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Demo Day 1, Part 4: Infrastructure / Enabling Technology

OK, it's easy to start falling asleep in the session that follows lunch. If the list is getting boring for you, skip to the end. Very impressive stuff.
OK, it's easy to start falling asleep in the session that follows lunch. If the list is getting boring for you, skip to the end. Very impressive stuff.Jasper Wireless: Using cell technology for machine to machine communications. The company is working on creating a cooperative single cellular data network around the world -- one SIM card works on all networks without incurring roaming charges. Claims currently 110 million cell connected machines throughout the world will grow to 6 billion within decade.

Provisioning is automated, Web management -- it's a good idea, basically cellular arbitrage.

Telari: Seeks to deliver WAN networks with 30 to 100 times the capacity per dollar of existing networks. The company says it will use multiple paths through the internet to create a RAID service for WANs. Replace private WANs with Internet based VPNs with multiple connections through the Internet cloud.

By using proprietary pathing, Telari claims to add reliability for VPNs over the Internet while keeping bandwidth costs low. I'm not sure I see the need for this technology -- in many cases the Internet is close to being as reliable as private networks and MPLS networks are a good bit cheaper than was frame relay.

Propel: Personal Bandwidth Management (PBM) -- You have all those apps using bandwidth on your laptop, but you don't manage how they use the available bandwidth. In particular, real-time apps like Skype can suffer if other apps are sucking up bandwidth.

For those doing a lot of streaming video or using Skype a lot, this might make some sense. Seems like the sort of thing that Microsoft should have built into Windows.

FusionIO: High Performance Storage: Company says it takes 600 drives to keep a single server fed. FusionIO drive is a solid state drive (SSD) that holds about 700 Gbytes of data and can do 100,000 IOPS.

It's purely a speed play, but it shows the market for SSD is starting to broaden.

Qumranet: Claims that: SolidICE is the only fully integrated desktop virtualization product. The integration helps the user experience and IT management. Kernel Virtualization Management is a technology that Qumranet has contributed to Linux OpenSource.

What the company sells is management apps, including self provisioning, and its SPICE connection protocol, which provides the performance advantage over RDP and other protocols. Can run 30 frame per second video and bidirectional audio.

One of the new wealth of desktop virtualization plays. The performance win is a big deal.

Phreesia: Phreesia pad, it's a wireless touch-screen pad that patients can use to check in at the doctor's office. Reminds me a lot of check-in kiosks at airlines, but the check in is more complete, taking a full medical history.

Provided free to participating clinics, the portal contains the patient's history and security is HIPAA compliant. Not sure what the business model is, but it looks like a good way to get medical histories and other patient information without paper.

LogMeIn: RescueMobile, help desk application for smart phones. Shown on a Palm Treo. Connections are secure for remote control trouble shooting.

Admins get a picture of the phone so they can see what the end user sees happening on the phone. The company already has PC-based products, the support for mobile devices is new.

Panel for young innovators: Michael Callahan from the University of Illinois; Emile Petrone, University of North Carolina; and Arash Sabet, Washington U, St. Louis.

Emile created an online collaboration system for researchers, partnered with UNC's School of Medicine to define the capabilities that the system would need.

Arash, in collaboration with surgeons, developed novel surgical equipment such as a smart brain retractor. Basically using mechanical engineering capabilities to help surgeons perform certain acts better and safer.

Michael developed a communication technology that uses nerve impulses to process speech without the user actually speaking. It takes a lot of computer horsepower to make it work, but in the demo the computer was speaking for the user. Many uses, one could be to interact with a computer differently. First uses are for allowing handicapped individuals to speak. Check out www.theaudeo.com.

These three are each incredibly bright -- made me feel like an underachiever -- but, even more, it impressed me that they could get the support and mentoring to make their innovations so young. All three were under 25.

Chris Shipley on 'is your youth an advantage?': "Just remember, you need us [old people] to rent you a car."