Entrepreneurs pitched a mobile app for salespeople, a DNA printer and seven other innovations to VCs and angel investors at last night’s enterprise-focused Alchemist Accelerator Demo Day. Of the nine startups on exhibit at the event, which took place at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus, two cloud-computing companies caught my attention:
Active Scaler: Active Scaler wants telecoms and other companies to try out its storage-load-balancing software. Rather than balance the load on network resources like a Citrix NetScaler, Active Scaler software works with storage to shorten latency by a factor of three to five and decrease the cost of storage per gigabyte by 60 percent, co-founder and CEO Abhay Jain said during his presentation. “The convergence of network and compute has happened before, but not network and storage,” he told me afterward.
Xockets: Xockets is developing a computational memory fabric called a Ximm to “do with infrastructure what VMware did with compute,” CEO Parin Dalal said. The Ximm would process information (see graphic below) on a server’s memory, lowering the disparity in speed between compute and memory, said Stephen Belair, Xockets’ chief technology officer. He left Cisco after 14 years to start working full-time with Dalal earlier this week. “If we get it working — and we’re working on a prototype — something’s going to happen,” Belair said. “It could be a real game-changer.”
Whether or not its startups are destined for success, though, the trend away from consumer-facing investments and toward enterprise plays makes the Alchemist Accelerator look like a more valuable resource. Enterprise technology can be more difficult to get right and to later sell, so programs dedicated to helping startups build it could be a big help for entrepreneurs and investors alike.