Last week’s Under the Radar 2012 conference (UTR) provided me and other attendees with a glimpse of what’s going to be hot in the coming year from a startup and technology standpoint. Take your pick from the following hot-list of terms: Big Data, analytics, mobile, enterprise, private cloud, security and platforms. They are all intertwined in some way or another.
The format of UTR is fun, one of the MC’s described it as the American Idol for Startups. Basically, each startup (which have been in stealth mode and only just coming from behind the curtains) had 6 minutes to do an “elevator pitch” describing their product or service, how it works, why it is important and what they are looking to achieve. The startups were grouped by a theme (Mobile Access, Infrastructure, Performance Monitoring, PaaS, Database Scalability, Cloud Services and Big Data) and there were 4 companies being judged within each category. And what about the judges? Akin to the American Idol style, they were a collection of industry experts who asked poignant and humorous questions to drill deeper into the presentation pitch. The judges then selected their choice as the winning company, and the audience got to weigh in as well via a mobile text vote.
This marked the 3rd year that GoGrid sponsored UTR and the 2nd year having GoGrid CMO Jeffrey Samuels as a judge on one of the startup panels (“Performance Monitoring”). And several of us from GoGrid (including Rupert Tagnipes who provides his analysis of the Infrastructure, Database Scalability and Big Data sessions he covered in his Part 2 article) attended the sessions to see what upcoming technology trends were emerging, what companies were concerned about and what direction we are all heading. Personally, I attended the Mobile Access, Performance Monitoring and PaaS sessions and my analysis and personal winner choices for these sessions are below (note: my choices are my own opinion and not that of GoGrid.)
From the sessions that I saw, there seemed to be a clear trend of enterprise mobility, security, data analysis and simply “making things easier.” Also, a majority of the companies presenting seemed to have well vetted business plans, were monetizing and actually have customers and users. This is obviously a big difference from those wonderful “dot-com” days when you really didn’t need anything and VCs simply threw money at you. Conversely, while supposedly coming out of stealth-mode, most of these presenting companies were well down the path of success. The sections below include the Judge’s Winner, the Audience Winner, and My Choice.