Event will view Web 2.0 solutions for global problems


"Simple problems can be dealt with by two people in one organization. They can come up with a decision and make it work. But these problems, like climate change and health care, are so complex that you need a lot of different people in multiple places all contributing to the solution," Li said.

The event, of course, will also touch on the Internet business and serve as a place for attendees to network and seek customers and providers. That's what motivated Mike Trotzke to make the trip from Bloomington, Indiana.

Trotzke and his partners sold their company, , about 18 months ago, and in recent months have started building a new one called , which is expected to launch in February or March of next year.

SproutBox will invest in technology startups, but with a twist: Instead of investing just cash, it will provide a slate of services, such as software development, accounting and human resources, in exchange for stakes in the companies. "Most of our investments will be in the Web-based, software-as-a-service [SaaS] space," Trotzke said.

During his "scouting mission" to Web 2.0 Summit, Trotzke hopes to contact entrepreneurs who might be interested in SproutBox's help; learn about the latest trends in venture capital and Web startups; and identify possible marketing and public relations consultants to represent his company.