Stumpled upon this nearly month old post by venture capitalist Steve Hall. These are amongst the few companies that he found interesting at this years DEMO conference.
Mailblocks. Basically just another spam protection email system. However, they have incorporated one very interesting intelligent agent feature into the email app that I wish Microsoft would wake up to. The Mailblocks email app intelligently recognizes when meetings are being requested and analyzes text to create calendar event, locations, etc. automatically. This sounds like a small nice-to-have, but it actually represents the seeds of the enormous potential application value within Microsoft Outlook that can be unleashed through intelligent agent technology. I am highly pessimistic that Microsoft will push the envelope of innovation in this area.
Turntide. I’ve written off the spam arena as an area I’d like to invest in. Clearly there are huge problems that need to be solved – but the number of companies tackling the problem and the various regulatory and other issues that are moving in parallel make it an area where I am happy to sit on the sidelines. That being said, I thought Turntide had quite a unique approach to spam fighting: identify the likley spammers and limit available ISP bandwidth throughput dramatically altering the economics of sending spam. Making it more expensive/less profitable helps to stop spam at the source. The live demo of spam throughput reduction was impressive.
Proofpoint. Very interesting. Sort of the reverse of spam detection. It actually analyzes all outgoing enterprise email (scary!) and applies intelligent machine learning to detect statements inconsistent with corporate policy, trade secrets, confidential information, etc. A bit Orwellian but a pretty amazing demonstration.
Silkroad Technologies. Enterprise blogging for collaborative knowledge management. Im a big fan of this concept and Silkroad has one of the best implementations Ive seen. I’ve tried Traction Software and I think Silkroad is better designed. Not sure if you make money on it as an investor, but very powerful as a user.