Notes From A Startup Night: The Enterprise Can Be As Boring As Hell But The Whole Goddamn Thing Is Paved With Gold

I attended a demo night in San Francisco for Acceleprise, the enterprise startup accelerator from Washington, D.C. I listened to the presentations from a group of enterprise startup execs about the usual fare: tackling healthcare issues, disparate data sources and the need for better IT services.

Pretty much from the beginning, I had to suppress my groans. This was dry stuff. But I knew that the companies represented a changing dynamic. All of the startups that presented are showing success, with either customers, revenues or seed funding. It comes down to this: While the enterprise can be as boring as hell, the whole goddamn thing is paved with gold.

I am hearing more often that investors are seeking companies that put more emphasis on revenues. Recurring revenue is the sign of success. And that recurring revenue is easier achieved with a good business that disrupts traditional IT.

Here is a list of the presenters:

  • ExecOnline offers online training that is conducted in partnership with top 10 business schools. The company has $800K in seed funding from the Washington Post.
  • Cor is a gamifcation service for helping companies motivate their employees to get healthy. They have several customers including a healthcare provider and a mortgage company. Revenues are pouring in.
  • Conjure makes business publishers’ works available to enterprise through an app that uses DRM to track the content. The company has $250K in seed funding.
  • SIGKAT offers an API to guarantee someone’s credentials. There are lots of associations that have tens of thousands of members. Verifying their credentials helps cut down on fraud and increases the value of the overall organization. The goal is to make it fast for the creation and exchange of credentials in a transparent manner.
  • Conference Edge helps organizers get more out of their events. It’s an end-to-end system with registration, feedback management, social media marketing, etc. They have a number of customers.
  • Mercury Continuity makes sure an enterprise keeps connected in the face of a catastrophe or IT disruption. It also has several deals in the works.

The enterprise market comes down to this: Millions of people work. They need to get their work done. And it has to get done fast. That means companies will pretty much have to do an overhaul of IT from the top of the stack to the underlying infrastructure. It’s not exactly glamorous but it sure is lucrative.