Saturday, December 20, 2008

MoMoTLV Peer Awards recap

We had a very special event last week. In the event we chose Fring to be the startup to represent Israel in the Mobile Peer Awards contest. This is the first time Israeli startups are able to participate in this prestigous contest since the Israeli chapter was formed only this year. So we were very enthusiastic to have this event and appreciate all the people/organizations who helped.

The event started with discussion groups on various subjects: Mobile advertisement (moderated by Dganit Birkenfeld Cohen, Meidata), Network monitoring and "Big brother" trends (Jonathan Schwartz, Artec), Mobile Widgets: pros, cons and will it replace web applications (Raphael Menachem, neo gui), Location based services (Tsahi Schlinger, Telmap) and Fragmentation, performance and features of platforms (Zvi Rabinovich, Mo'Minis).

After the groups (and a short and well deserved coffee break...) we had a panel in which each group moderator reviewed shortly the issues raised, and conclusions and some thoughts the group had. The groups haves proved to be a great starter to warm up the engines of all participants. We have received amazing feedbacks on the groups, so we will surely repeat this once again with different topics. We're glad you liked it!

Afterwards we heard some words from one of our sponsors - Amdocs, which also contributed the venue for this event. Tal Givoli, the chief scientist of Amdocs told us about the role of innovation in a big company such as Amdocs, their inner initiatives which include investing in employees ideas and promoting other startups via their "Open Innovation Program". And one thing you probably didn't know about Tal: He is a great photographer, and a lot of the pictures here and in the MoMoTLV Peer Awards gallery were taken by him.. Thanks Tal!

Then, we got into the main course: the contest. Out of 15 companies that applied - our judges selected 6 to present. These were Cellerium, Cellogic, Emoze, Fring, InnerActive and MobiApp. Our distingushed panel of judges included Yuval Baharav (Sequoia), Ziv Koren (Amdocs), Zvika Rubinstein (Samsung) and Ofer Shmueli (Orange). They are all very involved in innovation in their respective organizations, and see new startups all the time. This is another opportunity to thank the judges for their work, late night meetings etc. - Thanks guys!

First on stage was Tami Bronner, CEO of Cellerium who told us about their platform that enables quick and easy development of mobile web sites and applications while integrating third party services, such as billing, data storage and streaming into mobile applications, using existing functionality and resources. This is achieved by utilizing a design principle that separates the application's business logic from its presentation layer. Right after the presentation Tami was bombarded with questions from the judges, and other presenters got the same treatment...

Next to take the stage was Offer Yehudai, Co-CEO and Founder of InnerActive presented their turn-key solution that enables content publishers to monetize their games, applications and video using in-content advertising. InnerActive works among the rest with Jamster, Boungiorno, Cellfish, ICQ and others. Delivering a very sharp and coherent presentation it is no wonder that Offer and his company got ranked high by the judges.

Offer was followed Yoni Kahana, CEO of MobiApp presented Mingler a service that enables creating close range social networks which connects nearby users together and interface the web. This is done over bluetooth with no dependency on specific platform, and no distribution barriers. MobiApp's technology is applicable among the rest for exhibitions, pubs and more. Definitely a very cool and innovative. Also Yoni gets a special commendation from the MoMoTLV team for being the only one who actually withstood the 5-minutes time limitation... Way to go Yoni!

Afterwards we heard from Oren Todores from Cellogic and Itamar Weisbrod, CEO and Co-founder of Cellogic about Flyscreen which is a mobile application that allows users to add their favorite web services to their phone’s sleep screen, enabling zero-click access to the content they use most. FlyScreen eliminates unnecessary clicking and navigating, is extremely customizable, and can support a broad range of web services. Yossi Vardi invested in Cellogic which define themselves as 5 guys from the hippie moshav (=small town) Mevo Modiin...

Next was Caron Tal, Head of Marketing at emoze who presented their free push email solution which turns mobile phones and mobile devices in to fully functional personal communication devices with a single, simple and free download for the individual user. It delivers real-time, secure synchronisation of emails, calendars, contacts and tasks - pushing data and updates to you anytime, anywhere using any mobile service provider network or WiFi and all leading brands of mobile device. emoze is part of the Emblaze group.

And last but certainly not least was Guy Etgar, VP Strategic Alliances of Fring who showcased the fring application which started as a VoIP for mobile application but now also enables users to share experiences & remain connected with each other from their mobile device. It supports the dominant online communities (Facebook, Skype, MSN, GoogleTalk, Twitter, Yahoo! etc), and allows users to swap files, listen to music & enjoy cool, real-time mobile internet experiences together. According to Fring, 400,000 new fring users ("fringsters") are born every month from 220 countries worldwide. Very impressive.

And as said Fring took the first place in a unanimous vote. The second place was given to InnerActive, and the third to Cellerium.

We wish Fring good luck in the next stages of the competition. Also we hope that all other companies who presented enjoyed this competition, got some exposure and useful contacts.

We also like to thank our annual sponsors Amdocs and Partner Communications (Orange Israel) as well as this event gold sponsors Meidata and Artec.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We have a winner: Fring

In the MoMoTLV local peer awards today, the Israeli representative for the international Mobile Peer Awards contest was chosen: Fring - An award-winning mobile internet community & communication service which enables users to share experiences & remain connected with each other from their mobile device.

The runner-ups were: InnerActive (2nd place) and Cellerium (3rd). You can read more about this at TheMarker (Hebrew).

A bit about the process: A total of 15 companies registered to the contest, 3 of those either dropped out of various reasons or did not meet the requirements. The 12 companies left were pre-screened by a panel of judges, who selected 6 of them. The finalists were: Cellerium, Cellogic, Emoze, Fring, InnerActive and MobiApp. The companies presented in the event today, and the judges voted Fring to be #1.

Thanks to our judges: Yuval Baharav (Sequoia), Ziv Koren (Amdocs), Zvika Rubinstein (Samsung) and Ofer Shmueli (Orange).

We wish Fring luck in the Mobile Peer Awards - see you guys in Barcelona in 2 months!

Monday, December 8, 2008

MoMoTLV Peer Awards Contest event - Dec.15!

We are delighted to invite you to our 6th and very special Mobile Monday Tel Aviv event. In the event we will select the Israeli mobile startup that will be sent to Mobile Monday's Mobile Peer Awards contest at 3GSM which is open this year for the first time to Israeli start-ups. You will get to hear pitches from all nominated startups.

In addition, for the first time we will have open discussion groups on various mobile topics - no speakers - everyone gets to talk about what's on their mind. So come and join us for some interesting sessions and drinks at Amdocs in Raanana.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Note that both the time and place have changed - we will not meet in our usual place but rather at Amdocs in Raanana. In addition due to the packed agenda the event will start earlier than usual: at 5pm.

When: Monday, December 15, 2008 @ 17:00
Where: Amdocs, Hapnina 8, Raanana
What: MoMoTLV Peer Awards
Price: Free (but pre-registration is required)

Registration is done through the MoMoTLV Peer Awards Contest event on facebook. If you don't have a facebook account, either get one already or use the event's off-facebook registration form - Note that while facebook users are automatically approved, registration in the off-facebook form requires additional confirmation from the MoMoTLV Team. Also note that due to limited places we will not be able to allow on-site admittance without pre-registration, so please make sure to register before the event.

Parking is available at the Amdocs parking lot - when you are on the Hapnina street turn right at the circle (It says "Microsoft guest parking"). Note that only guests who confirm their attendance a day before the event (i.e. until Dec.14 midnight) will appear on the list. If you register in the last moment you can't enter this parking space. However there's a smaller outdoor parking lot, which should be open if you go straight from the circle.

In addition to our annual sponsors Amdocs and Partner Communications (Orange Israel) we are joined by the event sponsors Meidata and Artec.

Monday, December 1, 2008

MoMoTLV Peer Awards: Registration Closed

Registration to the the Mobile Peer Awards on behlaf of the Tel Aviv chapter is now officially closed. Thanks to all the startups who registered - we have a nice crop of 15 different startups from various fields in the mobile space.

The stratups registered are (listed alphabetically): Cellerium, Cellogic, Clip In Touch, emoze, fring, InnerActive, iTycoon, Loop Mobile, majimob, Media Layers, mobiapp, MobileNOBO, NeatCall, Netalizer, TeleMessage.

Note that if you're not in this list, you are not nominated since you did not submit an entry by the deadline which was yesterday (Nov.30).

The contacts of those startups received today a mail regarding the next steps, if you happen to be in this group and did not get the mail, contact us at MoMoTLV, since there are important to-do items until Dec.4.

We will announce the Mobile Peer Awards event details soon. Good luck to all participants!