10 enterprise software companies to watch

Every vendor has a sales pitch - here are 10 worth watching

7. TimeBridge

Founded: May 2005

Location: San Francisco and Rehovot, Israel.

What does the company offer? TimeBridge for Outlook, a personal scheduling manager that adds Web 2.0-like collaboration features to Microsoft Outlook. "With TimeBridge one-step scheduling," the company states on its Web site, "you select participants and send alternative meeting times using your Outlook e-mail. TimeBridge does all the rest -- collects everyone's availability, quickly finds and confirms the best time, creates an online space for documents and comments, and updates your calendar." The product launched in beta five months ago.

Why is it worth watching? Some industry watchers have pegged TimeBridge as one of the most interesting Web 2.0 startups. An advisory board stocked with executives from AOL, Google, Yahoo, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and other organizations selected TimeBridge as one of 13 innovative new companies allowed to launch products at last November's Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco.

How did the company get its start? Co-founder and CEO Yori Nelken wanted to make knowledge workers more productive. He had discussions with more than 100 experts and concluded that no one had solved the problems that prevent efficient meeting scheduling. "We are decidedly not a calendar, but we fill the space between calendars," Yelkin says in an e-mail.

How did the company get its name? TimeBridge was originally called Zaplink, but the founders changed the name to reflect more accurately their product's function.

CEO and background: In 1997, Yelkin founded Banter, which used natural-language-processing technology to handle the flow of unstructured data, such as e-mail, into customer service centers. Banter is now part of IBM.

Funding: US$6 million in venture capital from Mayfield Fund and Norwest Venture Partners .

Who's using the product? Several hundred beta users, typically busy professionals who schedule an average of eight meetings a week, the company says.

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