Technically Philly presents: SWITCH – Oct. 2010

SWITCH presented by Technically Philly

On October 6, 2010, Technically Philly hosted a one-of-a-kind event featuring 5 local (Philly based) web related companies and gave them each 7 minutes to demo their “product” for potential investors, community members and family/friends. The featured presenters included Packlate, P’unk Ave, Zecozi, Myna, and Azavea on the stage of the Gershman Hall’s Levitt Auditorium @ Uarts. The premise and reason for the moniker of this great event stems from an attempt to switch: 1) what the city is talking about, namely the great new products being made in Philly. 2) on some light bulbs by inspiring all those bearing witness. 3) the general perception of Philadelphia’s lack of innovation and growth in the creation and use of technology. Still interested? The live stream of the entire presentation can be found here. Yours truly was in attendance and you can find a brief summary of each company’s presentation along with what I found exciting about their products.

  • Packlate.comPacklate is a West Conshohocken discount vacation planning start-up and the bulk of their presentation involved the use of their search engine to find deals. Essentially, this is a website that doesn’t punish a vacation planner for waiting till the last minute to book lodging, but rather REWARDS them with unheard of rates. The later the check in, the lower the rates… as proven by CEO of Packlate, Steve Barsh, who finagled a 5 night stay in a four bedroom house just outside of Disney for just peanuts a night.
  • P'unk AveP’unk Ave, a Passyunk Square-based web development company, headed by my former UArts professor Geoff Dimasi, introduced their content management system, Apostrophe 1.5. The presentation focused on what else, adding content to your post/blog with the greatest of ease. If WordPress’ media interface is vanilla ice cream, Apostrophe’s appears to be Neopolitan… with a very streamlined process of accessing and sharing your music, images, video, etc. Click, drag, drop… check it out.
  • ZecoziA stealth Northern Liberties sustainability tracking company, Zecozi turns the shopping experience into “facebook at the mall”. See Judy eyein’ up a pair of slippers you can’t live without? A few simple clicks and the slippers are in YOUR shopping cart. Other “friendly” features include real-time chat and status updates. It’s like Sex n’ the City, without the face to face.
  • Orpheus Media Research’s presentation featured the only technical hiccup of the night when sharing their music comparison software, Myna… which is unfortunate. When showcasing a demo that largely involves sound, it is rather important to make sure your that particular output is working. Never the less, Greg Wilder pressed on and displayed how his creation will search based on mood, sound, or texture of music, rather than relying on meta-tags. As of right now, the participating music seems limited to Film and TV soundtracks.
  • Azavea is a Callowhill based GIS-software firm also focusing in on sustainability like Zecozi, only with a much broader playground. How broad you say…? How about the entire city of Philadelphia? I hate to use the analogy again, but think of this as “facebook meets google maps.” Put in your address and the address of a friend you wish to paint the town with, and this puppy will produce a real-time blob on the map that represents the area the two of you can cover, and fills it with all the possible things you can do that evening. Settings can be modified to thin or enlarge your social foot-print, like mode of transportation or the type of activity you wish to participate in (dinner/drinks/shows). Once the plan is created, it can be shared with whom ever you want in all the familiar channels of social networking/email.
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