Silicon Valley NewTech, the Bay Area's largest and oldest tech meetup group, gets together every month inside a conference room at DLA Piper in Palo Alto to eat pizza, drink some beers and listen to presentations from startups. At nearly 7,000 members strong, SVNewTech chooses four startups every month to showcase their product through a 5-minute demo and presentation, followed by a rapid-fire question and answer period from the audience.
Joe Robinson, one of the organizers of Silicon Valley NewTech, will be bringing us the highlights from these meetups, reporting on some of the most promising ideas presented. Below are his notes from last night.
Paper business cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past. In the era of smartphones, one of the best uses for your paper business card is probably entering a contest for a free lunch at your local deli — not exactly what they were intended for. CardFlick is one of several startups aiming to change that.
CardFlick enables iOS users to create well-designed digital business cards that can be shared when you meet people. Once created, you can share your card by emailing it to someone, or through the app's custom "flick" sharing with other CardFlick users. Unlike existing apps from Bump Technologies, CardFlick lets you customize the design of your business card.
At SVNewTech, we love when startups translate old traditions (like sharing business cards) for new technologies. CardMunch presented at SVNewTech before they were acquired by LinkedIn, and we're excited to hear what happens to CardFlick.
Mobile app developers have a problem. Once their apps are pushed out to the app store, it can be difficult to provide customer support to users. If things don't go well with the app, it's not uncommon that users will give the app a low rating that's really a customer support request in disguise.
This is where Crittercism comes in: they focus on enabling app developers to provide customer support from within the app. Users can give feedback, ask questions, and view support forums from within the app. If a developer wanted to build a support system like this from scratch, it might add months to the app development time. Crittercism makes it really easy to add this functionality, enabling developers to stay focused on creating new content for their users.
Foodia has been called the new "Yelp for your kitchen." By enabling you to rate and review just about any food item, Foodia is on a mission to help you find good food. They're off to a good start, with a solid foundation of users and headquarters in food-loving San Francisco.
Review sites can be tough to get off the ground, but this team is making headway with a great product. We found Foodia easy and fun to use, and think there's great potential for a site that cuts through the clutter of food choices and brands.
Continuing the ratings & reviews theme, PopuGamer bills itself as the place "where real gamers review." Focused on the video game market, PopuGamer is fun to browse and full of great lists. Each user can create a profile that features their top 10 games, so it's easy to find people with similar tastes and discover new video games through them.
Founded by Stanford grads Patrick Chen and Vince Wu, PopuGamer is focused on providing 100% organic game reviews from real gamers. They don't currently do any editorial, and built the site because they were tired of the highly-political game review industry. They're off to a good start, and we're excited to see how they grow.
SVNewTech is free and open to everyone. Join their meetup group and come out to their next event on August 2, 2011