Announcing the Structure 2010 Launchpad Finalists!

Vishal Sikka (SAP) joins Stacey onstage at Structure 2009.

I can’t open my email these days without seeing a new cloud-based startup pitch (or three). Meanwhile, startups offering everything from platforms as a service to various ways to bridge hybrid clouds are raising venture capital (GigaOM Pro, sub req’d) after a fairly fallow period for investment, and large buyers are scooping up more mature startups left and right. Which is why this year at Structure 2010, we’re adding a new feature: the Launchpad.

Veteran attendees to GigaOM events will recognize the format from our Mobilize conference and our green IT-focused Green:Net as the session when startups launch — or launch their products or services — to a room full of VCs, industry players and financial press. Two awards will be given: an audience choice award (determined by SMS voting) and a judges’ selection.

So after much deliberation and consideration, today we announce our Launchpad 11. It was meant to be 10, but we had such a hard time choosing, we just increased the finalists to 11. They are:

* Benguela – A stealth-mode startup founded by Amazon (s amzn) EC2 veterans.
* Cloudant – Provider of MapReduce-based data management for enterprises, including analytics and search.
* Cloudswitch – Maker of software to connect private clouds to public clouds.
* Datameer – Offers the ability to organize big data using Hadoop through a spreadsheet interface.
* Greenqloud – Provides completely carbon-neutral cloud infrastructure with commodity gear.
* GridCentric – Turns your compute farm into a high-performance, private cloud in seconds.
* nephosity – Allows non-programmers to allocate tasks and workflows on the cloud.
* NorthScale – Provides a simple, fast, schema-free mechanism for storing data objects using memcached.
* Riptano – Developer of software and services on top of the open-sourced Apache Cassandra (Facebook’s data layer) data storage platform.
* SolidFire – Offers a next-generation block-based storage appliance for cloud computing providers and big enterprises.
* Zettar Inc – Enables the creation of secure private storage clouds using commodity hard drives.

And in honor of the Launchpad 11, for a limited time, we’re offering discounted tickets: $795 for the full two days vs. the regularly priced $995 — but just until this Friday at 11:55 p.m. PST. Simply enter the code LAUNCH11 when you register (applies to new registrations only).

See you in June!