by Jessica Powers and David McGee
Wondering what you missed at the biggest mobileX ever? Besides the excellent speakers, a few lucky attendees won Android phones from the AT&T Developer program team as well as another winning an iPad. JP Chance, winner of the pitch contest, went home with $500 in PayPal credits. Most importantly, attendees went home with fresh ideas, relationships started, and a sense of what’s next in mobile.
Brian Wong, twenty years and one day old, capped his week off by delivering the mobileX keynote. His week had begun with the launch of his new VC-backed company, Kiip. Wong talked about what he calls “the emotional startup” -- a company geared at offering something beyond technological sophistication. Kiip is making an effort at bringing the magic of the moment to the gaming ad space, previously devoid of emotional connection. Citing examples of Guy Kawasaki, author of Enchantment, and Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness, Brian Wong emphasized that companies must now feel, or die.
One of the crowd-favorite speakers was Josh Bob of textauraunt.com. He spoke about a subject closely related to his business- SMS messaging. The large crowd listening to Mr. Bob learned about how SMS evolved from being a free, unnoticed service to a full-blown necessity for cell phones. Josh Bob wrapped up his presentation showing that the future for SMS could range from voting via your cell phone to multi-player video games. Of course, you can already reserve your place in line via SMS through textaurant.com.
Nihal Mehta, of LocalResponse, encouraged the crowd to think about mobile in terms of customer engagement, as it is an intimate path for brand building, customer acquisition and retention. In a presentation full of the latest numbers, Mehta reinforced that the statistics point to the fact that one day we will all be mobile marketers.
On the technical side, Uki Lucas, of Chicago Android, led beginning android developers in building a firm foundation for app building on the increasingly popular mobile platform. Meanwhile, Sam Soffes, of Scribd, Karim Varela, of AT&T, and Praveen Alavilli, of PayPalX, gave advanced technical presenations on topics ranging from iOS testing, cross-platform development, and in-app payments for Android.
The pitch contest was sponsored by PayPalX. Four different mobile startups each had five minutes, followed by questions from a panel of judges. The judges were Rick Coplin of TechColumbus, Dov Rosenberg of Allos Ventures, and Wright Steenrod of Chrysalis Ventures. The winning pitch was delivered by JP Chance who received $500 PayPal cash.
Those were just some of the highlights from mobileX Lexington 2011. The speaker presentations and panel discussions from the aforementioned, and several others, were recorded. Slides and video can be viewed at: http://mobilexconference.com/lexington2011/talks/. Now we’re just wondering, where will mobileX land next?