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Once again, I was delighted to be invited to serve as a Sage (judge) at the DEMO Fall 2012 Conference in Santa Clara. DEMO, as many of you may know, is a series of conferences sponsored by IDG/VentureBeat that identify tomorrow’s cutting-edge technologies. More than 80 start-up companies brought their new products and services to the DEMO stage to sell the audience of venture capitalists, IT professionals, industry analysts and news media on their ideas.

Along with three other industry experts from Google, Flite and Andreessen Horowitz, I judged the “big data” category of demonstrators – and there were some fascinating technologies introduced.

I’ll share my thoughts on my three favorites. 

The company I liked the most – and it is certainly very timely – is a firm called ElectNext, described as a civic engagement startup. It is building a large political database that enables users to name their top 10 political issues and then evaluate candidates that matching their stance. ElectNext’s President Keya Danennbaum presented it beautifully. ElectNext is smart, simple, elegant, engaging and educational, and another big plus for me – it cuts through all of the negative campaign noise that bombards us during election season. Ms. Danennbaum noted that John F. Kennedy introduced television to politics and Barack Obama introduced social networking to politics. ElectNext introduces knowledge about candidates that matches your views. Great concept!

I also loved a company called AppEnsure. This firm ensures the performance of business applications as they move into the cloud. The company offers incredible virtualization. AppEnsure can evaluate the root cause of a problem in five easy clicks. The company founder showcased connectivity and dependencies between applications which are available on multiple devices and platforms. In my view, AppEnsure will really help streamline usage, deployment and adoption of apps inside the enterprise.

Last, I’ll give honorable mention to a startup call 4sync, a firm designed for a “fast-growing American audience that wants no limits on storage and access, on any device, anywhere in the world.”  4sync is interesting play for consumers. It securely stores and streams all your photos and personal content, and it synchronizes this data across all platforms. It also backups your files automatically. Even better, it is priced very competitively. This is a very promising concept considering that most consumers haven’t yet made the move to the cloud.

It’s always fascinating to view new ideas powered by technology – kudos to all of this fall’s presenters!

 

 

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