Angel Forum Voltron – Activate!

The air is buzzing at SFU’s Harbour Center, which means it must be time for Angel Forum. The morning had a strong start with five companies taking the podium in the forum’s IT software stream: Tactical CorporationTactical Corporation is first out of the gates at Angel Forum, touting their IT provisioning platform. Unlike many of the companies that will be presenting at the forum, Tactical is unique in that they have been providing their data warehousing and business systems hosting solution since 1997. The company focuses on enabling business customers to quickly deploy and manage IT infrastructure to respond to opportunities, as well as transition and scale existing infrastructure. The company has a specific focus on servicing the needs of private equity firms involved in M&A activity, a situation that often calls for companies to transition IT quickly to preserve the value of the company. They will be focusing on building management software to automate provisioning, deployment, and billing of infrastructure built on top of virtualization technology. EpdioEpdio, headed by serial entrepreneur Kevin Falk (formerly of Vivonet, Autoprise), is taking aim at the document collaboration market with a tool to allow users to easy share and merge changes on documents over the network. Unlike others, Epdio is focusing on 21M employees working for the 4.5M small businesses that can’t afford traditional collaboration software. Users synchronize documents using ‘dropboxes’ that transfer and merge changes between a defined group of users. Every time change is made to a document, those changes are synchronized across the network automatically. Interestingly, the service doesn’t require the recipients of files to be a member of Epdio, though it’s unclear how this is achieved. Epdio is targeting a busy space occupied by the likes of Microsoft, Pownce, and Getdropbox, all of whom are battling for a piece of $1.6B estimated collaboration market. jWalkerJWalkr enters the crowded market for hyper-local information, providing users with a “shortcut to information”. The system is allowing users to find information on a local business using their mobile phone. Users can take a photo of QR codes on businesses from their phone, which connected them to more detailed information on the business. This is a space somewhat occupied by players such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Zagat, and many others; however, jWalkr is trying to leverage the capabilities of cameraphones to bring location-based search to users’ phones. The product is currently in beta. CellMap provides customized maps for locations that users can download to their cell phone. The product is designed to battle the “cruise ship effect” – the propensity of tourists to take a few days before visitors engage and discover services while on vacation. CellMap allows user to get a map of services, events, services, via their phone, without requiring the user to incur onerous data charges. The product differentiates itself from competitors like Google Maps in that it tailors the information to a specific location, providing clear visual cues to direct visitors to stores, services, and events that are specific to the location. The company is working with site management firms to deliver the product to their customers, and ultimately hopes to drive an ad-driven business that allows advertisers to offer targeted, location-specific ads. PYXIS Innovations is focused on creating the “geospatial web” by providing a platform that merges streams of geographic data and provides them to application developers. The kinds of geographic information that users consume every day comes from a variety of sources, and service providers and content providers spend significant capital building systems to bring this information together and represent in a useful way to the user. This results in a lot of duplicate infrastructure and software that doesn’t actually add value to the business. PYXIS platform bring together many pieces of data that is inherently tied to location, and then represent it as a single data stream. Essentially, they are the broker that brings together geospatial data information to enable applications.