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Top 10 Technology Startups

InformationWeek recently invited our readers to vote for their favorite technology startups, and the results are in. The leaders represent a cross section of technologies that are interesting to IT pros, much of it software and appliances that run in data centers, including four commercial open source products. Next, the startups face a bigger test--a handful have been invited to make their business pitch in front of our panel of CIO judges.
InformationWeek recently invited our readers to vote for their favorite technology startups, and the results are in. The leaders represent a cross section of technologies that are interesting to IT pros, much of it software and appliances that run in data centers, including four commercial open source products. Next, the startups face a bigger test--a handful have been invited to make their business pitch in front of our panel of CIO judges.We launched InformationWeek's Vote For Your Favorite Startup survey on July 30 and kept the poll open for five days. Here are the Top 10 vote getters:


1. Firescope, business service management

2. Mi5 Networks, Web filtering appliance

3. Xkoto, database load-balancing software

4. Vyatta, open source router

5. Pentaho, open source business intelligence

6. SugarCRM, open source CRM

7. Attivio, enterprise search

8. Splunk, IT search engine

9. Azaleos, Exchange appliance

10. Marketcetera, open source for stock trading

More than 1,000 votes were cast, including some that came in after the cut off deadline, just as zealots figured out ways to get around our IP blocking in an attempt to stuff the ballot box. We got a lot of e-mail from folks asking if our online poll was broken. It wasn't--we were just blocking multiple votes from the same IP address in an attempt to keep things fair.

What do the results tell us? For one thing, startups favored by InformationWeek readers are addressing some of the real pain points of enterprise IT. Firescope's business service management platform gives IT departments a way to monitor and manage the services they provide to the rest of the company, while Mi5's appliances protect against viruses, spyware, bots, and other Web threats. Xkoto's load-balancing software increases database performance, scalability, and availability. All of these are business-critical areas, not mere nice-to-haves.

A few other things jump out from the results: search, open source, and appliances are all popular. And our readers tend to prefer startups with a few years of experience. Half of them are four years old, while the rest are newer.

The top six vote getters have been invited to participate in Startup City Live, where they will give their business pitches to a live audience at the InformationWeek 500 conference, which runs Sept. 14 - 16 in Monarch Beach, Calif. A panel of CIO judges will grade the startups on their business models, products, and feasibility, and I will post the results in this blog. (Anyone interested in attending the InformationWeek 500 conference can find more information and a registration form here.)

These 10 startups have cleared one hurdle--InformationWeek readers have given them a thumbs up. Six now face one more test--getting the CIOs' stamp of approval.