Category Archives: Southern California

By Sarah Townsend

Say hello to the ten winning Showoff startups that will be exhibiting at the upcoming Twiistup 6, an event that is sure to make its mark on the Los Angeles tech and social media community for years to come. The team of judges, including’ own Brian Solis, certainly had their hands full – but they’ve narrowed it down to a list of ten startups that are as impressive as they are diverse.

Oh but there’s more! Event producers have also upped the number of Showoffs to twelve, and are putting the choice in the hands of the public, allowing you to vote on which two startups you think are most worthy of the opportunity to “show off.” Stay tuned for voting information!


Congratulations to the Showoff winners:

    Los Angeles, CA
    BakeSpace is all about preserving and reinventing this tradition in cyberspace. They are a grassroots online community where people from around the world gather to share recipes, build new friendships, learn from one another and express their passion for all things food-related.

    Bantam Live
    New York, NY
    Bantam Live is an online service for business teams to collaborate in a workspace and build business relationships across the Web.

    San Mateo, CA
    The sites lets users keep track of what they “wanna” do, share stories about their life experiences (“diddits”), and meet new people.

    Los Angeles, CA is a pioneering venture aimed at equalizing education by assembling the best teachers in the country and making their lectures affordable to everyone.

    Sherman Oaks, CA
    EQAL (pronounced “Equal”) is a social entertainment company dedicated to redefining the way users interact with content and each other.

    Santa Monica, CA
    ExpenseBay was created to help business employees automate their expense reports, turning stacks of receipts, unpaid credit card bills and lengthy hours of data entry into a few short minutes.

    San Francisco, CA
    JamLegend is changing the way music is played online. Like the games Guitar Hero1 and Rock Band2, JamLegend simulates the thrill of rocking out for a sold out crowd while enabling features never before available in console games.

    Los Angeles, CA
    The Mobolize solution from Mobophiles offers people the freedom of a Web that they can count on, regardless of where they are.

    San Francisco, CA
    PeopleBrowsr is a simple visual dashboard that adds more power to Twitter, other online identities and those of your friends.

    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Streamy focuses on social networking as a core aspect of the site. Users can drop their favorite links into a Streamy IM window and chat about the sites they care about.

    Santa Cruz, CA
    UserVoice adds structure to feedback and reduces the overhead of an honest dialog with our users. It creates a market around good ideas for more quality than quantity.

For more information about Twiistup 6, taking place on July 30 and 31 in Los Angeles, CA, go to To purchase tickets before they sell out, visit


Sarah Townsend
E-mail: theoneinpink[at]gmail[dot]com
Twitter: theoneinpink
Blogs: TechDarling, The Vibe

by Sarah Townsend

The moment you have been waiting for has finally arrived. Tickets for the new and (highly) improved Twiistup 6 are officially on sale. Also announced is the impressive line-up of featured speakers confirmed for the Los Angeles-area tech and new media conference, and they’ve got something for everyone – from rappers to CEOs and everything in between.


The confirmed list for the July 30 + 31 event is growing everyday and includes:

    * Jason Calacanis – Serial entrepreneur, founder of Mahalo and co-founder of TechCrunch 50 and Weblogs.
    * Chamillionaire – Grammy Award-winning and chart topping musician and entrepreneur.
    * Cyan Banister – early stage investor in Facebook, Paypal, Slide, Tagged and founder of
    * Todd Goldman – Artist, entrepreneur, co-creator of BLAHGirls (with Ashton Kutcher) and founder of David and Goliath apparel.
    * Quincy Jones III (QD3) – Music and film producer/entrepreneur.
    * Dave McClure – Seed stage investor for the Founders Fund.
    * Ian Rogers – Former business partner of the Beastie Boys and former GM of Yahoo Music, now CEO of Topspin Media.
    * Ben Huh – CEO of viral phenomenon
    * Chris Brogan – President of New Marketing Labs
    * Mark Suster – GRP Partners, venture capital. Former VP Product Mgmt & 2-time CEO and entrepreneur.
    * Brian Solis – Author of Now is Gone and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, Publisher of PR 2.0 and, Founder of Future Works PR, and strategic advisor to Fortune 500 businesses and startups.

The stage will also welcome ten yet-to-be-chosen “Showoff” startups, who will be given the opportunity to pitch their company and lead a Q&A session.

    “This is just the start of our line-up,” said Twiistup producer Francisco Dao. “It’s really exciting to be able to put together an eclectic stage program that really captures the convergence of technology, media and innovation.” Dao continued to explain that the currently confirmed speakers represent only a portion of the expected agenda.

So just how much will this social media bonanza cost you? Several ticket packages are available, including a $79 single-evening ticket that grants you access to the many open-bars. Passes to the full two-day event are available for $227 until June 20, when the price will be bumped up to $297. Tickets are limited, to be sure to get yours quickly here.

Press passes for bloggers and media are available, but limited. To request a complimentary ticket, please e-mail

…If the recently leaked images of the Twiistup 6 floorplan are any indication, this is going to be one HOT event!


Sarah Townsend
E-mail: theoneinpink[at]gmail[dot]com
Twitter: theoneinpink
Blogs: The Vibe,

by Sarah Townsend

Twiistup is the premier SoCal event connecting innovators and professionals in the media/tech industry, and fortunately for ten rising startups, it’s opening the door and is giving those startups the opportunity to “Showoff” what they’ve got free of charge at this summer’s Twiistup 6.


The uber-trendy LA-based conference, recently bought by unnamed investors and promptly handed over to event producer Francisco Dao, is the golden ticket for startups to gain exposure and visibility in front of investors, entrepreneurs and key influencers alike.

“Sponsors are paying thousands of dollars for space that we’re giving to Showoffs for free,” said Dao. “If you’re a startup who wants exposure there’s no reason not to throw your hat in the ring.”

The formerly locals-only conference recently expanded to include businesses from around the world, so anyone can submit their company or product for one of these ten highly valuable slots. Additionally, the conference is adding an entire day to the line-up, giving “Showoffs” that much more exposure.

Submissions will be selected in two rounds – the first ending on June 12, and the second on June 26. Entry judges will be choosing winners based on each startups’ contribution to technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, value and appeal, along with originality and thought-provoking content.

The highly-esteemed panel of judges includes’ own Brian Solis, along with:

    - Brady Brim-DeForest – Serial entrepreneur, Founder of the International Academy of Web Television, co-founder of Tubefilter.
    - Neil Patel – Angel Investor, Co-founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics
    - Mark Suster – GRP Partners, venture capital. Former VP Product Mgmt & 2-time CEO and entrepreneur
    - Andrew Warner – Founder, Former CEO of Bradford & Reed.

Twiistup 6 will take place on Thursday and Friday, July 30 and 31, 2009 at the massive 23,000 sq ft Universal Hilton in Universal City, Calif.

To submit your startup for consideration, visit

You better act quickly, though. Submissions made by June 12 will have the best chance of securing one of these coveted ten openings.

Media and press can obtain complimentary tickets by e-mailing


Sarah Townsend
E-mail: theoneinpink[at]gmail[dot]com
Twitter: theoneinpink
Blogs: The Vibe,

by Michelle Lentz

On this, the last day of Passover, it seemed oddly fitting that I received a press release on the Israel Web Tour 2009.  The third annual event will take place April 20-23 and is a showcase of Israel’s most exciting start-ups.


This year’s selected start-ups comprise a wide range of technologies, including content creation, content syndication, social and rich media. Throughout the tour, the participating companies will have strategic meetings with everyone from industry insiders to investors and consumers. On April 22, each start-up will present its product to the industry and press at a semi-public showcase hosted at the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati offices in Palo Alto.

The following start-ups will be participating:

  • Conduit: Conduit provides website syndication solutions for web publishers by creating a direct, always-on connection between publishers and subscribers. More than 180,000 publishers have joined the Conduit network worldwide, including Fox News, Lufthansa, Major League Baseball, Greenpeace, TechCrunch, Softonic and organizations in 180 countries around the globe.
  • ContextIn: ContextIn’s proven proprietary multi-lingual semantic algorithms significantly increase relevancy and targeting to deliver the most valuable, targeted advertising inventory and traffic quality. Their algorithms have been proven to maximize both relevancy and monetization for Ad Networks, Advertisers and Publishers alike for increased ROI.
  • EyeView Digital: EyeView Digital provides a complete rich-media solution for web sites. EyeView developed an advanced rich-media conversion platform that includes a number of products dedicated to conversion, creative services, and consulting services.
  • Footbo: Footbo is the place for soccer lovers world-wide. Headquartered in London, UK, Footbo is the leading international social media platform with an exclusive focus on soccer. It combines the concept of social networking with the world of soccer to provide fans with a one-stop platform for all their soccer needs.
  • SemantiNet: Semantinet is pioneering the development of “Top Down” Semantic Web technologies. SemantiNet’s Headup Semantic Web plug-in, currently available as an add-on for Mozilla’s Firefox browser, presents textual and rich media content related to the objects and terms it identifies on the web pages. Headup not only identifies these objects but has a basic understanding of the relationships between them.
  • SundaySky: SundaySky enables publishers to quickly, easily and cost-effectively infuse their website with video clips. SundaySky’s DynamicVideo™ Platform allows mass generation of always up-to-date video content, while leveraging existing content repositories. Videos are personalized for each user, interactive, and are intricately linked the site the user is viewing, even if that site is totally dynamic.
  • Superfish: Superfish has developed a unique, 3D object-recognition engine to bring high-accuracy visual matching, browsing, and comparison into the world of search engines. The company puts together machine vision, machine learning and advanced search algorithms to allow for users to intuitively find similar objects visually.
  • SweetIM: SweetIM is focused on delivering fun content and self-expression tools. SweetIM products are intended to allow users to upgrade their social engagement, by offering fun content and an add-on for IM, webmail, and social networks that is easy to use.
  • Triond: Triond publishes, distributes and monetizes users’ content over a network of niche websites. This way users get to focus on the content creating process, while leveraging the service in order to get more readership, recognition and revenue than they would if they were to publish individually.
  • WorkLight: WorkLight enables businesses to reach customers, employees and partners securely in they places they frequent. The flagship product, WorkLight Application Platform, securely syndicates enterprise applications in a multitude of consumer online channels, such as widgets, social networks, personalized homepages, iPhone applications, blogs and RSS feeds.

I’ve embedded a highlight reel from last year’s tour below:


Contact Michelle with news, stories, events, and more.
Email: michelle[at]writetech[dot]net
Twitter: @writetechnology, Friendfeed: michellel
Sites: Write Technology,

words and pictures by Brian Solis

Every month, Dave McClure organizes Startup2Startup, one of the most helpful and valuable events designed to help startups excel through connections, advice, insight, and experience.

This month, S2S featured none other than Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. Hsieh, as you may or may not know, transformed a meager startup into a $1 billion brand phenomenon.

Tony is a gifted individual. He has the ability to captivate and engage people through heartfelt, peer-to-peer interaction. His simple message of spreading happiness and memorable customer service is powerful as it resonates throughout the business sector. His vision of a people-focused, service enterprise will transcend the company from an online shoe wholesaler to a global brand that may one day rival Virgin – a company that serves as inspiration for Tony.

I recently had the opportunity to work with Tony and the Zappos team, along with Stephanie Agresta (my partner in The TechSet) and Steve Rosenbaum of Our mission was to showcase ecstatic customers who capture and share the happiness that Tony Hsieh and the Zappos team have worked so hard to package in every box. The result, Zappos BoxBreaks, which debuted at SXSW.

I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story…

Dave McClure

Tony Hsieh shares his company culture

Mazy Kazerooni, uStream

Beth Kanter

Daniel Brusilovsky, TeensInTech

Loic Le Meur of Seesmic

Larry Chiang

Cyan Banister of Zivity shows us her new ring

Christine Lu and Dave McClure go barefoot for and the Charity SMACKDOWN

Mark Schulze of Quantcast

Frank Gruber

Pascale Diaine

Tony Hsieh and Brian Solis

For more pictures from Startup2Starup, please visit my album on Flickr.

Also, please read Mark Hendrickson‘s post on Tony Hsieh’s presentation on “Delivering Happiness.”

Connect with me on:
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