Here is a company worth talking about.
iLoveRewards took a big problem and found a quirky and economical solution to it. This is the kind of company had me gushing 10 seconds in to the pitch. I’m sure that John Albright and company saw it from a mile away.
ILoveRewards is sort of like one of those midway games that pumps out tickets every time you get the ball in the middle hole.
In the case of iLoveRewards, employees of a company can earn points for things like good attendance, hitting sales targets or customer satisfaction. As these points build up, the employee can redeem them through iLoveRewards.
Todays announcement is that JLA is contributing an additional $1.5 million to the round which will be used to create a US-focused brand for the service as well as to finance more sales and marketing initiatives.
iLoveRewards competes with more established companies such as another favorite of mine, SuccessFactors, and I have no doubt that the competition will be moving to copy some of the novel things that iLoveRewards has been doing.
Paul Graham has published Startup Ideas We?d Like to Fund at YCombinator.
- A cure for the disease of which the RIAA is a symptom
- Simplified browsing
- New news
- Outsourced IT
- Enterprise software 2.0
- More variants of CRM
- Something your company needs that doesn?t exist
- Photo/video sharing services
- Web Office apps
- Fix advertising
- Online learning
- Tools for measurement
- Off the shelf security
- A form of search that depends on design
- New payment methods
- The WebOS
- Application and/or data hosting
- Shopping guides
- Finance software for individuals and small businesses
- A web-based Excel/database hybrid
- More open alternatives to Wikipedia
- A buffer against bad customer service
- A Craigslist competitor
- Better video chat
- Hardware/software hybrids
- Fixing email overload
- Easy site builders for specific markets
- Startups for startups
It?s a great list for entrepreneurs to start thinking about what to build next. The best part is that a number of folks have been building this software in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and other places in Canada. Here is my quick feedback about stuff that I can think of that fits the Canadian criteria.
5. Enterprise software 2.0 ? Jevon has been talking about this for ages.
6. More variants of CRM ? Dan McGrady is building integrate. Scott Annan and Scott Lake are building MercuryGrove. I love applications that focus on improving customer interactions, increasing the resolution of the interaction, these are products that small businesses drool over because they have an immediate impact on the bottom line.
9. Photo/video sharing services ? Terry and Jeff at ParkVu are doing some really cool things.
13. Online learning ? John and Gosia have drawn a line in the sand with LearnHub (my view of their opportunity).
19. Application and/or data hosting ? Reuven Cohen is working at building some of the tools for Enomaly. While not Canadian, I?m intrigued with 10gen, Joyent, GoGrid, EngineYard and others. I wish there were some additional strong Canadian contenders in this space.
20. Shopping guides ? Omar Ismail is leading the charge for open shopping reviews at ProductWiki. Candice Factor is working on building OurFaves inside the TorStarDigital network.
21. Finance software for individuals and small businesses ? Mike McDerment and the kick ass team at FreshBooks are taking a stab at financial management tools for small business. George Favvas is building SmartHippo to enable better mortgage and financial information for consumers.
22. A web-based Excel/database hybrid ? Avi Bryant and Andrew Catton are building a great tool, DabbleDB
Kevin Leneway, who apparently is part of my brethren in DPE at Microsoft, has started going through each idea on the list one-by-one. He has decided to address each of the 30 ideas to generate ideas for a startup. It?s a great series of posts.
Are there other Canadian companies that are solutions to one of the 30 ideas? Share them with us!
. . . do stuff with email. That gets people all hot and excited.
For example “We are going to enable Web 2.0 collaboration via email“.
That one is a freebie. Heads will nod.
I even did some market research for you: 183 billion email messages are sent per day. So if you can just capture 10% of that market, and monetize each email for 10c . . . .