Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

I feel like I should register a "Minnedemo Curmudgeon" account

Minnedemo was in St. Cloud this evening, so I only watched via webcast. (Thanks to W3i and St. Cloud State for setting that up!) The presenters were a very diverse bunch; it was neat to see a lot of different types of projects represented.

I missed most of FindMyDeal, which is a solid story but one not very interesting to me (still in the stone age wrt smart phones and mobile apps.) I think that was the only mobile app this time.

FeedLogic seems a good, solid business and I'm glad to see that Neal Tovsen (of has found a project in that area. They are building real-time information systems for feed distribution. (As in, hog farms.) There were a few other demos in the B2B space. "People Driven Performance" (which is a spinoff from the Dotson Company) provides an interactive kiosk for employers to show newsletters, real-time process information, personnel information, or other intranet tools. riteTIME is time-tracking software which had a very 90's feel. I think their demo would have been stronger had they shown swipe or iPod data entry (which they support) instead of conventional UI. It's something I see the value of but they compared with timesheets--- while I can believe there are companies still using paper, I can't believe they're alone in this space. FieldNation is a marketplace for IT technicians, and a workflow manager. Sort of like a souped-up ServiceMagic; looked useful.

LogixLearning is really two businesses. One sells a computer science curriculum to high schools and provides web-based tools for teaching it. The curriculum is based around games, which is always a good way to get students interested (but on the other hand may be a turnoff to other students.) The other business, however, is selling student information to college recruiters or companies like Jostens, which does not seem like such a good mix.

SocialSamba wins for most buzzwords. Their software automates and scripts the process of creating fake personas and interaction on Facebook. They sell this as "interacting with the brand". One of their ideas was to offer virtual items for sale which would let you get deeper into storylines. (For example, character in the story needs to go to the fancy ball; you can pony up some Facebook credits to buy her dress.)

Also in the Facebook category was "FlipToast" which was a client/helper app for Facebook. It was fairly slick, and I can believe that it eliminated some pain points for Facebook users. But, has any 3rd party client of this sort ever survived long-term? (Twitter might be a good example, but the company has made it pretty clear they are cracking down on apps which are just a different UI.)

JamParty is a music-based game that lets you remix an existing song in real time, and share it with your friends or convert it to MP3. This lets you use a guitar controller more like an actual instrument. Their iPad app was a more impressive version of the same idea.

LiveEdit showed a very slick CMS which allows in-line editing and does image management for you (resizing, thumbnails, etc.) But, this seems like a crowded marketplace and I didn't see a standout feature. Last MinneDemo's MN Hockey Hub (from TST Media's SportNgin) was a better example of a purpose-built CMS that could sell to a particular community. Sparked an small discussion on Twitter which I can't seem to find any good way to link to.
Tags: minnedemo
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