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I’m pleased to announce the latest plans by DEMO:

First, we’ve identified 7 technology sectors that will serve as the primary themes for product launches at the next DEMO in Palm Springs on March 21-23.

Second, we’ve created a brand new DEMO Mentor Program, which will connect 6 winning teams of students with business plans with members of the DEMO Alumni community.

I believe both of these changes will help make DEMO even more exciting and useful for everyone involved — attendees, investors, press and corporate development executives.

The sectors we’re focusing on for the next DEMO are the following:

  • Social and Media
  • Health and Life Science
  • Clean and Sustaining
  • Cloud
  • Enterprise
  • Mobile
  • Consumer

We’re looking for companies that are targeting their products in these specific areas. Here’s why: As we gear up for the next DEMO, we’ve been thinking a lot about the best way to format things. On the one hand, DEMO without question is the leading event for companies launching emerging technology products (companies such as Salesforce, TiVo, Palm, ETrade, Adobe, Google and Symantec have all either launched their companies or products there there — just to name a few).

On the other hand, the pace and complexity of innovation right now is just mind-boggling. The tech ecosystem is noisy. So these 7 sectors are a way of providing focus to the event, making it more valuable to the companies and attendees. We’ll be drawing on advice from experts in each of the sectors to make sure we’re discovering and efficiently evaluating the very best companies. Yes, we’ll still have an “other” category, so if you want to launch, say, the slickest ice-cream making machine in the world, we’ll still have a place for you! :)

As for the DEMO Mentor Program, the 6 finalist teams will be chosen based on the quality of their business plan and character of the team. They’ll be invited to the DEMO conference and given the opportunity to showcase their plan in the DEMO Pavilion and participate in the conference at no charge. The conference producers will also make official introductions to DEMO Alumni, who will be available to advise each team as they evolve their plans into real businesses. This competition officially kicks off December 1, 2009. Stay tuned for more information on this in the next few days.

We’re also going to travel across the nation next month. We’re inviting anyone interested to join us — the DEMO organizers, DEMO Alumni attendees and demonstrators along with local entrepreneurs and venture capitalists — for a casual evening of cocktails and conversation in one of the following 4 meet-ups scheduled for December. For complete information and/or to sign-up, please visit the city link most convenient below:

Stay tuned to additional DEMO news at:

Meanwhile, the applications have already started rolling in, and it is time for VentureBeat team members to meet the next wave of entrepreneur applicants. Begin your application here.

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