Citrix ScriptRockCitrix, the big virtualization and cloud company, awarded a $100,000 check each to startups ScriptRock and AppEnsure as part of a start-up competition held today in San Francisco. The move was a surprise because Citrix had planned to write only one check.

ScriptRock is an Australian company that automates checks of applications and other infrastructure for large companies to make those resources run correctly. It tests file systems, file integrity, configuration files, database hosted configuration, and so on. It already serves four of the largest financial institutions in Australia, including ANZ, Bankwest, and OnePath.


Above: AppEnsure CEO Colin Macnab

AppEnsure, meanwhile, provides IT managers a single, integrated view of all the applications and infrastructure running in their company. The AppEnsure appliances perform root cause analysis of those resources, allowing managers to keep them running more smoothly. The company said its product is 85 percent complete and that its first release would be ready within six months. Judges voted for the company in part because of its market potential. The company said there’s a $12 billion market for its product in 2012, increasing to $16.3 billion in 2015.

Citrix made the cash awards to the companies on the spot, after a panel of judges, including VentureBeat Editor-in-Chief Matt Marshall, voted on which startups they liked the most. The vote was close, and while Citrix had planned to write only one check of $100K to the winner of five finalists (out of 80 applicants), the company’s executives decided to award two checks after ScriptRock and AppEnsure tied in the judges’ final vote. In addition, early in the vote, judge Jason Calacanis said he’d cough up $25,000 more for ScriptRock. It wasn’t clear whether he is also giving cash to AppEnsure.

The judges gave ScriptRock high marks based on the progress the company has already made. Scriptrock said Australian bank ANZ, for example, could soon be spending $1.6M annually for ScriptRock’s service. Not just servers but desktops, too, can run the ScriptRock service, which could mean additional business. The company is looking to close a $650K seed round in the near future.

The competition was held in San Francisco at the Citrix Startup.Synergy event.

Citrix will also include the winners in its next accelerator class, which can include up to $250K in seed investment, an office in Silicon Valley, and help from Citrix with customer development.

Other finalists included the following:

Hey Maya — The company offers a service that lets you delegate boring stuff to a virtual admin. It lets you do everything from managing your contacts to filling out expense reports to finding the best flight and hotel information for travel.

CumuLogic — The platform-as-a-service company offers a way for companies to switch between private and public clouds. It hopes to launch next month.

BuildAR — The company offers a new kind of augmented reality technology, building much of the technology directly into the browser, and building on top of HTML5. Some of the judges thought it offered the coolest technology of the competition, but they questioned whether the market is ready for it.

[Disclosure: Citrix sponsored DEMO, a conference co-produced by VentureBeat. As part of that sponsorship relationship, VentureBeat agreed to partner with Citrix on the event, including having Editor-in-Chief Matt Marshall moderate an investor panel. He also helped judge the competition.]

Below is a video of how ScriptRock works: