Friday, January 18, 2008

Twiistup - Meeting for Los Angeles Tech Companies

Being a "web 2.0" guy in Los Angeles gets pretty lonely sometimes. There aren't as many events, and therefore less opportunities to network.

So when the opportunity to attend twiistup came around, I definitely wasn't going to turn it down! The event was hosted Shira Lazaar, a popular LA Hostess - or so they tell me. It was Emcee'd by Perez Hilton, the infamous (IMO) hollywood gay gossip blogger.

Only in LA do you get a wackjob Gay Gossip blogger as an Emcee for a tech event!...

Either way, I met some interesting people, but I was a bit disappointed at the showing. Los Angeles has way more than 10 startups / successful tech companies. Additionally, most of the attendees were developers, CTO's etc. While I have nothing against developers, I am more into the person that created the vision, which is often the CEO.

Still, I met some people that were really worth networking with, and gained some knowledge that I otherwise wouldn't have had.

Here are some of the companies that I've met and the visions that they've shared. Not much of it has to do with local search marketing, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Userplane - They are an awesome web 2.0 company. They run the IM services for companies like Myspace and (I think) hi5. They also do a revshare, where you could host their IM service on your website, and share the revenue from the banner ads.

The developer I talked to over there told me that some of the people running the apps are making as much as $15k a month! Insanity. Anyways, their CEO is Mike Jones, who is now a VP of AOL, after they were bought out. In short an awesome awesome company. If you are looking for a place to work ... check it out...

Magento Ecommerce - They are a pretty awesome open source ecommerce shopping cart. I had never heard of them before, but they look really good. They also get the kudo's from my buddy - Ethan, a shopping cart developer... who plans on developing his own shopping cart. I've already promised to help him with the marketing side... hehe

Clearstone - I met one of the guys at clearstone as well. They are one of the biggest VC firms in the city. I believe that they are behind Idealab, who in turn is behind, the cool website preview page. (Never figured out their monetization strategy. I know that snap was founded by the founder of overture, and was supposed to be a new search engine, but it just hasn't seem to have happened yet. Maybe, like a9, they aren't taking that anywhere.)

Yellowbot- They are a local yellow pages company. I asked them what their unique positioning is,and monetization strategy (I would be interested in becoming a client if they had one). Right now it sounds like they don't offer any additional service to advertisers, and are relying solely on ad revenue, which is pretty impressive.

There were a couple of other companies there, and you can check the twiistup pictures over at flickr.

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