NewTeeVee’s Next Big Thing List for 2009


HQ: New York City
Founding date: 2007
Funding: $10 million from Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and General Catalyst Partners
Employees: 19

When a scrappy li’l startup using open source tools scares the bejeezus out of the big media networks with just the alpha version of its product, you know it’s on to something. The basics of Boxee are actually quite, well, basic: It’s a media browser designed to bring together all of your media on your big-screen TV. But it spooked Hulu’s content partners/owners to the point that they blocked Boxee users from accessing content on the site, resulting in a very public back-and-forth and an on-again-off-again, unofficial relationship between the two. Others, however, love Boxee’s approach to reinventing television; the company has established official partnerships with the likes of Major League Baseball and Current, for example. The question over how, exactly, Boxee’s going to make money still looms, but for now the startup is focused on building a community — facilitating social recommendations, nurturing an extremely active group of developers and tweeting (to a near-obsessive degree) to its users. Next up for the company: using its recent influx of cash to get its platform on consumer electronics devices. (C.A.)

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