Below, are the seven Innovation Showdown finalists. These companies, chosen from a pool over over 200, will battle it out live at CloudBeat 2012 to see who’s product/service is leveraging the cloud in the most disruptive way.

They’ll each have five minutes to showcase their technologies, and our team of sages — made up of industry experts, venture capitalists and actual enterprise customers — will provide thorough feedback and ultimately determine one winner. May the best one win!

The CloudBeat 2012 Innovation Showdown is sponsored by Norwest Venture Partners.

Adaptive Planning is the leader in cloud-based corporate performance management and business intelligence, empowering business leaders in 1500 organizations worldwide to transform the way they plan, analyze, and deliver business results – and ultimately allowing them to exceed expectations.  Growing at 70+% per year, Adaptive ranks #1 in customer satisfaction.

Appsecute bridges the divide between developers and IT operations, delivering collaborative management tools for PaaS. The company provides application management for the cloud, with an emphasis on transitioning applications into production. It’s like RightScale for PaaS.

Circle provides hosted Continuous Integration for web applications. Once developers push their code to GitHub, Circle immediately begins testing it, deploying the application to Heroku if tests are successful.

Cloudessa is Dropbox for network security. It is a cloud service that controls access of every user or device in the world to every network. The company can take complex network security protocols, simplify them dramatically and provide them as a cloud utility to every user and device on the planet.

Kabbage has developed a technological platform to analyze seller data and advance cash on the spot. The internet-based funding platform enables small businesses to receive approval and funds within 7 minutes of completing a simple online application — a process that would normally require months of hassle and paperwork when applying for traditional funding through a bank. This data is pulled from sources such as PayPal, UPS, Intuit, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, and many others. All of this is stored and processed in the cloud, making the product fast, efficient, secure, and capable of scaling.

Fiverun provides a tablet solution that helps retailers provide advice/recommendations and checkout customers, anywhere in a store with any sales associate. The company believes consumers should first be helped by a sales associate that is armed with a device that has every product the retailer carries. Fiverun leverages the power of its cloud based platform to power this functionality as a SaaS based solution for any retailer on the globe.

Founded on the idea that connecting applications should not be hard, MuleSoft lets organizations harness the power of their applications through integration. The company provides one of the most widely used integration platforms for connecting SaaS and enterprise applications in the cloud and on-premise. Customers include Zynga, Boeing and Bank of America.

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