used the health-care version. It's excellent. It possibly competes with Healthline, also presenting here.

Tacit's Illumio. Tacit does knowledge mining for large businesses. In other words, it can tell you who knows what in your company. Now the company is bringing that function to your friends and family, with a new product called Illumio. I can't wait to try it out.

Edgeio. A new way to create classified ads. Edgeio is getting a lot of press, including some from me.

Spot Runner. Makes it easy, fast, and affordable for small companies to run local television ads--in prime time, they say, and for only a few bucks. Since the cost of producing commercials is too high for most small companies, Spot Runner also has video ad templates. Brilliant.

Novatium. Has created a $100 network computer and a cheap online service to go along with it. Is trying to bring computing and the Web to "the next billion users."

ATTAP (All Things To All People). A grandly named company that's trying to create a new way for users to share opinions and reviews of products and services. Like Epinions, but more Web 2.0-ish.

Iovation. An online reputation company, except this one focuses on tracking the reputation of computers, not people. I have to learn more about this later today.

Bitty Browser. "Picture-in-picture for the Web." It's a tiny Web browser you can stick into any Web page. Clever. But is it needed? Doesn't it compete with RSS?

iMeem. Instant messaging with pictures. Company has been around a while. Most notorious because the CEO looks like he's 17 years old (he's actually 26).

Riya. Searches and categorizes pictures by face. Has gotten a lot of press. Very eagerly awaited service, just now rolling out to the public. News at PC Forum: A feature that will let you search friends' archives for pictures of, say, yourself, at their parties. And a new monetization strategy, for things such as dating services, where you can say: "She's cute, show me more like her."