Back from Bootstrapper Conference

Yesterday I was at the Bootstrapper Venture Summit and spent the day networking with local investors, service providers, and early stage companies.

There were a bunch of familiar faces (including a bunch of my Columbia compadres who are now in the VC business) and of course a bunch of new ones.  Here are some of the companies that made an impression on me:

Kidos – These guys make a kid-friendly computing environment (written in Adobe AIR) that lets your kid have a safe Internet experience AND prevents them from breaking your computer :)  My kids are still too young for the Internet but I can see why both the former and the latter would be useful.

MediaMorph – This company makes a system to better track and monetize Internet video assets.

CarZen – This site is meant to help car buyers directly communicate with car dealers.  Ultimately the company hopes to build a reputational engine which would help drive business to the dealers who were viewed as the most helpful.  I think this would be great for the used car market in particular, as there is a great deal of seller mistrust and information asymmetry in that market.

Safeguard Guaranty – Divorce insurance.  Seriously.  I thought this was a great idea, and it means you can avoid that awkward pre-nup conversation with your spouse-to-be. ;)

RmbrMe – This startup is trying to address the waste and inconvenience associated with transfer of business cards.  I’ll probably sign up and try this service out since I’m generally swimming in business cards after networking events and would appreciate an elegant solution.

Zen Burger – Not a tech startup, but a purveyor of veggie burgers and other healthy fast food.  They catered the lunch and I must say that I greatly enjoyed my popcorn “shrimp” and “chicken” wrap.  Not a traditional venture capital type of company, but one that has a big vision and could do really well if they can find an investor that’s a good fit.

Allen Stern has some coverage of the event on his blog CenterNetworks which you should check out as well.

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