Five Friday Startups to Follow

Startup Friday logoStartups on the horizon this Follow Friday include; Amazon’s new game studio, a cloud virtualization Technic, Foodbook in the making, Hertz for bike rentals, and an app named Qoture make for a roundup of sure fire interest for geeks and consumers alike. Check out what’s in store by way of inventive genius today.

Amazon (One) just announced ramping up hiring for their much anticipated studio for the production of social games. Robin Wauters over at The Next Web just offered the skinny on the preview Facebook game titled Live Classics, what will likely be the first of a bizillion Amazon titles. As you can see by the screen shot above, I have already broken the ice and tried this fascinating time robber.

Amazon's new Facebook studio comes to life.

Amazon’s new Facebook studio comes to life.

Nicira (Two), just acquired by VMware for a reported $1.26 billion, comes on the heels of the company just having bought DynamicOps. For those not in the know about cloud back-end architecture, Nicira’s core Network Virtualization Platform is an OpenFlow CloudStack product of some dimensions. A true competitor (maybe even better) with Microsoft and others, the Nicira products can help out IT pros, particularly those intent on building their own private clouds. VMware is clearly making a move on Cisco and other players with these acquisitions. Watch them.

Nicira from Donald Eldridge on Vimeo.

UConnect alias Badger BitesUConnect (Three) is an interesting startup thought up by University of Wisconsin students so that peeps can find and order from nearby restaurants, food from menus and contact details provided via UConnect searches. The startup, which seems to be named differently depending on the college or university nearby, shows great potential. Basically, a college student (or anybody really) can browse nearby food offerings, and then hit dial to get piping hot (or really greasy) burgers or whatnot delivered to the dorm door (or other). Called MadBites, in Madison, Wisconsin, what other names can you think of for your local UConnect ordering service? FoodBook for the Facebook app maybe? This could spread like wildfire, or butter maybe? Eek! It already has…

UConnect in Austin

UConnect in Austin

viaCycle (Four) may not be the “Good Ole Boy’s” choice for Southern transportation in the backwoods, but for cosmopolitan types (anyone here in Europe) finding a place to rent a bike is important. This YCombinator funded startup aims to be the Hertz of bike rentals. Founders Kyle Azevedo, Sid Doshi, Koji Intlekofer, Yuriy Romaniw came up with a fairly brilliant idea of leveraging the web and mobile to allow people to find locations where bikes are available, and then access them via automated locks. Simply search, find, then text the bike’s ID number and away you go!!! $20 a month or $80 a year for unlimited rentals, now that sounds like a multi-million dollar idea from these three innovators.

Mark this as one of my personal favorites.

viaCycle

viaCycle bikes waiting to be set free

Qoture (Five) is all about sizing you up. That’s right, there is now technology that can determine what clothes or whatever will fit you. Let’s face it, Clothing is by far the biggest commodity sold on the Internet. Expects say upwards of $30 billions are spent on clothes just in the US.  But what about those returns? What do you do when you order something from Amazon and it does not fit? Qoture aims at reducing this point of pain as much as is “technically possible” – their image/measurement app simply figures out your size for you. How brilliant is this? Online retailers stand to save in the billions if these rocket scientist have done their homework. NO MORE RETURNS!

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