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Innovator: Adam Beguelin

In 2006, Adam Beguelin sold his startup, a video-search site called Truveo, to AOL (AOL) for $50 million. Then he decided to pack up his family and move to Vietnam for a year of kite-surfing and cultural exploration. He didn't want to wait around for his place in California to sell, so before he left he rigged two webcams to monitor the open houses.

The difficulties of getting that setup to work gave Beguelin, 47, the idea for his next venture. He's now back in the U.S. and working on Sensr.net, a site that makes it easy to view, share, and store video feeds from network cameras, which connect to the Internet without need for a PC. (Some webcams, including those packaged with new laptops, require additional software.) Sensr lets you monitor video from such cameras using any Internet-connected device. Sensr also applies its motion-detection algorithms to each feed, turning even the cheapest webcam into a surveillance device. If a camera is aimed at, say, the front door, Sensr recognizes when a visitor—or a burglar—opens it and can send a text-message alert to the homeowner. The site stores an unlimited amount of low-quality video and for a small monthly fee will start keeping high-definition feeds later this year.