Company Name: Sparkpad
Tech Sector: Mobile Software/Mobile Touch Screens
Key Product: Sparkpad Platform
The Lowdown: Competition in the touch screen tablet space is pretty stiff these days, but Sparkpad has a trick up its sleeve to differentiate its products from the likes of the Apple iPad and other devices. Sparkpad, a startup based in Sterling, Va., has released a software platform that allows anyone -- users, software developers, solution providers or hardware manufacturers -- to create their own customized touch screen devices such as tablets, digital signage, and embedded systems. Along with its easy-to-use software development platform, Sparkpad also offers accompanying hardware such as bare bones 8-inch and 10-inch tablets and a 15-inch display.