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This article was published on April 3, 2008

First round of start-up presentations

First round of start-up presentations
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

The Next Web is about the future of the web, so it is obvious that startups play a significant role during the Conference. 24 startups will do a 5 minute presentation on main stage. During breaks all attendees and press can visit the startups at their booth in the Company Arena (same area as where the coffee and lunch is). This way startups can present themselves in the best way and get the most traction out of the conference.

Start-upsSo Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, Managing Partner of YL Ventures – an European and Israeli early stage technology venture capital fund – moderated the first round of start-ups presentations. Here’s what they had to say:


CoComment is a service that makes it possible to keep track of all the comments you make and discussions you’re participating in. It’s always nice to see their CEO Matt Colebourne on stage, since he knows how to present a company. He often evangelizes the importance of conversations, as they represent the opinion of your customers. His message: the era where the marketing director could just give the newspapers a call to change the conversation is definitely over. It’s time to embrace the online conversations.

And of course, his company makes that easy by tracking online conversations with a browser-based plugin. Read all about it on The Next Web Blog:


eBuddy is one of world’s largest Instant Messaging platforms. They recently secured a Series B round of funding with a staggering 6.5 million euro from Prime Technology. I can see why, since the numbers are impressive. eBuddy has 12 million users on the web and 1.6 million on mobile and every day 75k people sign up. Those users make up for one billion banner impressions per month. So eBuddy’s philosophy “keep it simple, stupid” seems to work out pretty fine. The Dutch company is now focusing on bringing instant messaging to mobile. I guess they’re probably losing a lot of money on that now, but it’s a great investment in the future.

By the way, they’re organizing a boat trip on Saturday. So walk by their booth if you’d like to join them. is all about bringing social news to the masses. The problem is that RSS seems like a very easy technique for techie users, but normal users have no clue what it’s all about. So Nick Halstead gave a funny AND interesting presentation about the service who wants to reach out to the ‘normal people’. Favorit allows you to aggregate content like a newsreader but also allows you to post comments, all without leaving its site. I always dig services like these, since I believe the Web 2.0 industry tend to forget about the rest of the world.


The guys from Wauw presented a new product during the session: WauwWee, a mobile widget that stimulates users to use their mobile device on social networks and blogs. It builds on your existing communities – which is a must these days. The service is browser-based and has a very user friendly interface. So Wauwee makes it easy to upload pictures and text to your site and networks by using your mobile. Handy for citizen journalists as well as ordinary users.


IntroNiche is into Cross-promotion. You know the deal, sites both place a banner on their web site to promote each other. This way you can advertise for free on sites that target the same audience as you do. Yet it’s hard to find partners for this kind of promotion though. So now there’s a platform where you can find partner sites in your niche. They’ve made it easy to pinpoint your niche by offering an advanced search engine.


Good news for all you visual story tellers out there, Empressr wants to make your live easier. They’re the “The First Online Application That Lets You Create, Manage and Share Rich Media Presentations Online”. It all started when CEO Bryan Thatcher found his work stuck in his hard disk. He wanted to share his visual stories and create a tool that makes presenting easier. Of course he used it during his presentation and I must admit, it looks good.