DEMOing for Dollars in the Desert

The first DEMO convention of the year starts Tuesday night down in the So Cali desert, where 68 startups will try to get noticed by the 700 or so expected press, VCs, and industry execs. For every Skype or Ironport that have launched products at the show, there’s hundreds of Browsters or Filmloops that make up most of the flock. We’ll try to make some educated guesses, though lively presenters and good business plans often have an inverse relationship.

A quick look at the math: say there’s 600 paying attendees at an average $2,250 per person fee, and 68 demonstrators pay $18,500 a pop, means Chris Shipley’s show could be raking in more than $2.5 million for the event before expenses. Cha-ching in Palm Desert!

According to DEMO rules what the companies will launch at the show is embargoed until tomorrow, but since the presenter list is public, we thought we’d take a quick look at some of the attendees pre-announcement day.


Personal publishing across media:
Dublin, Ohio-based Nextumi will be there and one of the cofounders says the company will launch “share2me, a ubiquitous sharing product to permit crossplatform, multimedia sharing.” Redwood City, CA-based Vuvox says it enables its users to publish personal channels with digital content, with the tagline ‘your visual voice.’

Startup product I already use regularly: TeleFlip. Easiest way to send a text message from your PC to a cellphone, just send an email to ‘PHONE-NUMBER’@telefip.com. I have no idea how they’re going to make money, but I love this service.

Online video: With all the online video startups out there, there’s still even more launching or unveiling new products at DEMO, like Magnify.net, Eyejot, Blinkx, SplashCast, ClipSyndicate, Jaman, and Panjea. Details from Liz on NewTeeVee tomorrow.

Mobile: I’ve skipped DEMO the past few times as Web 2.0 washed over the place, but more and more startups are outlining mobile ambitions there. Bling Software says it has the industry’s only AJAX based client for mobile applications, Buz interactive does a mobile personalization service (more details tomorrow), and a launch from Mobio, a company we covered last year.

WiFi Aid: The WiFi at DEMO will probably be too impacted to work, but a few companies are betting on the ubiquitous WiFi trend. We’ve checked out Devicescape‘s download, which helps with browserless access to WiFi networks. Spanish startup Whisher, which has the tagline ‘WiFi Reloaded’ opened and then locked its beta site already.

Established companies trying for some DEMO juice: Adobe, Alcatel-Lucent Ventures, Seagate, Symantec, Wyse – hey there old timers.

Worst named DEMO companies: Boorah — boo. Jaman, say it with a rasta accent — now it’s pretty bad right. Buz Interactive and Me.dium — maybe the lack of the domain name of choice (Buzz Interactive? Medium?) means they lose out on the moniker of choice (pure speculation). Oh well, names aren’t the end of the world.

Most of these companies, like the Kleiner Perkins Caulfied & Byers-backed content recommendation site Aggregate Knowledge have raised money in the past 18 months. Many are also using DEMO as a venue to look for another round of funding. Which ones do you think are worth investing in?


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