The Le Web startup competition filtered over 400 startups down to a final 16. We covered a few of the companies here, here, here and here. Today the last three finalists got the opportunity to pitch their startups to the assembled crowd at the conference, after which the judges retired to deliberate live their pick for the winner.
Chairman of the judges David Hornik said the judges changed the format of the awards and decided they wanted a winner with great originality, technology and virality. But decided all three should win.
(There was also an audience pick: City M).
First Prize in Virality goes to:
Some 120,000 paper.li “papers” are now in operation and 1,000 are being created each day. Paper.li, the startup out of Switzerland which has gotten potential investors hot under the collar has garnered a lot of traction for a Twitter app. They’ve also added searches on public Facebook status updates.
First Prize in Technology goes to:
Social mapping company Waze now has over 2 million drivers who have logged over 250 million kilometers. Plus investors love the company. They just raised a $25 million Series B round of funding from existing investors Blue Run Ventures, with other existing investors, Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Venture Capital taking part. The round also included new strategic investors including Qualcomm Ventures. More pushes in the US and Europe are planned, as are a headquarters move from Tel Aviv to Palo Alto.
Waze gets users to build out their maps in terms of traffic, accidents, etc by simply driving around. You get free GPS navigation and a social game which incentivise users to map more places and contribute to Waze, thus improving their maps far more than billion dollar satellites ever could. Although Google offers free turn-by-turn navigation through Android, it's on other devices, but Waze is.
First Prize in Originality goes to:
Super Marmite is a location-based social network that brings homemade meals to your doorstep. It's strap-line “Ce qui mijote en ce moment” means “what’s cooking right now ?”. Think of it as a kind of P2P fast food outlet. Anyone can cook a meal and offer it on the network. The idea is to build up an eclectic gourmet offering, produced daily by individuals as an alternative to traditional fast food outlets. Users are rated by the community to weed out the potential poisoners of course. Created as a Paris StartupWeekend May this year. The initial idea was to offer people who love to cook to prepare an extra servings and sell it online. Tim poor people would then buy the extra serving and picking it up because they can work out how close they are. They idea is to avoid wastage of food. In parallel, another mission of Super Marmite is the life of the community: to offer tips and recipe ideas, organize events around the kitchen, but also track down great deals for members' exclusive gourmet accessories like kitchenware, cookbooks, utensils, food etc. Super Marmite is a graduate of the Paris Founder Institute.