Right now, the TechCrunch Disrupt judging panel is choosing the top startup from among the 27 companies that launched on-stage at the conference over the last three days. But VentureBeat’s writers watched (and wrote about) every single one of those presentations, and we have our own favorites.
After arguing about our list for the last few hours, we’ve put together our five favorites, in order of preference. Keep in mind that we haven’t had a chance to use most of these products ourselves, so it’s basically an award for a cool concepts and fun demos.
- GameCrush lets users set up a play date with a “sexy gamer girl” and a game of their choice for 60 cents per minute. Users can also play on Xbox Live and chat via video cam if they want. The service got considerable coverage in the press yesterday, as it fulfilled the age-old stereotype that gamers are dudes who can’t get dates.
- Badgeville wants to bring the badge concept popularized by Foursquare and other location-based startups to any online publisher, including sites like TechCrunch and TheNextWeb. It’s Foursquare for your website, aligned with publisher objectives. Badgeville is on track to make $1 million this year.
- Gripe allows consumers to write and publish complaints to the Web, then share links to their complaints on social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Users could pull the app out in the middle of an unsatisfying customer service experience — just to hint at the kind of damage they could do with a complaint.
- Gild turns job-finding into a game. It gives users a way to differentiate themselves from other job candidates by proving their worth in specific areas, such as programming or mathematics and logic, with challenges.
- Lark has built a new kind of alarm, one that doesn’t disturb the person sleeping with you. Instead of a loud beeping noise, music, or other sounds, Lark wakes you up with vibrations.