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2011 DEMOgods enjoy a heavenly year

Last year's award winners take advantage of their newfound recognition to win funding, launch new products

By , Network World
October 01, 2012 12:07 AM ET

Network World - A lot can happen in a year, especially for young companies given the exposure of presenting at the bi-annual DEMO conference. With fall 2012 DEMO about to kick off, Network World caught up with some of last year's DEMO award winners.

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Six presenters were given DEMOgod awards, while one received the People's Choice award, which comes with a $1 million multi-media advertising package. Here's an update:

Aurasma - DEMOgod and People's Choice award winner

The most celebrated of last year's presenters, Aurasma provides an impressive mobile technology that extends the physical world to the Internet. Through an app designed for the iPhone 4 and 4S, iPad 2 and 3, and some Android devices, Aurasma's technology recognizes physical objects through the device's camera and immediately links to information or content related to them.

This video shows a good example, in which the user scans a GQ Magazine cover photo of Tim Tebow to find related video of Tebow holding press conferences or television interviews. 

Aurasma's global head of sales Matt Mills described the presentation at DEMO as "six minutes of pure adrenaline." He adds, "To be honest, I didn't actually know whether I had said was what we had planned until I watched the video back afterwards."

Not that it mattered. Mills says presenting at DEMO "really did launch the U.S. side of our business," providing a platform for the company to launch a partner program that has since added 8,000 partners.

The momentum created at DEMO led to improvements in Aurasma's product, culminating in a completely redesigned mobile app to be released shortly. This work has not gone unnoticed, either.

Last month, Aurasma announced an agreement to provide its augmented reality technology for Spain-based telecommunications giant Telefonica's location-based marketing and mobile coupon services, Giga Om reported.

For those preparing for DEMO presentations this year, Mills had some advice. "This is six minutes to show the audience that you have something that will change the world, so show something that is considered 'everyday' or describe an everyday problem, then show how your innovation or product can really make a difference," Mills says. "Then you must find something for the end that will really blow people away."

Above all else, though, Mills says presenters need to be prepared with a backup plan, because "if something bad can happen on a normal day it is about 100 times more likely to happen on a DEMO day."

WeVideo - DEMOgod award winner

WeVideo introduced its cloud-based video editing and collaboration tool at last year's Fall DEMO event, having recognized "the massive appetite for online video and knowing that the majority of online videos are unedited." The objective is to make it as easy to edit and post a video online as it is with photographs.

Company CEO Jostein Svendsen says DEMO was WeVideo's first chance for global recognition. "We went from being a completely unknown little startup from Norway, with a total of three Google search results, to being discussed in technology and consumer magazines around the world, and being hailed as the 'next big thing,' Svendsen says.

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