Cool Web 2.0 Sites

Flickr founders Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake made the cover of Newsweek for their popular photo-sharing site. Digg founder Kevin Rose made the cover of BusinessWeek after his news-ranking site took off. Online video hub YouTube is ubiquitous, while social networking giants MySpace and Facebook are in everyone’s faces.

OK, we get it. Web 2.0 is a big deal.

But what about the Web 2.0 companies that haven’t made the cover of a magazine?

This is their week. The Chronicle today highlights some of the startups from this hot sector of the tech world — companies that fulfill the Web 2.0 philosophy of community, sharing and user-created content, and that fit in the modern gestalt with things like video, music and digital photos.

The only real requirement is that the companies are something you probably haven’t heard of before. And if you have, consider yourself hip. Debbie Landa, chief executive officer of the IBDNetwork, which runs the Under the Radar conference, says, “I’m definitely jaded because I know most of these really well.”

This survey is far from scientific. Many intriguing companies did not make the list, including FareCast, which tells you when the airline ticket you want to buy is likely to go up or down in price, and Vyew, a utility (like Google’s Writely) that lets you collaborate with someone online, and — well, a list like that might never end.

In the first quarter of this year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, 134 Web 2.0 companies received $869 million in venture funding, on pace to beat the $3 billion that 465 firms raked in last year. And that’s just the companies taking funding. Much of Web 2.0’s appeal is that engineers can start firms in their basements.

So next year, check those magazine covers for the companies on The Chronicle’s list. These guys are growing.


Web address:

Where they are: San Diego

What they do: Upload your video to Eyespot and use its tools to edit it and publish it on other sites.

The skinny: Eyespot ranks among the top video editing sites, according to trade publications and analysts, tapping into the popular pastime of mixing and mashing video clips.

The competition: Software programs such as Apple’s iMovie offer more whiz-bang features. Then there’s Palo Alto’s One True Media, which also makes it simple for users to create and edit music montages of photos and videos on the Web, then post them online. It also competes against San Francisco’s VideoEgg, another site that make it easy for users to edit and publish videos on other sites.

Jim Kaskade

Jim Kaskade is a serial entrepreneur & enterprise software executive of over 36 years. He is the CEO of Conversica, a leader in Augmented Workforce solutions that help clients attract, acquire, and grow end-customers. He most recently successfully exited a PE-backed SaaS company, Janrain, in the digital identity security space. Prior to identity, he led a digital application business of over 7,000 people ($1B). Prior to that he led a big data & analytics business of over 1,000 ($250M). He was the CEO of a Big Data Cloud company ($50M); was an EIR at PARC (the Bell Labs of Silicon Valley) which resulted in a spinout of an AML AI company; led two separate private cloud software startups; founded of one of the most advanced digital video SaaS companies delivering online and wireless solutions to over 10,000 enterprises; and was involved with three semiconductor startups (two of which he founded, one of which he sold). He started his career engineering massively parallel processing datacenter applications. Jim has an Electrical and Computer Science Engineering degree from University of California, Santa Barbara, with an emphasis in semiconductor design and computer science; and an MBA from the University of San Diego with an emphasis in entrepreneurship and finance.

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