Amazon’s Web Services Start-Up Challenge

This past November 20th, Amazon announced the winner of the AWS Start-Up Challenge for $100,000 in cash and AWS credits. Amazon Web Services or AWS is searching for the next hot start-up that uses AWS to build its business.

Yieldex was chosen as the winner of the 2008 AWS Start-Up Challenge! Yieldex delivers “advertising inventory and optimal campaign allocation for online publishers.”

The finalists in the running were:

Encoding.comn This link will launch a new browser window or tab. has transformed video encoding from a traditional software model to a software as a service (SaaS) platform. combines elastic computing resources with cutting edge video encoding software.
Knewton Knewton This link will launch a new browser window or tab.
Knewton supercharges any education content by teaching the exact concepts students need, in the medium and pacing best for each. Knewton’s self-optimizing “Darwinian” engine grows increasingly effective as each new student joins the network – so the learning plan of the 50 millionth student is powered by the combined data of all the others.
MedCommons MedCommons This link will launch a new browser window or tab.
MedCommons provides cloud-based Health 2.0 application services for patients and doctors, and enables third parties to customize and extend the MedCommons Platform for their own needs.
Sonian Sonian This link will launch a new browser window or tab.
Sonian is a cloud compute email productivity service. Each day, 86 billion emails and IMs are created and most of this information needs to be saved and indexed for compliance and personal productivity. Sonian solves this problem with next generation software running on the Amazon Web Services cloud. Sonian archives electronic communications, files and unstructured content to unlock the actionable intelligence stored in this “dark data.”
Pixily Pixily This link will launch a new browser window or tab.
Pixily is an interactive document management service that organizes paper and electronic materials online so people can instantly find and share information whenever and wherever they need it. For consumers, Pixily serves as a digital organization assistant that reduces paper clutter and helps manage personal information more efficiently. Businesses rely on Pixily as an affordable on-demand document management service to streamline daily operations and be more productive.
Yieldex YieldexThis link will launch a new browser window or tab.
Yieldex delivers accurate forecasting of overlapping online advertising inventory and optimal campaign allocation for online publishers. Our tools help publishers get more revenue from their premium inventory through in-depth proposal analysis, scenario planning, and Yieldex’s proprietary yield index.
Zephyr Zephyr This link will launch a new browser window or tab.
Zephyr enables enterprises to manage their test departments more efficiently, boost productivity, reduce costs and provide IT leaders with real-time visibility into all aspects of their software quality cycle.

Although Yieldex does not seem that attrative to me, I can see how media objects could be stored in the AWS cloud and even though online advertising providers have closely integrated management tools, smartly storing those media objects and using its metadata to provide forecasting and scenario planning could have a market.

My favorite is and with the boom in IPTV, anyone wanting to deliver quality video in a variety of formats can do so very cheaply.

Knewton and Pixily, I see as having a hard time making it. Knewton is up against with widespread access to information; Knowledge is everywhere for the taking with the advent of the Internet and as Higher Education Institutions take their knowledge online by joining the Open Courseware Consortium, I wouldn’t know why anyone would pay for this.

As for Pixily (a document management system), providing the ability to go paperless has two shortfalls in my view. I am not sure I am ready to store sensitive, confidential information online just yet and then there’s other providers like Scribd which allows you to publish documents for free.


Social Timeline – AllofMe

Thanks to my friend Jeff Pulver for an invite to

A very interesting startup on collecting and sharing media known as digital assets over time. You can upload images, videos, web pages, as well as link to Picassa, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, and coming soon will be facebook as well as Google Calendar. I see it as a kind of digital diary to look back upon. Applications are endless the more and more I think about it and see something great here.

Great looking flash timeline allowing you to easily navigate your timeline and any other timeline that you add or is featured on the site. After creating some of the timelines of your own, you can graphically see how your specific dates match other relevant dates on featured timelines or even people on your network.

Started by linking my Flickr and Twitter and had to come back a couple of days later to see if they had synch’d. Still waiting for Flickr to sync.

Will probably shoot some invites out and add some timelines to see what the hooked factor is.