We wrapped up another exciting BizSpark Incubation Week on Friday (in Boston). We had 5 quality teams participating and it was very interesting to see the variety of Windows 7 capabilities used (multi-touch, IE8 accelerators, taskbar integration, jumplists, federated search, speech).
I was very impressed with Baydin. Alex, a single entrepreneur (and recent MIT graduate), participated in the TechStars program this summer and it showed in how well he articulated his business plan. His offering adds a content pane in Outlook where documents relevant to the selected email are listed. By leveraging Windows 7 Federated Search, he was able to reference content on the web as well. It is a very practical concept: one that I would find valuable today.
Panopto was the winner of the Most Viable Business award. They provide presentation recording software and already have tremendous traction in the education market. The judging panel really liked the size of the market they were addressing and the team’s grasp of market realities. I was very impressed with Eric (their CTO): he is an incredibly bright guy and held up well under the judges Q&A. Their Windows 7 integration included launching recordings from the taskbar and leveraging the Windows speech engine for speech to text.
SocialGrow helps people grow their social network. One of the founders is a well-connected recruiter and understands the needs of sales people and other ‘connectors’. I wonder if people will saturate on number of Friends in online social networks, but can see certain business development roles wanting endless contacts. They leveraged Windows 7 via an IE8 Accelerator (select an email and see a shortcut to engage them as a social connection) and Federated Search.
The eye candy for the week was BumpTop. They are broadly recognized for their innovation as a 3-D desktop and adapted their advanced gestures to work with Windows 7 at Incubation Week. They also produced an impressive mobile to desktop integration (take a picture, toss it to your desktop) that made jaws drop. They won the Technical Innovation award.
AnswerPoint Medical Systems is working in the huge field of automating electronic medical records. They have a compelling case for entering that market, given the level of government investment and I suspect there will be many ISVs (new and established) making a bid for this area. They leveraged Windows 7 multi-touch and speech recognition capabilities as part of their solution.
Congrats to all the participants and many thanks to the presenters, technical mentors, judges, and offshore team that contributed to another successful BizSpark Incubation Week.
The next stop for BizSpark Incubation Week is Atlanta (the week of 11/9) and will focus on Windows Azure cloud computing solutions. Several of the solutions in Boston leveraged Azure already, so I suspect there will be strong interest in the Atlanta offering. You can nominate a startup team here.