Seven companies presented on stage today, but only one won CloudBeat 2012’s Innovation Showdown. That was Kabbage, a small-business funding platform that uses cloud power to connect companies with cash.

“The average business has grown by 266 percent since they’ve started using us,” Rob Frohwein, CEO and co-founder of Kabbage, said on stage during his presentation.

The CloudBeat Innovation Showdown, sponsored by Silicon Valley Bank, featured seven finalists from more than 200 applicants that hope to disrupt business using cloud-based technologies.

Upon winning, we asked Frohwein (pictured, far left) why his company potentially beat out the other promising finalists. He suggested it might be relatability and appreciation to small businesses and startups, which often don’t get off the ground because loans or funding don’t come through.

“People want to connect to problems they relate to,” Frohwein told VentureBeat. “Everybody in this room has interacted with a small business at some point. We leverage the cloud, big data, and real-tine analytics to power a large segment of the U.S. economy that otherwise wouldn’t be served. It’s the life-blood of our economy.”

Check out the other six finalists from the Innovation Showdown below:

Adaptive Planning

Adaptive Planning offers a SaaS-based solution for budgeting, planning, and forecasting for companies big and small. It works with companies and nonprofits to fundamentally transform their management processes — the way they plan, monitor, measure, and analyze their business performance, throughout the entire company to improve productivity, costs, and decisions. It claims to be a step better than traditional Excel-based planning and budgeting and legacy enterprise performance solutions.

“We save our customers time, we increase productivity and we help them make better decisions,” Adaptive Planning CEO John Herr said.


Appsecute is a relatively young cloud application management provider. Appsecute bills itself as “RightScale for PaaS.” It claims to bridge the divide between developers and IT operations, delivering collaborative management tools. The company provides app management for the cloud, with an emphasis on transitioning applications into production.

“Enterprises need to be able to use a variety of platforms,” Appsecute CEO Mark Cox said. “We understand the enterprise space and we’re taking PaaS to the enterprise.”

At CloudBeat, the company announced that it would support major PaaS provider Heroku.


CircleCi offers software to make companies’ and developers’ lives easier with “continuous integration.” It claims that its software can make developers 90 percent more productive and save them an average of 36 hours per week. In a nutshell, the company provides hosted continuous integration for web applications. Once developers push their code to GitHub, CircleCi immediately begins testing it and deploying the application to Heroku if tests are successful.


Cloudessa bills itself as a “Dropbox for network security.” It is a cloud service that control access of every user or device on a particular network. The company claims to use complex network security protocols, simplify them dramatically, and provide them as a cloud utility to any user on any device.


Fiverun offers a service for showcasing your products in a very easy fashion on a tablet. It helps retailers provide advice and recommendations and checkout customers. 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 leverage its cloud-based platform to power this functionality as a SaaS-based solution for any retailer that wants it.


MuleSoft lets organizations harness the power of their applications through integration, which is vital to success these days. 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.

“Typical implementation takes 18 hours,” the company’s CEO said. “That’s everything from design through implementation.”

You can watch the full competition between the seven finalists below:

Photos via Michael O’Donnell


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