05 October 2009

Lots of talk about Toobla, and Tech in the Midwest



Toobla is in launch mode right now. Toobla is a local (Columbus, Ohio) company working out of the TechColumbus business incubator, on Kinnear Road near Ohio State University. The ether has been vibrating today with Toobla news: tweets upon tweets.  They recently were named one of "The Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education - 2009" by blogger Larry Ferlazzo. They also were featured in Inspired Magazine in a story entitled "10 Amazing Tools for Sharing Visual Inspiration through Screenshots".  Their rolling thunder continued with an interview of Toobla CEO Brian Link (formerly of Digg) on local station 10TV.

Toobla offers a service, currently in beta, that they say allows you to "collect and enjoy your favorite stuff in visual containers that can be shared anywhere." It ostensibly is a bookmarking service with a visual metaphor, allowing you to manage your favorite content with channels, services, and subscriptions. I haven't used the service yet (although I'd like to), so I can't comment any more than that. In the future I hope to be able to take a deeper technical dive and learn what they're all about. Seems quite intriguing and potentially useful at first glance.

First off, let me send kudos to their marketing team for creating what appears to be effective buzz and getting Toobla noticed. Let's hope the noise can continue.

Then, let me send even more kudos to the whole gang, especially the founders, for starting this venture in Columbus. This is a great decision and I'm very pleased to see another high-profile startup here.

Columbus is a great city that is gaining more and more respect as a technology center.  There is a great depth of talent ... in my own experience, for example, when we founded SmartPipes (a decade ago this month) there was already an incredible population of bright, talented, educated technical folks to come aboard.  In the decade since then, tech has become a growing and increasingly significant part of the Columbus economy. In fact, Columbus's economy has not suffered the ill effects that the rest of the Midwest is unfortunately succumbing to. Tech companies in Columbus can be found in diverse segments from nanotech to healthcare to web services to security software, and there's a major university to draw talent as well. I've done some work with TechColumbus, and I know that they have a thriving incubator culture and are an asset to the community and to the hard-working entrepreneurs they work with.

I haven't met the guys at Toobla yet, but let me just say: good on ya, Toobla. Keep it up and best of luck.