RealTime IT News

Notable Notes: Highlights Of Fall Internet World

A fantastic Internet Startup Live, seen at the Venture Showcase yesterday, as venture capitalists and entrepreneurs met face to face to grill each other. There was standing room only as the handful of selected firms gave their song and dance at the Fall Internet World Investment Symposium event. Look for a re-cap with some of the firm's presentations posted on ISDEX.com next week.

On the exhibit floor there was excitement as we finally see real business-to-business applications emerging. Among the highlights as we scoured the floor of more than 600 exhibitors:

  • Look for ISPs to be more power players in local portals. We saw this trend a few weeks ago at ISPCon in San Jose, with everyone from Microsoft to HP wooing the group. And this week at Internet World, OpenShop Internet Software announced FreeShop, which lets ISPs build free mini-store in minutes.

  • Robocast wants to take the Powerpoint slideshow experience and "Web-ize" it with Roboshow, which allows Web sites to present a series of timed slides made up of the pages. May be useful for training purposes or travel sites.

  • Another business messaging solutions provider on display: Fabrik Communications. It offers remote e-mail hosting, gateways and has relationships with Netscape, HP and others. We think as more and more mobile workers depend on the Internet, the need for these solutions could increase.

  • CMGi (NASDAQ:CMGI), which added an "i" to its name, showcased part of its portfolio of investments at its pavilion and showed how each firm complements the others. An integrated "suite" approach to the Web. Chairman Dave Wetherell gave us the tour and explained how the companies fit together in offerings and also as a stand-alone service or product provider.

  • Plain old e-mail still may be an untapped killer ap. In 1994 we forecasted e-mail as the one true killer ap and four years later it's so ubiquitous it's invisible. The spammers are killing its usefulness in some ways though (anti-spam solutions could be big if effective).

  • One firm riding the e-mail wave now is NetCreations, which allows small business owners to buy access to its 1.5 million Internet users. Targeted marketing, matched by interest. Simple solution, yet powerful.

More highlights next week and a wrap up of Internet Investment Symposium, the two-day conference. Thursday was jam-packed and Friday is expected to be also.