In Brief

Innovation Wizards

Video Moguls

For every viral video that jumps around the globe in a synaptic flash of Tweets and Facebook posts, millions more languish amidst the great unwatched.

Big IT Solutions for Small Biz

Big or small, every company requires a secure and effective computer network to survive. Endsight, a Berkeley-based IT firm, provides small Bay Area businesses from biotech companies to wineries with the technical expertise and attention you'd normally find in a Fortune 500 company, but at a fraction of the cost.

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Video Moguls


For every viral video that jumps around the globe in a synaptic flash of Tweets and Facebook posts, millions more languish amidst the great unwatched.

Fast forward to TubeMogul, a video advertising platform that "helps brands get their videos watched and tracked by their target audiences," says CEO Brett Wilson, MBA 07. Wilson co-founded the company with classmate John Hughes, MBA 07, who serves as president of products. By using its machinelearning algorithms, TubeMogul can anticipate relevant audiences and then serve them compelling content based on their previous viewing habits.

The advantage of video for advertisers, Wilson says, is that it delivers on easily measured metrics that brands care about in ways other mediums can't. Video ad viewers are more than twice as likely than banner ad viewers to not only remember the ad but also to make a purchase and click through to a brand's website, says Wilson.

Since launching a new ad platform in March, TubeMogul has generated more than 800 million views spanning more than 200 campaigns for such firms as Unilever, Microsoft, and Sony Pictures. In October, the company closed $10 million in Series B funding.

TubeMogul's initial management team met in a Haas class, tied for first in the 2007 UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition, raised seed money from classmates, and spent its first year in the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Lab. Says Wilson: "There would be no TubeMogul without Haas, and in particular, the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship."

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Big IT Solutions for Small Biz


Big or small, every company requires a secure and effective computer network to survive. Endsight, a Berkeley-based IT firm, provides small Bay Area businesses from biotech companies to wineries with the technical expertise and attention you'd normally find in a Fortune 500 company, but at a fraction of the cost.

"When we launched, small businesses relied on independent IT consultants that charged expensive hourly fees," says Endsight CEO Mike Chaput, BCEMBA 09. "Endsight charged a flat monthly fee."

Endsight's solution was to keep the expertise remote, responding nimbly to clients' IT concerns from its Berkeley office. The model has proven as successful as it has been disruptive: Today the monthly fee is the industry standard.

"What we do better than anybody is reduce our customer's number of network problems in a quantifiable way," says Chaput. "Typically, we can reduce the number of
problems by 75 percent within the first year of a new relationship."

That success has enabled Endsight to grow into a bigger business. With $8 million in annual sales, Endsight has made the list of fastest-growing private companies in the Bay Area for four years in a row.

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Plugged In


Electric cars are finally here, but where are they supposed to plug in? After all, not everyone has a garage, and most people like being able to "fill up" on the go. Enter ParkPod, a company founded by Tom Brigham and Rainer Genschel, both MBA 94, that builds and installs electric charging stations at private businesses and commercial locations.

ParkPod solves the "chicken and the egg" problem by enabling charging where people already park, such as offices, hotels, and supermarkets. Its aim: to provide a more convenient, cleaner, and cheaper way to fill up than any gas station. A trip to Whole Foods could end with a full battery, just as a movie date could leave you energized on more than Junior Mints.

ParkPod installed its first U.S. chargers at the San Francisco Hilton in September and recently hosted a major event there with General Motors to help introduce the Chevy Volt to the Bay Area.

ParkPod's stations are GPS enabled, making available chargers easy to locate via smartphone. The driver can also receive a text or email after the car is fully charged.

Ultimately, ParkPod aims to electrify the driving experience in more ways than you can
imagine—creating strong customer loyalty for businesses, for example—all while making
charging as convenient as it is ubiquitous.

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Yo! Taxi!


Taxis are a daily part of city life; unfortunately, hailing them hasn't modernized much in 50 years. But now with Flagdown Taxi, a smartphone app developed by Aaron McDaniel, BS 04, and his colleague Paul Benjamin, hailing a cab just entered the 21st century.

Created by their company Nimobi (a conflation of nimble and mobile), Flagdown is the only app of its kind that is free to download and free to use—with any smartphone to avoid the hassle of calling a cab. It's also the only taxi app that can integrate with any taxi company, big or small, without requiring prohibitively expensive equipment.

"In San Francisco, everyone has heard of YellowCab and Luxor, but there are 33 other
companies that you haven't heard of," says McDaniel. "We can integrate with all of them and give them business they otherwise wouldn't find. A user doesn't care who picks them up, they just want a ride."

Flagdown, the first of a suite of lifestyle applications designed by Nimobi to improve convenience among consumers and businesses, has already connected with cabs in 100 cities in 12 major metro areas. It's still too early to tell how big Flagdown will become along the road to adoption. But the market could be promising as America's 45 million smartphone users realize that hailing a cab is only a button's push away.

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