Top Stories Simplifies Place Search on the Web

The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.


Quick Pitch: senses when you visit a site and what place you’re looking at. Then it finds that place’s profiles on other supported sites.

Genius Idea: Simplified Place search.

“We want to eliminate all the unnecessary searches that people are having to make,” Sam Beaudin says of the vision behind startup is a new browser application that puts a venue’s various web profiles — across Facebook Places, Foodspotting, Foursquare, Google Places, Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor, Citysearch and others — side-by-side for faster access.

“I don’t want to go to ten sites to learn about one place,” Beaudin says. “ was born out of necessity. We wanted to make a seamless search experience and allow all these sites, previously siloed, to work in unison.”, available as a browser extension for Chrome and Safari, delivers what it promises. Find a restaurant on Yelp (or on any of’s supported sites), as you normally would, and a browser toolbar will appear with tabs for each of the restaurant’s other web profiles.

You can also click the share button to tweet or Facebook share a place’s many profiles — in the same tabbed-view that you see — and share that experience with friends who haven’t installed’s browser extension., says Beaudin, keeps track of the tabs you use most and clumps those in the upper left-hand corner for faster access. “It customizes itself to a person’s unique search patterns.”

The startup is currently focused on enhancing the restaurant vertical but is in the process of extending its coverage to include travel and venue sites.

Increasingly, mobile users are turning to applications to look up place-related info. Does translate to a mobile environment? Not in its current form, Beaudin says. But the startup is already testing out a few different mobile applications, he adds.’s simplified search logic seems to match up with Google’s — the latter released Google Related Tuesday, its own browser toolbar for surfacing similar content as you browse and search the web. was founded by Beaudin and his freshman college roommate Dave Reiss. The pair are currently bootstrapping the startup, but are in talks with potential investors.

Series Supported by Microsoft BizSpark

Microsoft BizSparkThe Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives you three-year access to the latest Microsoft development tools, as well as connecting you to a nationwide network of investors and incubators. There are no upfront costs, so if your business is privately owned, less than three years old, and generates less than U.S.$1 million in annual revenue, you can sign up today.

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