MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Dealmaker Media's Under the Radar conference is something akin to a debutantes' ball. Young and/or startup companies put on their Sunday best, get their goals and priorities well-rehearsed, and compete for a few invitations to be formally introduced to venture-capital society.
Then comes the ball itself: the daylong showcase event at Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus, in which each of the companies selected gets six minutes on stage (with a PowerPoint, SlideRocket, video or other presentation) to try and impress a group of skeptical venture capitalists looking for companies with good ideas and at least the potential for good execution.
"This year, we had about 300 companies competing to get into the final 32," Dealmaker's Jasmine Antonick told eWEEK. "The ones who made it-as they are every year-are very impressive."
The theme for this 17th such event was "Consumerization of the Enterprise." Most of the companies showed cloud-service related products.
Chances are quite good that if your company is a finalist to present at UTR, you will get funding of some kind-whether from a venture capital firm or firms, an angel investor or some other source. You'd really have to blow it on the presentation, and that rarely happens.
The format is similar to speed-dating: The startups were grouped in sets of three to five for each of seven sessions. Each CEO or president gets those precious few minutes to deliver a clear, compelling message about what problem his company's product or service solves and why his or her company will have enduring value.
These are companies-carefully selected by Dealmaker Media founder Debbie Landa and her team-that are likely to be serious IT influencers in the months and years to come.
Following are UTR's short descriptions of all of the 32 companies selected, in alphabetical order, including their headquarters locations and links to their Websites. eWEEK will examine many of these in closer detail in the weeks and months to come.
Abiquo, Redwood City, Calif., has an open-source management platform for private, public and hybrid clouds using a globally deployed computing infrastructure that can be accessed through a single control dashboard. Abiquo says its customers are able to decrease the cost/complexity of managing their virtual IT environments while maintaining control of the physical infrastructure and increasing agility to change hypervisors as needed.
Akiban, Boston, Mass., has data-grouping IT that is a new approach for relational systems to deal with complex database schemas. It enables dynamic pre-computing of joins, which reduces and in many cases eliminates the high costs of these operations. That leads to transformational advances in performance, especially for complex operational queries.
AppDirect, San Francisco, offers companies a free private business application network to find, buy and manage Web-based applications. It allows businesses to use and manage all their Web-based applications in one secure site. It also offers a marketplace giving businesses direct access to the latest tools.
AppFirst, New York, is a MAAS (mobility as a service)-based, application-aware infrastructure performance management product. It provides application architects and IT managers visibility into the behavior and performance of applications across an entire application stack-regardless of language, application type or location (cloud, physical or virtual servers).
CipherCloud, Cupertino, Calif., addresses data privacy, data sovereignty, security and regulatory problems that impede enterprise cloud adoption. Its patent-pending IT leverages encryption to protect sensitive enterprise data in real time before it is sent to the cloud. It requires no change to cloud applications. Exposures to internal and external threats within the cloud environment are eliminated since the encryption keys always remain with the customer.
CloudFlare, San Francisco, brings performance and security tools previously used only by Internet giants to the rest of the Web. CloudFlare's free and paid services power tens of thousands of Websites around the world, securing them from spam and hacking attacks while giving them performance boosts.
CloudPassage, Menlo Park, Calif., is a security SAAS (software as a service) company offering the industry's first and only server security and compliance product purpose-built for elastic cloud environments. The company addresses the technical challenges of securing highly dynamic cloud-hosting environments where consistent physical location, network control and perimeter security are not guaranteed. The company's early product feature set includes server vulnerability and compliance management, and centralized management of host-based firewalls. CloudPassage operates across infrastructure models and seamlessly handles cloud server bursting, cloning and migration.
Clustrix, San Francisco, says it has built a database with "no limits." It has no limits to database size, table size, the complexity of queries, and performance. The Clustrix database offers dynamic online scaling, seamless fault tolerance, full relational and transactional capabilities, and MySQL wire-line compatibility in a single-instance database.
Context.IO, Montr??Â«al, Qu??Â«bec, solves email problems. Mailboxes contain years of important conversations and business information, yet there is no easy way for developers to find and use that information. It has a "missing email" API that turns mailboxes into a data source that developers can use in applications such as CRM, document management, collaboration and project management.
DotCloud, San Francisco, is a second-generation PAAS (platform as a service) technology. It makes it simple for developers to deploy and scale their applications, while delivering the flexibility and robustness required by critical business software. Developers can mix and match from a large choice of languages, databases, caching and messaging components, leaving them in full control of their IT stack