To cap off a great Mobilize 09 event, we’ve gathered 10 of the coolest new startups in the mobile space. They each get a few minutes to present, and then a thorough vetting from our judges: Eric Zimits, managing director of Granite Ventures; Quinn Li, director of Qualcomm Ventures (s QCOM); and Jason Lim, director of Windows Mobile (s MSFT).
Pageonce is the leading Personal Information Management smartphone applications company.
Speaker: Guy Goldstein, CEO
Our take: The makers of the well-loved Pageonce are launching a new app: Trip Tracker. You tell it your airline and hotel relationships once, and it automatically pulls in information about new trips as they come and sends you alerts. You can’t argue with making travel less stressful, but putting in all of your accounts and such is still a lot of work.
Judges’ score: 6, 9, 8. Zimits: Sounds like there’s going to be a lot of competition out there.
Metaio designs, develops and markets augmented reality solutions. This innovative technology allows virtual digital information to be superimposed seamlessly into the real environment in real-time.
Speaker: Noora Guldemond, Head Sales and Marketing
Our take: Upload pictures and add silly graphics, then publish them back to a world repository and your online accounts. Augmented reality: so hot right now! News bits: Mataio’s app will be released on the iPhone on Oct. 19, and then will be rolled out on Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile platforms.
Judges’ score: 8, 8, 9.
Waze is a free social mobile app that enables drivers to build and use live maps and real-time traffic updates for an optimal commute.
Speaker: Di-Ann Eisnor, Community Geographer
Our take: Crowdsourced traffic info is all fun and useful until someone crashes while updating your app. Cool that this gets speed info automatically and uses game play as motivation, though. See our previous coverage.
Judges’ score: 9, 6, 7. Li: Automated updates are good, but I don’t like the users having to do things manually.
Line2 is a mobile phone-based office phone system targeting small businesses and mobile professionals.
Speaker: Peter Sisson, founder and CEO
Our take: It’s healthy to separate our personal lives from our professional lives, and Toktumi’s Line 2 app is great for those who want to do that on their mobile phones by splitting their personal and professional phone lines. It’s a clever app for SMBs whose employees often use their personal mobile phones for business use.
Judges’ score: 7, 7, 7.
Glympse is a mobile service that allows smartphone users to share their location for a pre-set period of time with anyone they choose, visually answering the question of “Where are you?”
Speaker: Bryan Trussel, co-founder and CEO
Our take: Trying to coin a new type of communication (a “Glympse”) from the get-go is audacious. The idea is when you’re en route you can tell the person who’s waiting for you where you are. Auto-stops after 4 hours. On Android now and coming to other platforms like Windows Mobile. (But…what about making up excuses for why we’re late that aren’t 100 percent factually correct?!)
Judges’ score: 6, 7, 8. Lim: You should push this further. Integrate this with your calendar. (“Hey, I’m supposed to be in a meeting in 5 minutes, I’m going to be late, inform the organizer.”)
Ondeego provides the tools and ecosystem for the secure enterprise to serve the individual needs of today’s mobile employee.
Speaker: Ken Singer, CEO and president
Our take: Consumer-focused applications are extremely popular on smartphones, but businesses have been slow to adopt enterprise-focused applications. Ondeego’s AppCentral, a marketplace of enterprise apps, may be a catalyst when it comes to businesses using enterprise apps.
Judges’ score: 6, 6, 8. Li: It’s an interesting app, but the potential challenge is the general enterprise market. It’s tough to sell to the enterprise in general.
Square Connect has created DotControl, a stunning user experience for the iPhone and other Internet touch-based devices that act as the ultimate remote for audio visual and home control applications.
Speaker: Mat Henshall, founder and CEO
Our take: This app enables you to use your phone as a remote control for your TV and DVD player, browse the TV listing guide, get further information about shows, make social connections, tell friends what you’re watching, etc. — plus, other functions like controlling home devices. Sounds great, but that’s an awful lot of things to hook up! News bits: Launching closed beta this week — will be selling to public by Christmas.
Judges’ score: 6, 7, 8. Zimits: home automation is a real killing field. Some people want these controls, but the mass market doesn’t.
Locle is a new location-based mobile software and web services platform that offers a location API tailored to the needs of social applications.
Speaker: Ronan Higgins, co-founder and CEO
Our take: Locle’s location-based, friend-finder app platform is similar to other LBS apps already in app stores. One thing we like is the company has come up with ways to help developers monetize apps on its platform through the sale of virtual gifts and premium alerts.
Judges’ score: 7, 6, 7. Li: Why is your platform better than others?
IQ Engines recognizes and labels images, monetizing photos by tying them to relevant retailers.
Speaker: Gerry Pesavento, CEO
Our take: We liked this one a lot. The company processes pictures for large retailers and publishers, using object recognition and scene analysis to tie the images to relevant product information. It can search its database of 100 million objects in 2 seconds. News bits: The company is announcing today visual contextual advertising — the system looks at UGC images and provides relevant advertising (e.g., a picture of a wedding would draw wedding-related ads).
Judges’ score: 9, 7, 7. Zimits: This looks very technically challenging — clearly has a lot of applications that can be monetized.
Distimo provides app store analytics for developers and reports for parties interested in the mobile ecosystem.
Speaker: Vincent Hoogsteder, CEO and co-founder
Our take: While Distimo offers a comprehensive analytics service that runs across the major mobile platforms, it will have to compete with larger players in the space, including research firms.
Judges’ score: 7, 7, 7. Lim: Analytics is getting pretty crowded. I love data, but you need to articulate why.
And now…the winners!
Judge’s choice: Metaio
People’s choice: Mozes wasn’t working. So they’re all winners!