The 20 hottest startups in mobile battle it out at MobileBeat 2010

On July 12, San Francisco becomes a mobile battleground as the MobileBeat 2010 Startup Competition takes off. The prize: Two of VentureBeat’s coveted Tesla Awards.

Twenty contenders have emerged as finalists from a field of more than 200 nominees. You, our readers, singled out Snaptu and Aava Mobile as favorites in an online poll, earning them finalist spots in the application and service categories respectively. MobileBeat’s advisory panel picked eighteen others which will present their winning ideas in front of mobile influencers, investors and press at the MobileBeat 2010 conference, which takes place at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco on July 12-13.

For this competition, VentureBeat doesn’t just look for innovative technology — though that’s often key. We also seek out ideas with great prospects for market success. The best contenders also aim to capitalize on the megatrends we’ve identified in the mobile space: the emergence of superphones and the dawn of powerful 4G networks.

Here’s a look at 14 of the finalists. To watch their demos and get a glimpse of the startups still in stealth mode, register now to attend MobileBeat 2010.

Snaptu
Eight out of ten mobile users don’t have smartphones. Snaptu is an app and platform that includes this forgotten majority into the rich world of the mobile Web.

Aava Mobile
Founded by a team of engineering wizards who wanted to build an open-source mobile device platform, Aava Mobile harnesses the creativity of the Android and MeeGo developer communities and gives mobile operators and phone makers the flexibility to develop hardware that appeals to current consumer fashions and trends.

POIdo
A pay-per-action location-based advertising platform providing ads targeted to mobile and Web users’ precise location, context, and behavior.

AFK

Develops a platform that enables social and multiplayer game publishers to enable key features of their products on mobile devices. Users can now connect real-time and in-game from their mobile phones to others playing in their favorite online game or world.

Micello
Aims to power the emerging hyperlocal, indoor location-based services ecosystem.

BlogRadio
With so many blogs and information websites, it can be difficult to have time to read them all. BlogRadio’s text-to-speech technology allows users to listen to any blog, any time, anywhere.

Locomatix
Locomatix enables brands to build their own location-based apps, create new services for existing local content aggregators, or deliver new capabilities to merchants through platforms like Facebook.

Vaayoo SocialBox
Allows you to instantly share photos, videos, and audio from your phone with your friends on multiple platforms and destinations. All photos, videos, and contacts from your phone are also automatically backed up online.

Mytalk
A mobile tool available on any Internet-enabled device that allows you to connect with other people based on location and similar interests, and with businesses based on location and need.

Edupath
A boot camp for test prep, in your pocket, available whenever and wherever you want.

Emantras
A mobile-learning tool that leverages the best of mobile application technologies to make educational content available to learners even when they are not connected.

AppCitylife
One part Yellow Pages, one part Fodor’s, and one part 311 — with local promotions and content. Actionable logos within city guides, mini-apps within multiple guides for major events or companies, and dirt-cheap promotions are just a few of the ways AppCitylife serves local and national clients.

Motolingo
A mobile-apps provider that connects your fuel tank and other car data with the cloud for smarter service and travel. It connects your car’s computer to mobile phones to find out whether you’ll make it to your destination and get fair-priced service.

For all conference details, including speaker and agenda updates, click here.

Register here. Hurry though. Tickets are very limited, and going fast!

*We’d like to thank the mobile industry leaders that are supporting MobileBeat 2010, including GetJar, Placecast, Greystripe, Qualcomm, and Microsoft as Gold Sponsors, AdMob, OpenMarket, Navteq, MasterImage 3D, Symbian, and Dehood as Silver Sponsors, and Nexage, Offerpal, Marvell, Verizon, and Mobclix as Event Sponsors.

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