for W3c validation
I attended the latest Seattle Tech Startup event last night over at the library in Capitol Hill. There was a good crowd, I’d estimate around 45, that showed up and several cool companies that presented to the group before everyone headed to a local pub for drinks. Here’s my general thoughts on some of the companies that presented:
Amol Jadhav – he’s essentially working on Car Insurance 2.0 (I forgot the actual web address or else I’d add it) and it seems like it has some potential. The goal is to be a place where users can enter a minimal amount of information and look at the current insurance premiums others like them are receiving & from what company. This aims to cut down on the time spent shopping for the best rates. However, a fairly vast database of insurance premium comparables is a necessity to making this useful to consumers, and I’m not sure if enough users will come enter their current insurance rates and variables. In terms of monetization, I do think the lead generation model is dead in about every industry — consumers don’t want to be passed off as leads to companies (or maybe that’s just me). So I think the revenue model has to be some sort of advertising model.
Galen Ward at ShackPrices – I’ve seen Galen in the blogosphere during my extensive reading of Rain City Guide over the past year. However, it’s always nice to meet bloggers face to face. I finally met the co-founder of ShackPrices last night and talked with him quite extensively — both about the real estate industry and the current technology/entrepreneurship scene. Regarding ShackPrices — they are doing some cool stuff such as adding bus stops to their mapping interface.
Mark Maunder and Kerry Boyte at Line Buzz – I do think this is a pretty cool product, but I’m not sure how useful it truly is. As a blogger, I really think the real solution is to integrate MyBlogLog, CoComment, and Line Buzz (maybe Eric at MyBlogLog is listening??). I just don’t see that much incentive to join another site to get a another fun widget on my blog, but doesn’t provide that much value to me in terms of productivity.
Kalid Azad developed InstaCalc – First of all, talk about a great presenter. Second of all, talk about a cool ass site that tackles a specific real world annoyance. Kalid basically realized that Windows Calculator is too simple and that Microsoft Excel is much too complex — and built a killer calculator that is actually useful. There’s lots of cool functionality, including the ability to “share” a calculation by embedding it in your blog or social network.
Mamtha Jakka Banerjee is working on InvestmentYogi – I like the vision of a complete resource center for investors, but there is a lot of work left to do. Someone in the audience suggested catering to the 20-something crowd and becoming a social network of young investors — I 2nd that. There isn’t much in terms of resources aimed at young investors (maybe because not many of them invest money??).
I’m hoping to make the next event — it was a fun night.