Some smart money bets

I had lunch with Cue Ball Group last Friday, a Boston-based VC firm.  You may be aware that there’s quite a bit of money out there sitting on the sidelines.  So I’m interested when I hear where people are placing bets and why.

Here are some of the portfolio companies we discussed:

  • Miniluxe (think Starbucks meets nail salon)
  • Cruxy (if MySpace had kept it real)
  • Knovel (it ain’t sexy but it works)
  • Epic Burger (soon to open in Chi-town South Loop, organic burger joint)

And some interesting ideas they’re keeping tabs on:

  • 23AndMe.  For only $999 discover to whom you’re genetically linked.
  • radiusIM.  Think Twitter with GPS.
  • Naver.  A Google-killer in action – it’s the localization.

Cue Ball was founded by Tony Tjan, who founded digital strategy firm Zefer back in the dot-boom; Red Herring wrote a case study series on them.  Not sure whatever happened to the other management team members.