mobilebeat-5VentureBeat is proud to announce MobileBeat 2008, a conference focused on the innovation wave sweeping the mobile industry.

This conference, to be held in Sunnyvale, Calf. on July 24, will seek answers to the biggest questions for entrepreneurs developing next-generation mobile applications.

There are two parts. First, we’ll invite what we think are the best 30 start-ups in mobile, pursuing the most hairy, audacious goals to present their products. We want the best bar none. So we’re going to let our readers help in the selection process of those top 30. The top 10 companies get to pitch directly to the entire audience. An overall winner will be chosen, based on who has a) the boldest idea, but at the same time b) is likely to be a business grand-slam if successful.

Second, we’ll host a high-level conversation about the revolution happening in mobile — including panels about how to best to build mobile applications and how to monetize them. If there’s one story capturing the attention of Silicon Valley start-ups these days, it’s mobile: People are buying smarter phones. We’re taking them to bed with us. We’re getting used to loading new applications on them.

Google and Apple are driving more change, with Google pushing for open access on the wireless spectrum to allow new devices (with new applications) and Apple’s iPhone sparking fascination with a new browsing interface.

Hundreds of start-ups are building new businesses based on these devices and platforms. Even carriers are getting in the game, with Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam saying yesterday that Verizon’s open project already has “tens” of devices in the application process and likely to hit market by the end of the year.

The conference’s target audience is mobile developers and investors, but we’ll also reach out to reps from the carriers, handset makers, content producers (who want to distribute on mobile) and the ad networks allowing it to happen.

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Among our panel participants (pictured above from left to right) are Matt Murphy, a partner at leading Silicon Valley’s venture firm Kleiner Perkins, who runs the firm’s iFund; Android co-founder Rich Miner, now helping Google push its mobile platform; Richard Wong of Accel (backer of Facebook, and another leading wireless investor); Jeff Sellinger, who leads CBS Mobile; and Sam Altman, founder of Loopt, a company with new technology — location-based social applications — that we’ll be hearing more about.

I’ll announce more about the voting procedure for companies shortly.

Meantime, those interested in sponsoring the event should contact Jacob Mullins.

Many thanks to Norwest Venture Partners and Sun Microsystems for becoming our initial sponsors. Thanks too, to our co-host and venue, Plug and Play Tech Center.

We’re now releasing our first batch of tickets at an “Early Bird” discounted price of $350, obtainable through June 13. You can sign up here, as well as find more information about the panels.