Fifty startups launched on-stage at the TechCrunch50 conference over the last few days. Despite a few duds, most presenters had cool ideas, solid products, or both. VentureBeat writer Kim-Mai Cutler and I watched all of the presentations, and now we’ve put together a list of our five favorite companies.
These aren’t necessarily the companies that we’d invest in if we were venture capitalists, or the companies that had the best presentations. Instead, we judged them based on a combination of ambitious ideas, wanna-have-it products, and realistic business plans. These are the companies you’ll be hearing more about in the future.
1. AnyClip — A service that purports to let you find any moment from any film every made. AnyClip says it relies on movie buffs to tag and sort their favorite video clips through the ClipIt platform. Videos in AnyClips’ database have on average about 500 tags. The company plans to make money through advertising deals that will run on AnyClip, and by routing users to buy DVDs and taking a cut of the sale.
2. CitySourced — A mobile app that lets residents report problems to their local government and hold them accountable for it. To report a problem, you load CitySourced’s app to your phone and choose whether it’s trash, a graffiti issue, or something else. Then you add a description, and take a photo or tweet one to Twitter. This information is packaged with GPS location info from your phone. The company claims the app works nationwide with 1,900 cities.
3. Threadsy — A site that allows users to view their email and social networking accounts all in one place. It divides the messages into two columns — inbound (messages directed at you) and unbound (includes information not aimed at you, from your news feeds on various sites). This could means you never miss a message that was sent to a social network or account that you don’t check. Threadsy also features profiles of everyone you’re communicating with.
4. SeatGeek — A service that predicts how ticket prices will fluctuate on ticket reselling sites like StubHub, allowing users to figure out the best time to buy. The company looks at factors like weather and the record of the team (for sporting events), and says that when predicting whether prices will rise or fall, it is already 75 to 80 percent accurate.
5. CrowdFlower — A service that helps businesses find workers for menial tasks and rate them based on performance. The company’s service sits on top of crowdsourcing technology like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. What makes CrowdFlower a bit different is that it feeds back rich analytics on the tasks. If you create a task, it shows you how likely results are to be true, depending on how many people agree with the result. You can zoom in to find out why certain items have lots of disagreements. You can go back and look at what the individual users have done to see whether they’re historical trustworthy.
And here’s our coverage of the other demonstrating companies:
- With Penn & Teller, your iPhone does card tricks too
- Story Something creates personal stories for your children
- Clasemovil launches a virtual world for learning
- ToonsTunes.com is like GarageBand for kids
- Sealtale offers a personalized way to declare brand loyalty
- iTwin allows encrypted, cableless file-sharing
- iMo turns the iPhone into a joystick for your PC games
- FluidHTML builds a more web-friendly version of Flash
- Toybots Woozees lets toys come to life with Internet connectivity
- Spawn Labs lets you play your console games on your laptop
- Clicker is a TV guide for the Internet
- 5to1.com gives publishers more control over their ads
- DataXu optimizes ad campaigns in real-time
- HealthyWage pays users to stay fit, lose weight
- RackUp sells gift cards in fast online auctions
- Udorse lets you tag your photos with product endorsements
- Yext transcribes, searches phone calls for local businesses
- LocalBacon wants to fix job sites by making job-seekers pay
- RefMob gives customers a slice of the referral market
- Short on cash? Startups can trade goods and services on TheSwop
- MOTA Motors wants to curb lemons, fix the used car market
- RedBeacon creates a market for local services
- ClientShow manages collaboration for graphic designers
- Metricly aggregates analytics for startups, small businesses
- Affective Interfaces detects whether your ad makes people happy
- Battle other codes to prove yourself at Trollim
- Cocodot creates a slicker version of Evite
- LearnVest walks users through life’s financial milestones
- BreakThrough lets people use online calling to get psychiatric help
- Glide Health pulls together patient records for treatment
- Sprowtt automates early IPOs for startups
- Does the world need another news aggregator? Thoora thinks it does
- Insttant provides a snapshop of real-time news
- Perpetually creates a personalized Internet archive
- Crowd Fusion wants to be the ultimate tool for web publishing
- Hark! lets friends web browse, share links together
- Lissn is like Twitter for longer, public conversations
- Radiusly wants to be a site for business microblogging
- Stribe builds a social network for publishers around their content
- Clixtr launches an iPhone app for real-time photosharing
- The Whuffie Bank wants a new currency based on social reputation
[Thanks to VentureBeat columnist Shannon Clark for helping with the selection process.]