Yesterday was Y Combinator Demo Day.
So what's interesting in this batch, demoed yesterday at the Computer History Museum? I'm intrigued by LocalOn, a web marketing platform for small businesses that aren't ready to have their own sites built from the ground up. T324 has done a lot of work with local small businesses and Chambers of Commerce over the years. There is absolutely a category of business owners who know they have to have a site and a social media presence but are terrified to get started and simply can't imagine spending money on it.
LocalOn has the interesting notion of working with the newspapers those businesses advertise in, and also providing tools for merchants' associations and BIDs. They offer the promise of publishing one-click content updates not just to your site and social streams, but to your local newspaper and community sites.
Jody Colley, the publisher of the East Bay Express, has endorsed LocalOn, and so has the Exec Director of the Temescal Telegraph Business BID, which is right by my house. BuyLocalBerkeley is a partner, as is Oakland First Fridays.
So this is a platform that is resonating with organizations we have regular contact with and whose needs we understand, and it certainly seems like it could meet those needs. The Solano Avenue Association is trying something similar on the merchant association level with OnSolano.com, which has an attractive pinboard-style frontage.
We'll be very interested to see what the push from Demo Day and the TechCrunch coverage, which focuses mostly on the newspaper-partnership element, does for LocalOn.