From the Sublime to the Mundane: Demo’s Startups Run the Gamut

Investors navigated the halls. Luminaries such as LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman and SoftTech’s Jeff Clavier took the stage.

Demo Fall 2011 was in full swing Tuesday. What stood out at the tech conference was its eclectic assortment of startups, varying from the sublime to the silly. Several of the most appealing enterprise-focused companies seemed poised to attract considerable interest. Several developing consumer technologies did not.

Here are several on both sides of the aisle:


Among those destined to draw attention was Fluxx of San Francisco. The company hopes to develop an online dashboard where businesses can integrate information from key internal systems and better manage their operations.

Fluxx argues the product’s value is its ability to put the data in one, easily accessible place. Already the company sells a cloud-based dashboard product to half a dozen non-profit foundations, for which it expects $1 million in revenue this year.

The conference brought inquiries from three venture capitalists, Fluxx founder Jason Ricci told peHUB during a mid-day break. “The ones we’ve met have really been focused and interested.”

The 2-year-old self-funded company is considering Series A financing. “If the valuation looks good, we’ll go for it,” says Ricci. “We’re kind of on the fence.”


Another company almost certain to attract VC interest is Whodini. The Los Altos, Calif.-based company’s online service lets corporate customers identify in-house experts and distribute their names to other employees.

The company brought in $2 million from angels in August and is thinking about Series B funding late this year or early next, says Bjorn Stromsness (pictured), a Whodini director.


Consumer startups were less obvious winners. NeighborOil of Andover, Mass., lets users of its website win “points” toward the purchase of home heating oil by shopping at retail chains.

Meanwhile, of Santa Monica is developing a service to provide product information from a crowd-sourced online audience, while I-Postmortem‘s ambitious goal is to create an online cemetery where people can leave notes, photos and tributes to lost friends and relatives. The company’s business model is based on subscriptions.

“It feels like all the cool kids are at TechCrunch Disrupt,” said Sand Hill Angel Steve Bennet.