Jumio, Zediva, Enphase, Android: The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area Biztech News
And now for something completely different: Jumio’s mock-shock video playing up the sanitary hazards of cash didn’t amuse some Huffington Post readers, but I got the company and its PR firm to talk about why they made the video and why they aren’t worried about a backlash. Animoto’s system for making slide shows from your videos and photos is cool, but now a lot more people can use it thanks to a partnership program rolled out this week by the San Francisco- and New York-based startup. Speaking of partnerships, StudentMentor.org is using the power of the Web to match budding entrepreneurs with business mentors. The Web and how fast you can get to it on Android and Apple phones was the subject of a study from Toronto-based Blaze this week; turns out the browser on Android phones can outrun the iPhone’s Safari browser like Speedy Gonzalez after guzzling a 5-hour Energy drink. On the energy front, Enphase Energy in Petaluma gave me a behind-the-scenes look at its microinverter technology for converting the direct-current electricity from home solar arrays into grid-compatible alternating current; by packing more smarts into the gadgets and ratcheting down the current and voltage they handle, the company has made it possible for general contractors and electricians to install solar panels without the help of specialists. If you’re trying to shine a light on your own startup, you might want to read Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, which I reviewed in my Friday column. Zediva isn’t enchanting Hollywood with its questionably legal method for letting customers watch new DVD releases online four weeks before Netflix and Redbox get them. Meanwhile investors were enchanted into filling or refilling the coffers of Solopower, Pricelock, Jawbone, Doximity, CoolPlanetBioFuels, Zero Motorcycles, and the aforementioned Jumio, while Silicon Hive found a home at Intel and Zynga scooped up Massachusetts game startup Floodgate Entertainment. Hat tips to Phil Terry of The Councils and Sarah Kay of Project V.O.I.C.E. for inspiring me to try the stream-of-consciousness approach to this week’s news roundup.