All contestants:
Intelligently targeted short-link advertising datamine.
San Jose, California, United States United States
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Company description
HEX!O is a service that generates intelligently targeted transactional advertising revenue by way of real time data mining and analysis of traffic generated by a free and superior consumer shortened-link redirection service.
Business model
Adoption of the service will be accelerated by providing a much more efficient link shrinking service than the market currently experiences and by seeding developers with open api and free access to drop-in code libraries, gadgets, widgets, plug-ins and scripts enabling instant benefit and easy program access and adoption.

Substantial recurring transactional revenues will be generated from real-time target marketing data delivery via web service, display, radio, television and web advertising. Targeted customers are business and web advertising channels.

The best known competitor is Tiny URL http://tinyurl.com/ (90M+ urls equaling >1.5B redirects monthly). Organic growth to date, no brands and non-commercial. There are a few other players in the market but none with a focused commercial business model.

The real possibility now exists for a market sweeping roll-up to address this untapped gold mine of intelligence.

Competitive advantage

HEX!O is the first to offer intelligence and opportunity to the business community from this free consumer experience and provides it in a simple supported utility form factor with real sales benefits realised from fine tuned targeted advertising.

With a short cycle-time to implementation, the HEX!O service results in increased customer satisfaction and improved experience which translates into a wider adoption and migration from competitors.

Heuristic algorithms are continuously refined by the natural service growth and increased harvesting of real time data which in turn perpetually increases the value of the data.


Top 20 FAQ's

1. Why did you found this startup?
It was an epiphany of sorts enhanced further by my having a deep understanding of ranked relevant content targeting and link redirection protocols which helped serve the recognition of the utility, ubitquity and adoption of shortened urls.


Further to that I had long been distilling various ideations surrounding customer-value arbitrage, lambda calculus based multivariant matching algorithms and recurring revenue transaction based web-services.

This in turn led to the creation of use-cases and the scoping of requirements to fill a real need which in turn led to the development of the current scalable solution that adds in that value.

2. What problem does your startup solve?


HEX!O facilitates and finely tunes the delivery of relevant content and advertising whilst simultaneously providing utility to the consumer in the form of links that don't break and can be repaired should the destination page change over time.

Additionally the cloud-utility form factor provides the level of reliability sought by commercial software developers and expected by mobile operators.

3. Who else agrees that this problem exists?


Every user of twitter and those who typically ignore banner ads. Additionally though most site operators understand traffic patterns to a degree HEX!O will further provide a back-end login and dashboard to allow the analysis of complex demographic and psychographic profiles of those usage patterns.

HEX!O does not address a new problem, it addresses an existing problem better than the competition but more importantly it extracts the hidden wealth that sits within the data that flows through these type of services.

TinyURL has been around since 2002 and has seen organic growth year on year of 100%, the problem of long URLs will increase as more and more intelligent API web services and mashups present themselves.

4. Who else is trying to solve this problem?


Though there are several short-link redirection services, there are no known providers of such an intelligent dataservice however it stands to reason that the likes of a Google, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft would be researching this "enhanced intention targeting" to further optimize their offerings.

5. How big is this market? How big can you get?


The largest link shortening and redirection service (TinyURL.com) has only 90M url's and yet redirects to 1.5B targets monthly. This service and all others absent any intelligence.

The upside potential of HEX!O is quite spectacular assuming successful backing and market penetration.

6. Who is your ideal target customer?


Online: Twitter, Friendfeed, JaiKu, IM Vendors; Google, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft, Mobile network operators and proxy server developers.
Offline: Magazine and Ad Agency advertising sales leadership.

7. How do you plan on reaching them?


Leveraging industry buzz, reputation and social network connections to recruit a board of advisers consisting of key executives at target customers by communicating HEX!O's value proposition including a revenue sharing plan with an url-growth multiplier.

Usurping existing link-shortening relationships and forging new implimentations with face-to-face facilitated development integration by providing clear and compelling key performance indicators in the form of a real-time executive dashboards that sell the value of the value-focused partnership.

Partnering with advertising delivery system vendors and over time with browser developers, search engines, directories, mobile operating system vendors, protocol standards groups, major consumer sites, media portals and ad agencies to create collateral link rewriting dashboard widgets, metrics mashups and protocols.

8. How do you make money?


Automated Licensing & Subscriptions
All services built on our API are to be "discoverable" using Web Services Definition Language (WSDL). Our web services shall automate the establishment of service and acceptance of terms for recurring revenue billing management and collection of subscribed web-service transactions providing target market demographics to licensed advertising networks.
Premium advertising network subscription levels provide tiered access to target market demographic, psychographic, geographic and other link data.
Future premium subscription based service shall provide license to operational data store (ODS Cube) extracts for custom Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) processing.
Subscription fees for advanced link management including dashboards, reporting agents, custom domains and vanity links (eg. Jeep).
Pay-per-click and revenue share on click-throughs and conversion rates with uplift multiplier for performance value over historical.
Premium subscription for affiliate sales usage such as ClickBank and Commission Junction.
Future patent licensing revenues.

9. What prerequisites do you need before you can start generating revenue?


Complete IA and UX for dashboard for reporting and analytics see our POC example: http://hex.io/de

Develop basic collateral and organizational business development team.

10. How much capital has already been invested?



11. What's your "skin in the game"?


Contributed intellectual property, $20,000.00 plus six months sweat-equity.

12. How much capital do you need to get to first revenues? To get to breakeven?


$150,000 to first revenues and $250,000 to breakeven.

13. What are you going to do with the funding?


Hire resources to create, evangelize and develop libraries. Launch RIA based customer-value centric KPI dashboard. Solidify contracts and begin IP portfolio development.

14. What are you going to do with the 50,000 points?


Unsure of options at this time certainly leverage VenCorps network.

15. What are your goals?


Achieve a > 1 Relative Market Share (RMS) in urls and redirects in 18 months with momentum to then achieve a > 3 RMS in 24-36 months or less.
Short-term goals include polishing interface and completing backend web services and migration to cloud architecture.
Securing several letters of intent and executing a pilot implementation with at least one major advertising network and one major social network.
Establishment of internal controls for corporate governance and milestone driven key performance metrics.
Complete UX design cycle. Finish developer API. Provide free facilitated integration with Web 2.0 apps such as Twitter, Seesmic, FriendFeed etc.

16. How do you scale?


Use of contract development services for conversion to Google AppEngine and Amazon's Elastic Cloud.

17. What is your sustainable competitive advantage?


Patent defensible self refining data analytics and targeting algorithms.

18. What key hires do you need to make next?


Business Development Executive

19. In addition to capital, what else do you need to be successful?


Longer URL's more Mobile clients and customers who demand better user experiences.

20. Assuming you hit all your targets, who do you think would want to acquire you?


Nokia, Apple, Google, Sun, Microsoft, Yahoo!, AOL or Motorola