Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kleiner Perkins Sets Up Venture iFund For iPhone Platform.

I recently posted a piece on how four game-changing innovation spaces can spark economic growth and pull us out of the deepening recession. The one suggestion that sparked the most controversy was my choice of the iPhone platform.

I said: “The iPhone is developing into the key mobile computing/communicating/connecting platform of the early 21st century and thousands upon thousands of developers are designing new applications for it. The next iterations of the iPhone, with deeper broadband, and, hopefully, a better keyboard, will enable it to fulfill many of the dreams of mobility. Innovation in the iPhone platform could be a key driver.”

Naw…said a lot of folks.

Well, Patrick Whitney, who runs the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago, told me that the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins has launched a $100 million to fund applications for the iPhone

platform. The huge iFund comes as Apple gets ready in June to open its iPhone software store--as well as make it ready for big-time corporations to use. The Kleiner Perkins investments could trigger a boom in startups designing apps just for the iPhone--and iPod Touch.

Here's what John Doerr, partner of Kleiner Perkins said of the $100 million iFund: "A revolutionary new platform is a rare and prized opportunity for entrepreneurs, and that's exactly what Apple has created with iPhone and iPod touch." We think several significant new companies will emerge as this new platform evolves, and the iFund™ will empower them to realize their full potential."

David Armano of Critical Mass recently showed me an iPhone apps that just blew me away. It looked so good on the screen.


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