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TechCrunch50: Dot-com dreams

September 15, 2009 |  6:10 pm

At the TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco, the focus is clearly on start-ups with solid business plans. Some are even making money already.

But that’s not to say entrepreneurs have given up on the attention-getting gimmickry that often characterizes such trade shows.

Redbeacon, which is offering ways for local businesses to get customers, demonstrated its service by Redbeacon-logo ordering 500 cupcakes -- and then delivering the cupcakes throughout the conference hall.

IMo, a two-person company based in India, nearly bombed when it blasted the song “Eye of the Tiger” and then the demonstration failed.Imo51 But iMo co-founder Himanshu Baweja bounced back later, in what was probably the best demo of the show. For one thing, he didn’t utter a single word in showing how he’s developed an application that makes an iPhone work like a joystick -- in conjunction with any PC-based video game.

Baweja dressed first as a motorcycle rider and played a racing game. He stripped the jacket and helmet, dressed as a pilot, and showed an airplane game, to the tune of "Danger Zone." The pilot hat and jacket dropped, and he picked up a baseball bat, playing an urban street-fighter game to the tune of "In Da Club." In the question-and-answer period that followed, he said the app would sell for 99 cents.

-- Dan Fost