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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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April 14, 2009 9:31 AM

Startup roundup: AdReady's new suite, Kelpp underfoot and more

Posted by Brier Dudley

Here's a batch of startup announcements:

Seattle's AdReady today announced new premium suites of its online display ad tools - AdReady for Advertisers Premium, AdReady for Agencies and AdReady for Publishers. CEO Aaron Finn said in the release that the comapny is "excited to extend our suite of solutions to larger advertisers, agencies and media owners during a period of time when marketing budgets are lean and dollars spent cannot be wasted."

Two veteran Microsoft software developers have launched their side project: Kelpp, a location-based, social recommendation service. Anthony Chavez and Ram Viswanathan started discussing the concept last summer and began actively developing the self-funded startup earlier this year. Kelpp allows community tagging of businesses and services, and integrates with Facebook to connect users with recommendations from friends and family.

And the name? Chavez noted via email that kelp "provides a rich, dynamic underwater ecosystem" while Kelpp similarly "provides an ecosystem that connects the user's social graph + businesses + 'tags' that describe goods or services, which enables a much richer recommendation experience."

"We also just liked the way the name sounds,'' he said.

Catching up here, but Wetpaint and Picnik have formed a partnership, adding Picnik's photo editing tools to Wetpaint's platform. Wetpaint announced it to users on April 8 and a release went out Monday.

There's no investment happening between the two Seattle ventures, a spokeswoman said. The deal "is purely between two local Seattle companies who feel that they have each done a great job in their respective areas and feel '1 + 1 = 3."

Several positive signs here.

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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.