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One of my favorite roles as a CIO is sharing information about the great innovations currently taking place in the private sector and discussing how these innovations will enhance the Federal supply chain. Right now there's still very strong early stage venture capital funding for 2.0 startups. And some of these startups will become small business success stories of the Federal supply chain.
2.0 innovation represents more than a new set of technologies, it represents a change in the way we work together. This year's TechCrunch50 was a blockbuster event. 900 startups from forty nine countries were narrowed to fifty finalists. Finalists launched new products center stage at the San Francisco Design Center. Semifinalists presented from the DemoPit. A panel of experts composed of notable CEOs as well as successful angel and venture capital investors included Marc Andressen, co-founder of Netscape and now Ning; Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com; Roelof Bartha, Partner at Sequoia Capital, and many many more. Experts judge the demonstrations live and give immediate feedback. It's a bit like American Idol for 2.0 startups, but even better ! The top demonstration gets $50k cash, but that underestimates what's at stake. In addition to Sequoia Capital, this year conference partners included the Mayfield Fund, Clearstone Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures and Fenwick & West.
Jason Calcanis, a conference organizer, reported in April that last year, the TechCrunch40 generated $143m in venture funding. But that was recently eclipsed by Microsoft's $200m acquisition of PowerSet, a semantic search engine. Think of TechCrunch and early stage capital markets as an innovation pipeline for the Federal Supply Chain. The conference just ended and there's plenty of information available on the 50 finalists and the demopit companies !