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技术 - 2011科技头脑风暴

《财富》科技头脑风暴大会揭晓“创业偶像”

五位企业家登台推销商业理念,谁的理念最有戏?

创业偶像

    要想在几分钟的时间里将一项商业概念推销出去,那么推销的人不仅要有过人的才能,而且要熟悉材料,同时要有出色的控场能力,这就跟角逐福克斯电视台的“美国偶像”(American Idol)节目差不多。今年的《财富》科技头脑风暴大会(Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference)携第三季“创业偶像”强势回归——它堪称是科技界的“美国偶像”。

    在“创业偶像”环节中,将有五名初创公司企业家在三位投资人评委和广大观众面前进行角逐,向观众推销他们的商业理念,观众可以通过手机短信来评选最后的赢家。每位选手都有五分钟的时间阐述他们的理念,冠军将首次获得价值10000美元的赫曼米勒(Herman Miller)公司的产品。

参赛选手:

1. Elation

    演讲:据Elation公司的共同创始人凯娜•冯表示,现在80%的医生仍然使用纸版的电子病历。而Elation公司发明了一种基于网络的电子病历(EMR)。凯娜•冯曾经帮助她父亲创办过一个基层医疗诊所,她表示当前市面上其它的电子病历系统都不切实际,因为它们误解了病历的功用。而Elation的产品既像纸质病历一样方便,又和纸质病历不同的是,它还可以提供背景搜索和临床搜索功能。

    当前状态:刚刚结束测试阶段,现在已经有了付费用户。目前正在进行第一轮融资,已经吸引了罗恩•康伟(Ron Conway)等天使投资人。

    评委意见:“一个大的问题是,尽管你的技术优势听起来很激动人心,产品在大屏幕上看起来也很漂亮,但是营销渠道仍然是一个关键的问题。而且现在市场已经有不少合格的解决方案,甚至还有一个云方案。如果你能解决这个问题的话,我想你可以做得很好。”——艾丁•森库特,弗利西斯风险投资公司(Felicis Ventures)创始人兼总裁

2. Mixtent

    演讲:许多公司可能都会承认,要找到杰出的人才,实在是个极为艰巨的挑战。而Mixtent公司正是瞄准了这块市场。用户首先要在Mixtent的网站上输入他们的Facebook或LinkedIn的账户,然后Mixtent会把你在LinkedIn上的两个联系人或好友放在一起进行比较,然后问你一些问题,让你根据问题对此二人进行打分【它本质上就是一个职业版的“Hot or not”(Hot or not是一个由网友给帅哥美女打分的网站)——译注】,然后网站会生成一个所谓的“职业声誉表”。Mixtent希望通过这种办法,最终能够实现根据不同的技能组合,来获得各类合格人才的排名,并给他们登记造册。共同创始人兼CEO乔纳森•盖勒表示:“我们会尽力避免企业招到不合适的人才,同时我们也会帮助企业招聘合适的优秀人才。”

    当前状态:该网站于去年一月推出。不过盖勒自己也承认,这项服务可能需要五到七年的时间才能完全成熟。

    评委意见:“你认为你着手解决的这个问题的确是个大问题。不过你必须要让用户适应这种精中选精的择才方式以及你们的评价标准,还需尽力避免出现《蝇王》式的反应。”(《蝇王》:英国作家威廉•戈尔丁的作品,故事发生在想象中的第三次世界大战,一群6岁至12岁的儿童在撤退途中因飞机失事被困在一座荒岛上,起先尚能和睦相处,后来由于恶的本性膨胀起来,便互相残杀,发生悲剧性的结果。——译注)——艾米•班西,康卡斯特公司(Comcast)常务董事,基金部负责人

3. Novel

    演讲:Mixtent的重点在于为某个特定的工作岗位筛选出最合适的人才,但Novel公司的卖点是,以一个即将推出的软件作为服务产品,具体地说就是推出一个门户网站,利用社交游戏机制对各种职业进行模拟,从而使求职者得以进行“真实的工作预演”。这项服务的最终目的是帮助企业培训人员,同时帮助更多的人获得合适的职位。在理想情况下,企业会愿意掏钱让求职者(或是一些已经经过初步筛选的求职者)进入这个网站进行学习。同时求职者也可以自行掏钱进入网站操练一番,然后利用这项付费服务来寻找本地区内合适的企业。

    当前状态:仍在研发中。据CEO布莱登•奥尔森表示,他正在寻找合作企业和工程师。

    评委意见:“这需要做出大量的行为变革,还需要大量的资本,但是我非常喜欢这个创意,这是一项针对企业的消费性科技。如果它成功了,我认为它一定会引起巨大的轰动。”——彼得•桑西尼,思颐投资(New Enterprise Associates)合伙人

4. Clever Sense

    演讲:Clever Sense公司的共同创始人兼CEO巴巴克•帕拉万称他的公司是“真实世界里的潘多拉”,他表示,人们总是很难找到在网络上找到最符合自身口味的东西,尤其是在使用手机搜索的时候。搜索引擎总是会给出海量的搜索结果,我们还得去一个一个地研究,没办法确定它们是不是符合我们的口味。帕拉万和Clever Sense的另一位创始人尼玛•阿斯加尔贝基都是斯坦福大学工程系的毕业生,他们花了两年的时间,终于研发出了能够解决这一问题的技术,也就是一款叫做Alfred的应用。Alfred是一个人工智能引擎,首先它会在网络上“观察”人们是如何描述某些场所的,从中学习如何对一个场所进行描述。然后你可以训练你的“私人机器人”,告诉他们你喜欢哪些地方。然后你让Alfred开始工作,它就会为你寻找在真实世界中你可能会喜欢的地方。

    当前状态:自从上周四登陆苹果的App store应用商店以来,Alfred已经上升到生活类应用下载量排行榜的第10位。

    评委意见:“谷歌、Groupon和Yelp的应用已经无处不在了,因此Alfred难免要与它们进行竞争。不过我很喜欢这个理念。如果你能做到让人们都来下载这款应用,又不让他们把它从手机里删掉,那么它可能会取得巨大的成功。” ——彼得•桑西尼,思颐投资(New Enterprise Associates)合伙人

5. 你好邻居

    演讲:你知道你的邻居叫什么名字吗?75%的美国人都回答不上来这个问题。“你好邻居”(Hey Neighbor)是一个基于地理位置的社交网络,让你与你的邻居们联系起来,这样一来你们就可以互相借油盐酱醋、借梯子,或者请邻居过来帮你搬东西。该公司的共同创始人兼CEO芭芭拉•潘图索解释道,领居可以 “随时随地”提供帮助。“‘你好邻居’还提供了一项虚拟敲门服务。”潘图索认为“你好邻居”一定会成功,因为它正好符合超本地化广告和合作性消费的潮流,而“你好邻居”也会因此获得很好的赢利前景。因为预计到2012年,像旅行房屋租赁社区Airbnb和共享式租车公司Zipcar这种所谓的“点对点市场”将发展成一个市值260亿美元的大市场。

    当前状态:今年七月刚刚推出。现正吸引来自世界各地的“邻居”们的加入

    评委意见:“我严重依赖我住的那个村子的邻居们,而且我也非常相信合作性消费的前景。不过我不知道人们是不是会同时上那么多个社交网络。光是目前我使用的那一个社交网络,就有点让我应付不过来。而且我也对你的网站的生钱能力有些存疑。” ——艾米•班西,康卡斯特公司(Comcast)常务董事,基金部负责人

    最后的赢家揭晓,是:Clever Sense。

    译者:朴成奎

    Much like competing on Fox's American Idol, selling a business idea requires raw talent, mastery of the material, and command performance. So this year Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference was back with the third "season" of Startup Idol, our answer to the hit singing competition.

    In our version, five entrepreneurs vied for top honors before three investor-judges and the conference audience, who voted for the winner via text. Each contestant had five minutes to make their pitch, and for the first time a big prize was at stake: $10,000 in Herman Miller products.

The Contestants:

Elation

    The pitch: Eight of ten physicians still use paper electronic records, according to Elation co-founder Kyna Fong. Elation offers a web-based electronic medical record (EMR). Fong, who helped set up her father's primary care medical office, says other EMR systems get it wrong because they misunderstand medical records. Elation is easy to use like paper, but unlike paper, it's smart enough to offer contextual and clinical search functionality.

    Current status: Just moved out of beta; Has paying customers; Raising series A round of funding; Angel investors include Ron Conway.

    Judge's Comment: "The big issue here, as much as technology advantages sound exciting and looks pretty on the screen, distribution will be a key issue and there is already a bunch of certified solutions out there, even a cloud solution. So if you can solve that problem I think you can do well." -- Aydin Senkut, Founder and President, Felicis Ventures

Mixtent

    The pitch: As many companies will likely vouch, finding superior talent can be an incredible challenge. That's where Mixtent hopes to make its mark. By having users hook up their LinkedIn (LNKD) and Facebook accounts, Mixtent asks you to answer a series of questions (essentially the professional version of "Hot or Not") that pit two connections or friends together until the startups establishes what it calls a "professional reputation graph." In this way, the startup hopes to eventually assemble rankings and listings of qualified candidates based on different skill sets. "We'll keep great people and great companies who aren't a good match from working together, and we'll help great people and great companies who are good matches work together," said co-founder and CEO Jonathan Geller.

    Current status: Launched last January, though Gellar admits it could take years, as many as five or seven, before the service is fully-cooked.

    Judge's comment: "I think the problem you're trying to solve is a great problem, but I think you're going to have to get users comfortable with the accuracy of the accuracy and measurements and avoid the sort of Lord of the Flies-type reaction." -- Amy Banse, managing director and Head of Funds, Comcast

Novel

    The pitch: While Mixtent's focus appears to be filtering the most qualified candidates for a particular job, Novel's mission with an upcoming Software as a Service product is to give candidates a "realistic job preview" by way of a Web portal with job simulations offering social game mechanics. The goal is to eventually develop a service that helps companies turn people away and get more people get into well-suited positions. Ideally, organizations would pays to send candidates to the portal or pay for candidates that are prescreened, while candidates could pay and use the service pay to find organizations within their region that are good matches.

    Current status: In development. According to CEO Brayden Olson, he's looking for corporate partners and engineers.

    Judge's comment: "This is going to require a ton of behavioral change and a ton of capital, but I really like it. I really like that it's consumer technology in the enterprise, and if it works, I can really can see this becoming a huge hit." -- Peter Sonsini, Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Clever Sense

    The pitch: Calling his company "Pandora for the real world," Clever Sense co-founder and CEO Babak Pahlavan described the difficulty people face when trying discover the things best suited to their taste, especially when they are on-the-go. Search engines bombard us with results that we then have to research, still not certain if they will match our tastes. As engineering graduate students at Stanford, Pahlavan and cofounder, Nima Asgharbeyghi, worked for two years on the technology that powers their solution to this problem, a mobile app called Alfred. First, an artificial intelligence engine crawls the web and learns how to describe places based on how people talk about them. Then you train "your personal robot," teaching it about places that you like. Finally, you let Alfred go to work, discovering new favorites for you in the real world.

    Current status: Since launching in Apple's (AAPL) app store last Thursday, Alfred is now number ten on the list of the most downloaded lifestyle apps.

    Judge's Comment: "You're going to see Google (GOOG) and Groupon and Yelp at every turn, so it's going to come down to competing with them. But I like it. If it works and you can get it into people's hands and keep it there, it could win big." -- Pete Sonsini, Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Hey Neighbor

    The pitch: Do you know the names of your next-door neighbors? 75% of Americans don't. Hey Neighbor is a location-based social network connects neighbors so they lend a cup of sugar, borrow a ladder, or get help moving something. Neighbors can help "right here, right now," explains CEO and co-founder Barbara Pantuso. "Hey Neighbor provides a virtual knock on the door." Pantuso says Hey Neighbor will succeed because it ties into the trends of hyper-local advertising and collaborative consumption. And there's big money at stake: Peer-to-peer marketplaces, like Airbnb and Zipcar, are estimated to be a $26 billion market in 2012.

    Current status: Just launched in July; Neighbors are joining from all over the world.

    Judge's Comment: "I rely heavily on my own village and am a big believer in collaborative consumption. I wonder how many social networks I can keep up with; I can barely keep up with the one's I currently have. And I'm a little bit curious about the monetization." -- Amy Banse, Managing Partner and Head of Funds, Comcast Ventures

    And the winner was: Clever Sense.

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