Mukesh Chatter is an engineer and serial entrepreneur, known for building the router company Nextabit and selling to Lucent in 1999 for $900 million.  He says the current economic downturn is an opportunity for innovators to find the inefficiencies in business and create new opportunities.

Flush with excess in the boom times, this is the right time to dis-intermediate, he told me this morning.

Last year, Chatter and Ray Statta, Chairman of Analog Devices founded MoneyAisle, a reverse auction, Web-based application for consumer finance products.  The Boston-area company is finding the inefficiencies in the market for certificates of deposits by running reverse auctions where 120 banks are asked to compete on individual consumer requests.

In January, some 70,000 visitors went to the MoneyAisle site and spent $45 million on CD purchases.

Mary Pilon of Wall Street Journal reports on MoneyAisle today and offers her experience on the site.

For an extended video interview with Mukesh, check out this one with Robert Scoble. Here is the launch story in Xconomy.

The company was profiled last year in MIT’s Technology Review.

— Andy Plesser,  Executive Producer

Disclaimer:   MoneyAisle is a client of Plesser Holland public relations.