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Startups presenting at Tech Connection 6

October 16, 2007

  Virtual
online office applications for small and medium businesses

      Globalization
poses any number of business challenges, but small- to medium-sized
companies can hit a screeching halt when it comes to sharing office
data between people, companies and devices. Enter ContactOffice. This
Web application synchronizes with most popular software suites and then
serves up e-mail, documents, calendars, contacts, tasks, bookmarks,
notes, even chats and wikis in four languages (English, French, Spanish
and Dutch) to any Web-connected device anytime, anywhere.

      Corporate
customers can customize ContactOffice with their own logo and colors.
The main advantage for individual users is mobility.  These users can
choose between different subscription formulas giving them more possibilities
and bigger storage capacities. Group users can choose what data to share
and with who without having to worry about conflicting operating systems
or file formats.  All of this gives users the ability to effectively collaborate
and share without management headaches.

      Launched
in 2000 and built almost entirely on revenues, ContactOffice already
has 350,000 active users. With plans in place for growth into new regions
and distribution formats, the company now is looking for its first venture
capital since a Groupe Josi investment back in 2001.


Making recommendations
that shoppers, bloggers and readers actually want

      

      Information
overload makes it nearly impossible for Web users to find what they’re
looking for, even if they know what it is they seek. Criteo’s recommendation
engine is designed to capture more of those fickle attention spans.
Based on three years of development work with a world-renowned mathematical
research center (French INRIA), Criteo’s algorithms have an uncanny
way of pinpointing exactly what the I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it shopper
will buy.

      Unlike
its competitors, however, Criteo extends its efforts beyond e-commerce
sites. More than 7,000 blogs already use its AutoRoll widget, which
calculates each blog’s affinity rating as compared to similar sites.
Visitors to one blog are directed to other sites they may enjoy, while
visitors at those sites are directed back to the original blog. Content
sites also can take advantage of Criteo’s algorithms, which assess
a site visitor’s browsing and research history to recommend other
links of interest.

      Launched
in 2005, Criteo’s algorithms already have been implemented on more
than 3,000 sites worldwide and make more than 15 million personalized
recommendations daily. The company received €3 million (roughly $4.25
million U.S.) in Series A funding in March 2006 and plans to close a
second round of financing by the end of this year.
 
 


  Mapping
the real world within the Web world quickly and easily

        

      Used
to be that it took days, sometimes weeks, to embed accurate maps within
a Web application. But with the advent of Google Maps and the phenomenon
of mash-ups, the timeframe for accurate mapping dropped to a few hours.
HylioSoft wants to go one better.

      The
start-up’s Click2Map application will create a seamless and simple
mechanism to allow professionals to embed unlimited numbers of maps
and markers within a site. Even after embedding the maps, subscribers
will be able to import information from existing databases, get statistics
on how Web visitors are using maps, and use Click2Map’s Web API to
communicate with other applications.

      Founded
in June, 2004, HylioSoft launched Click2Map at TechCrunch40 last month.
The company received $50,000 in seed funding late last year from Oseo
Innovation.
 


 
Gaming social network and marketplace

        

      The
company operate and maintains gaming dedicated earns revenue from activities
on three Web sites revolving around its flagship
www.splitgames.com
Orignally a very innovative video game trading marketplace, splitgames.com
has grown into a gamers social network.

      Not
only can SplitGames members trade-in used games (allowing them as the
company says to “play more and pay less”) but they can also share
opinions, create teams, publish their library, ask questions and find
solutions.

      To
support this gaming community, the company has recently added two services:
www.gameskoot.com,
a vertical search site allowing gamers to instantly access hand picked
infoamtion and
www.gamesofficer.com a marketplace where gamers can purchase
new and used gaming products sold by professional officers.
 

Using
global technology to help next-door neighbors connect

        

      Talk
about social networking: Peuplade is hyper-localized social networking
narrowed down to the street level. New users enter their address and,
through the magic of Google Maps, automatically become linked with their
neighbors – not virtual neighbors, mind you. These are actual neighbors.

      The
concept is simple, yet unique. While social networking has mushroomed
through interest-based groups, Peuplade builds on the notion that neighbors
in the 21st century don’t get much opportunity to socialize with each
other. More than 80,000 Parisians living in every one of the city’s
neighborhoods have signed up on Peuplade to turn the notion of social
networking back in a 19th century direction.

      Hoping
to recreate its success in Paris, Peuplade is taking on the neighborhoods
of New York and, soon, other international cities. Started in late 2005,
the company has raised over €500,000 from business angels. A second
round of financing is planned for 2008.
 


Turning
instant-messaging chats into multimedia experiences

    

      Instant-messaging
addicts of the world – are you tired of all that text? IMinent hears
your pain and wants to set your creative nature free. And you don’t
even have to give up your IM client of choice. IMinent’s Emovid and
Chapter services work within MSN, Yahoo, Skype and other existing clients
to let users create and share their own multimedia winks and emoticons
within short instant-videos. Not feeling very creative today? Choose
from IMinent’s library of more than 10,000 free and “premium”
pre-designed winks instead.

      While
IMinent’s IM widget is free to users, advertisers and content owners
can pay to sponsor premium content and individual users can pay for
the right to send premium content to their friends. With 600 million
IM users texting away around the globe, IMinent is positioning itself
to be a part of the growing IM third-party ecosystem.

      IMinent’s
founders brought in $220,000 and raised $1 million from 360CapitalPartners
as seed money prior to the company’s launch last year. The company
now is negotiating with European venture capitalists to secure a €3
million Series A round.
 


Unraveling the
complexity of Internet telephony for global business users

      

      Through
its Stand4U product, Digitrad makes it possible for any size company
to set up VoIP, interactive voice response, and even Internet-based
PBX telephone services without buying any new hardware or investing
thousands of hours in telecommunications consulting. The Web-based platform
gently guides new users through setting up everything from a virtual
company switchboard and Internet voice calling to toll-free dialing,
premium phone numbers and click-to-call features.

      Already
more than 200 businesses and thousands of individual users are enjoying
Digitrad’s services. New and upcoming features on Stand4U include
voice recognition, speech-to-text services and even geolocation based
on a device’s Internet Protocol address.

      Digitrad
currently offers Stand4U through distributors, but online sales will
launch soon. The company hopes to add new partners to its current strategic
relationships with Verizon Business, Skype and Teltel. Founded in 2000,
Digitrad has raised $1.5 million through private investors, but currently
is seeking to close a $20 million venture capital round.

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Tech Connection #6 will showcase 7 startups

September 27, 2007

We’re very excited to annouce the 7 companies selected for the French Tech Connection Tour who will showcase during our event French Tech Connection #6.

The CEOs of Contact Office, Criteo, Digitrad, Hyliosoft, Imminent, Peuplade, and Splitgames will have traveled from France to present their offerings. Their products run the gamit of cutting-edge web technology, ranging from the latest in Web 2.0 applications to interactive voice services, to social networks and Internet based services for gamers

                                                     

                                             

                                                  

                                            

                                                                 

The event will take place on Tuesday, October 16th, from 5:30 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. at Mighty, 119 Utah Street, San Francisco. Food and wine are included with admission. Online registration is available at

http://www.faccsf.com/Events/tech_connection_oct07.htm.