Earlier this week, we were happy to attend the Innovate! 2010 pitch slam contest. We go to events like Innovate, DEMO, VCIR and VatorSplash to keep our fingers on the Valley’s pulse and get a preview of new technologies on the horizon. We saw a dozen pitches at Innovate! and were particularly intrigued by four: appbackr, myERP.com, Shopparel and Whereoscope.

We’ve written about appbackr before, so you already know that we like this company (we like them so much, we’re helping them launch later this month). appbackr is the world’s first wholesale marketplace for iPhone and iPad developers. Developers sell their apps in bulk to wholesale buyers, or “backrs,” who profit when the app sells on iTunes. It’s the quickest and cleanest way to microfinance an app. Additionally, developers connect with people who have a vested interest in seeing their app succeed.

myERP.com was a new one for us. They make business software in a box — you sign up, and get a suite of Google-powered online business software — accounting, timecards, invoices, e-mail, calendar, contacts, and soon, inventory management. Best of all, the applications talk to one another, and they’re free. Sweet.

Shopparel is a clever little site that relies on crowdsourcing to help you discover the best products on the Internet. People browse the Web and flag the stuff for sale that piques their interest — everything from a cute dress to a brand-new solar telescope. Shopparel users vote up and down those products and comment on them, pushing the hottest products to the top of the site’s trending products section. If you’re good at picking hot products, you get points — kind of like a social game. Shopparel makes money from standard affiliate agreements. We’re big fans of hypem for music discovery… this is kind of like “hypem for stuff.” Oh, and the founders are twins. You don’t see that every day.

…and last but not least, Whereoscope. They make smartphone spy software that shows parents where their kids are 24/7 without draining the kid’s battery. It’s a smartphone app that Cristina (who has an elementary school-aged daughter) summed up with, “If this had been a live auction, I would have pummeled anyone who outbid me and walked away victorious with my Whereoscope app secured. Finally, an app that I actually need.”

Whereoscope notifies you when your kids reach pre-programmed destinations, like home, school, or the library. The childless members of our team found the idea creepy, but what do we know?

The women in the audience were particularly smitten with the company’s “eloquent and dashing” founder, Mick Johnson, who, as one woman put it, “could rock babies to sleep with his creamy Australian accent.”

Thanks to Chris Shipley from the Guidewire Group, who organized yet another great show. We look forward to the next one.