Last Updated Apr 20, 2011 1:53 PM EDT
Red Rover makes a peer-to-peer learning platform for companies that's like "a company directory on steroids," says co-founder Kevin Prentiss. People in big companies waste a lot of time looking for information that might be tucked away in, say, the brain of someone in the Shanghai office. Red Rover creates a company database of profiles that includes personal expertise, and allows co-workers to find and tap one another as resources. Questions are asked on the platform and the answers become part of the company's collective knowledge base. I originally thought this was useful mostly to huge companies, but then it seemed to me that it could also be great for smaller, virtual organizations with employees in various locations.
ThinkNear describes itself as "yield management for local merchants." Co-founder Eli Portnoy notes that most retailers who use daily deal companies like Groupon and Living Social end up driving traffic to their stores during peak times. ThinkNear brings merchants more customers during slow times by working with mobile ad networks to ping nearby mobile devices with coupon offers that expire within, say, an hour. Merchants pay a flat fee for the service.
Friendslist. Can this tiny upstart unseat Craig's List? That's what co-founder Jonathan Wegener is hoping to do. Friendslist is a classified listing service that taps into your social networks because "people are the best brand and the best marketer," says Wegener. The business connects buyers, sellers, and people who are looking for apartments or jobs through people they already know. Think of it as a private marketplace, with no scams or duplicate listings. I think this has tremendous potential for small businesses seeking to hire employees, or contractors.
OnSwipe Makes it "insanely easy" for web publishers to migrate their content to touch enabled devices like the iPad. It's basically drop-dead gorgeous. The company is partnering with WordPress to integrate its product into all WordPress blogs, so if you have one, the service will be free to you. OnSwipe will make money by putting ads among your content. This is a terrific way for publishers, and companies with blogs, to get their content onto the iPad quickly and cheaply.
Crowdtwist brings corporate loyalty into the digital age by rewarding customers wherever they interact with a brand, whether it's on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or your company's own website. Co-founder Irving Fain says the company's campaign with Live Nation increased online engagement by 900% and doubled ticket sales over last year. Customers earn points when they engage with a brand on line, and can redeem points for rewards like t-shirts and posters. A Crowdtwist campaign also allows you to tap into the highly lucrative virtual currency market since it allows customers to purchase points to earn rewards faster.
Which one of these new technologies do you think would be of use to your business?