The 50 startup presentations are over, the judges votes are in, Michael and Jason chewed over the top contenders, and the winner of this year’s TechCrunch50 is RedBeacon . The startup aims to help consumers find local service providers such as plumbers, bakers, and contractors. As we described in our initial write-up:
RedBeacon is a new service making its public debut today at TechCrunch50 that further streamlines this process by bringing the OpenTable model of online transactions to much broader spectrum of services.
Using the site will be easy for anyone who has used a local review service like Yelp. Simply type whatever service you’re looking for (be it plumber, gardener, or hair stylist), and the site will present a list of recommended service providers in your area. RedBeacon also employees natural language processing so it can figure out exactly what you’re looking for (for example, “Cupcake maker” would search for any bakers in the area). The site will then present a list of profiles for each match, featuring reviews and comments from other users, basic information like their hours, and star reviews imported from Yelp.
The founders of RedBeacon—Ethan Anderson, Yaron Binur, and Aaron Lee—are former Google product managers and engineers.
This year’s TechCrunch50 was much closer than in previous years, with the quality level of the companies being high across the board. The three runners up for the top TechCrunch50 prize are Threadsy, AnyClip, and CitySourced.