Highlights from the Innovation Competition at Mobile Beat Conference 2013
Mobile Beat 2013 conference took place last week in the scenic SF downtown and the place was buzzing with startups, entrepreneurs, VCs and corporate companies who were at the conference to learn more about what’s new in Mobile. MobileBeat 2013 is VentureBeat’s sixth annual flagship conference on the future of mobile.
The finale event included startup Innovation Competition in a different format. This year the finalists were broken into two groups: Early stage companies (late seed stage to Series A), and mid stage companies (Series A to Series B funding).
The judges’ panel included some prominent people from the VC community in the Silicon Valley:
Early Stage companies
Helpshift won the award in this category. HelpShift provides native mobile SDK to developers to offer native in-app support experience to the users. Helpshift, a brainchild of Abinash Tripathy, enables companies to handle customer service on mobile in a unique way. Customers can use their phones to file a ticket without leaving the app. Helpshift creates a channel for mobile apps to connect with the customers and listen to their problems in a unique way.Helpshift has raised funding of $3.2m USD from True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners. The product is launched in beta stage and seems to be very relevant for enhancing customer experience for mobile apps.
Lightt bridges the gap between social and personal by allowing people to create memories in the form of never ending video. It acts as life stream of people. Light provides a mobile app and a cloud service to capture, connect and stream life’s big adventures and small moments into beautiful ongoing stories that are easy to share, edit and fun to watch.The people behind Lightt include CEO Alex Mostoufi, who founded Me.com and sold it to Apple in 2007 and President Pam Kramer, who was VP of Consumer Marketing at Twitter previously.
Lettuce Apps is an online inventory and order management system that enables businesses to capture, track, and process orders from anywhere in the world, in real-time. Lettuce is targeted at making the entire system more efficient and saving time for sales rep, who can then spend more time on selling. Lettuce connects various independent systems together and provide one user interface to interact with various suppliers and other stakeholders in the supply chain.Lettuce’s UI looked really neat and they are currently testing the product with few selected clients.
Instabug is an instant bug reporting tool for mobile apps. It runs in the background of an app and allow users to send their feedback or bugs instantly without compromising on the user experience. Developers can use Instabug SDK to collect bugs or in-app feedback from the users. Instabug gather various details (device model, OS version, memory and storage usage) required by the developer to trace those bugs later.The founders, Omar Gabr and Moataz Soliman, were unable to present the app themselves since they were stuck in Egypt, unable to secure visas because of the recent turmoil going on in their home country. Instabug have secured many awards including first place at MIT Enterprise ARAB forum, and have been invited in the fist batch of Google for Entrepreneurs program.
People+ is a Google Glass app that combines contextual information with the contact list of people and help them identify people as they survey any event or location. People+ is incubated at Stained Glass Labs, which is the first incubator/accelerator focused on Glass and wearable technologies.People+ combines information from various sources in an intelligent way to provide information about people at they come in the range of Google Glass. People+ is aiming to reinvent the way in which people connect and remember one another.
Mid Stage Companies
Capriza won the award in this category. Capriza provides tools to mobilize any web-based apps for enterprises. Most of the enterprises still use many applications that are not mobile friendly, but the employees want to access the data and workflows when they are on the move. Capriza empower employees to convert web-based business applications into secure, lightweight HTML5 mobile apps with no coding, no integrations, and no APIs.This app seems very relevant to employees who do not need to depend on the IT support to create a mobile version of the desktop workflow. Moreover, companies don’t need to invest in the additional infrastructure. Employees can publish their apps in a company app store that can be used by other employees too.
MobileSpaces creates a separate environment for enterprise and personal apps in the mobile devices. It is a startup in BYOD space that uses app virtualization technology to create a trusted enterprise workspace on employee-owned devices. MobileSpaces creates a sandbox environment that separates the corporate apps from personal apps. It protects the corporate data and prevents it from being shared with personal apps. It also enables employees to choose the personal apps that they want to use on their handset.MobileSpaces has been selected as the most compelling solution for enterprise mobility by Under The Radar conference. MobileSpaces have raised $3m from Accel Partners.
Followapps is a mobile enterprise marketing suite targeted at Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to measure launch, measure, optimize and maintain their presence in the mobile world, increase engagement and grow their mobile audience. Followapps, a Paris based startup, links consumer mobile app activity with the company’s CRM platform. Samir Addamine, CEO of the company have a prior background in mobile marketing and he has developed this SaaS platform. Followapps is focused on helping brands measure ROI’s on their marketing spend.
OpenGarden creates a mesh network between various devices to crowdsource Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity, allowing people to share their bandwidth with other people in that location. OpenGarden live-demoed the functionality by asking people to download and install the app. Within few minutes, we had more than 50 interconnected devices that showed the power of creating peer-to-peer connections and sharing mobile bandwidth between various devices.
NewAer, a Location Based Service, provides multi-platform (iOS, Android, Windows) SDK toolkit that developers can use to make their application environmentally aware when GPS cannot provide enough data about the location. NewAer enables developers to define geofenced alerts that are triggered based on the proximity of the device to any pre-defined location. NewAer interacts with various radio and Wi-Fi signals to detect the presence of the devices accurately.IBM and American Airlines sponsored the Innovation Competition.
Organizer: Mobile Beat Conference 2013
Venue: The Palace Hotel San Francisco, CA
Date/Time: July 9th and 10th