Thanks to @SpacemonkeyMike for tipping me off to the recent Startupism conference in San Francisco, a two day conference that brought together more than 400 entrepreneurs and speakers like Phil McKinney, the ex CTO of Hewlett Packard, Chris Redlitz, a fantastic investor from Transmedia, Robert Scoble, Steve Jurvetson of venture capital firm DFJ and many others.
I was able to capture video of a mobile monetization panel and Phil's keynote, which are below. Looking forward to next year's event!
Mobile Monetization & Distribution
Description: "This panel will explore the best strategies for developers to nail down monetization, distribution, and discovery in an ever growing and changing ecosystem. Our panelists will share insights and perspective that will help you get ahead in the mobile race."
Phil McKinney, ex CTO of Hewlett Packard
Bio: Phil founded and oversaw HP's Innovation Program Office (IPO). IPO is a separately staffed and funded team chartered to identify and incubate adjacency and fundamentally new technologies, products and businesses for HP. Over the course of his career, he has been profiled or had his work on innovation written about in media outlets ranging from tech press to Vanity Fair, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. McKinney also writes a column for Forbes called "The Objective," hosts a popular "Killer Innovations" podcast that CIO Insight has called "a must listen," and tweets from his @philmckinney handle.
I attended last year's FounderConference, which was at MSFT's Mountain View campus, and captured the content of the event. I also took a panoramic shot that Alain used for the 2011 conference, and in exchange he comp'd a ticket for me to attend this year.
As part of my goal to help entrepreneurs worldwide be more successful (i.e., my fundraising manifesto), I've captured the content of this year's Founders Conference below. This year's event was much larger than 2010, at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, with about 500 people attending.
Paul Breslow from Qbotix came to the Stanford Engineering and Applied Sciences School to speak about entrepreneurship and his current role. Qbotix came up with a fantastics idea: remove the cheap motors from all dual axis tacking systems and put a very efficient and reliable one on a robot that will travel on a rail from panel to panel to continuously optimize alignment.
The product seems like a no brainer: dual axis tracking for the cost of single axis. It also makes O&M much simpler: You only need to carry a spare robot in inventory to ensure continuous operation of your whole farm. Some VCs see a potential there, and the firm has attracted over 12 M$ of funding so far.
As with many new ideas in the cleantech field, the main impediment for sales to really pick up is the lack of track record. Many bank will refuse to finance a project where some of the used technology is experimental. I hope the 5 projects currently in operation/construction will help with this.
In my opinion they should make the IP for the the fixed tracking systems and the rail open source to panel manufacturer and solar EPC firms and lease the robots out. This should enable a much faster growth, simplify operations, make it harder for competitors to reverse engineer the robot and make potential buyers less wary of reliability.