Welcome to our version of "Siskel & Ebert" meets "American Idol." We call it Vator Box, and this is our third show. The Box is where we sit around the table with an outside expert and rate pitches on Vator. In this episode, we have the usuals - yours truly and Ezra Roizen (Vator contributor and investment banker for digital media companies) and our guest host Gary Kremen, who founded Match.com and has invested his own money in 40-plus startups. Gary is pretty savvy about online business models, so I invited him to be part of the Box. In this episode, we look at ShareThis, Genius Rocket and T5M. ShareThis is trying to aggregate so-called social services, such as sending (to email contacts), posting (onto Facebook, MySpace), collecting (via RSS, bookmarks), rating and recommending (to Stumbleupon). Ultimately, the service wants to identify social behavior and target ads against it. Genius Rocket is a Bethesda, Maryland-based platform that essentially is an Innocentive for marketers and advertisers. It's a place where advertisers and brand managers can find user-generated advertisements through competitions. In many ways, the competition set-up is also very similar to Vator's competitions, where investors or organizations or conferences can send out an RFP (request for pitches) via competitions. Genius Rocket was started by an old friend of mine, Mark Walsh, a seasoned and successful entrepreneur. The third company we rate is T5M, which is what I call the "Inspiration Network."
Check out the show. We welcome all comments, even about our own analysis. And, don't forget. If you want the Box to rate a particular company, or if you'd like to be a guest host, just email me on Vator or post a comment.