SMB Research stopped in at the WebInno (Web Innovators Group) event this week. We cannot speak to the previous 30 WebInno’s (or even whether there have been 30 previous WebInno’s), but WebInno31 was a bit of a hoot.
You will not find a lot of longwindedness at WebInno (unless you run into the wrong person during the ample opportunities for networking). The mission of WebInno is to showcase innovative “web and mobile” technologies, which is about as focused as the event seems to get. So if your interest is specifically B2B, or B2C, or CRM, or ERP or eCommerce, I do not see this kind of focus in WebInno’s mission.
There are three (3) “Main Dish” demos, which are tightly run, and short and sweet. Following the short presentations, the crowd votes for their “favorite”, with the votes collected and registered in real-time (keeping the crowd engaged and on their toes). Congratulations go to Yesware for winning the tally this evening. (Your humble Analyst will not reveal who he voted for… although SnapApp did seem to me to provide some very nice functionality, and capability for providing immediate results.)
David Beisel (of NextView Ventures), originator and leader of WebInno, tells me that they do not really track attendance numbers, but the house was packed this night (attendance estimates as high as 1,200), perhaps due in part to the coincidence of the week-long FutureM (Future of Marketing) events going on all over town. (The summer WebInno session reportedly tends to be the most attended event.)
This WebInno event is of course just one of many start-up oriented initiatives taking place, indicative of the vibrancy of the entrepreneurial movement. (We saw an article this week describing 81 online invoicing services.) There is a lot of technology being developed, and events like WebInno are valuable for providing a forum for start-up vendors th showcase what they have to offer.
WebInno31′s Main Dishes:
SnapApp provides a self-service marketing platform which allows the end-user to quickly configure and offer a marketing event, such as a promotion or a sweepstakes, to drive registrations, subscriptions, or other interactions.
SocMetrics is a platform for measuring influence metrics for major influencers. Using proprietary algorithms, the capability appears quite sophisticated, allowing the PR function or marketeer to target influencers by topic or location with considerable precision.
Yesware tackles an age-old problem with their unique approach – installing a Yesware toolbar on your GMail, providing specific drop-in email templates for different phases of the sales process. An end-user can then quickly select the right template for the right purpose, thereby streamlining their use of email to connect with customers and prospects. A Sales Manager could use this to more quickly on-board a new sales resource, providing them with the messaging that is intended for their market, and then tracking the effectiveness of their sales touches.
Other vendors showing their stuff:
There are several more ‘Side Dish’ vendors which, although more of a mixed bag with quite different focuses, each seemed to attract their share of attention in the nearby Demo room.
Addie.it – A document-sharing and cloud storage solution trying to combine the best elements of storage and social sharing with simplified social features and a clean easy-to-use user interface.ion
Curisma – If you can figure out what this blog/website is all about, or why it was worthy of inclusion, let me know. (We highly recommend SMB Research’s commentary on “10 Best Practices For a Better Website“.) As best we can tell, this is a scrapbook for unique gifts that you can then search elesewhere on the webite for where to purchase. But the stuff is fun to look at.
CraveLabs – Integrated social and media platform for the restaurant and bar establishments. CraveLabs offers some interesting location-based marketing capabilities for this vertical – for example, interactive menus and menu recommendations for the restaurant you are at. In case your Significant Other is not mad enough at you already for pulling out your smartphone at dinner.
GoodTwo – A ‘Deals for Donors’ fundraising tool that incents fundraising by providing deals in return.
Synchtube – ‘Synchronized media across the web.’
RepTivity – Automating the sales leadership board for Salesforce.com customers.
BUILD – A program to teach and mentor high school students about entrepreneurship, and actually start up a business.
r2i – A digital marketing and web content strategy firm.
Expect to see more in this space on one or more of these vendors.
SMB Research is very interested to hear what you took away from WebInno31? What was the best part for you? Which vendor(s) were the most interesting or relevant to you?