Friday, February 6, 2009

"Efficient" Start Ups Still Hiring

It seems as the economy continues to tighten, businesses and consumers are less inclined to trying new things. Instead, people are trying to become more efficient, do more with what they already have. For many start ups and innovative technology companies that’s a problem, because they are often built on the premise of delivering new “next generation” technology. But there are some DC area start ups that are still growing and hiring. While each has different goals and products, they are each united by one common theme – their products make what consumers and businesses already utilize more efficient.

Here are some examples.

Unless things get really, really bad I’m fairly confident that most people are not giving up their mobile phones. Individuals may cut their plans back to control costs, but what if there was a way for mobile phones to actually save money? Even better. Mobile Posse in McLean is making that happen by leveraging previously wasted mobile real estate – the idle screen display that is visible when your mobile phone is not in use. Their platform delivers targeted, real time, location based messaging about deals being offered by local merchants to a customer’s idle screen through a downloadable application from the carrier. Mobile Posse’s technology increases the efficiency of commerce for retailers, saves individuals some cash through the real time discount offerings, and generates revenue for carriers by monetizing previously unused mobile phone real estate.

Have you had a look at your power bill lately? Rates are up and it’s been a cold winter in DC. Positive Energy in Arlington is helping to make consumers more energy efficient and helping utility companies better managed their resources to lower operating costs. Positive Energy is taking what’s been happening for over a century – power consumption – and simply making it more efficient through innovative technology and analysis. Talk about a triple bottom line – consumers save money, utilities become more efficient, and more efficient energy usage is better for the environment. And they are able to ride the Green technology wave without the years of massive research, development, and implementation hurdles faced by companies that develop photovoltaic cells or wind turbines. That’s smart.

The good news is that innovation and cool technology companies are still alive and well in DC. Ask around, find out who’s focused on making everyday consumer actions more efficient. That’s where you’ll find the growth and the jobs.

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