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VentureBeat is proud to announce the finalists for our MobileBeat 2012 Innovation Competition, where exciting new startups compete to see who has the best tablet app, smartphone app, and mobile service.

Fitting into our new design theme, we’ll be paying special attention to how these apps and services are designed.

Each of the finalists (selected from a pool of over 250) will make their pitches live onstage in front of an expert panel of judges and 1,000-plus attendees. Winners will receive our coveted Tesla award (named in honor of Nikola Tesla, the scientist who discovered early mobile communication), an article on VentureBeat, and a two-hour consulting session with Tandem. Nokia Developer is also giving all finalists a Nokia Lumia 800 phone.


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And thanks to American Airlines, all finalists will receive 1,000 Business ExtrAA® points, which is half-way to a round trip ticket.* The winner will receive 10,000 Business ExtrAA® points, which translates to up to 5 domestic round trip tickets.*(*Based on Economy PlanAAhead ® award. Complete Business ExtrAA® program details and terms and conditions can be found at

Prior the the competition, all finalists will also attend a free bootcamp hosted by VentureBeat and Sequoia Capital, where they’ll recieve constructive feedback and advice on their products and pitches from top VCs.

Here are the 15 companies competing in our MobileBeat 2012 Innovation Competition (five per each of our three categories):

Adcolony: A video advertising and publishing platform that plays crystal-clear HD video at lightning speed and drives deep engagement with content. AdColony’s proprietary Instant-Play technology serves video ads instantly on top-ranked iOS and Android apps to drive awareness and branding for advertisers and monetization for publishers.

The Good Ear: Develops and provides innovative, scientifically proven hearing solutions. The company will be launching its “Better Hearing” iPhone app, which identifies the struggling frequency areas of the ear and applies sound conditioning to strengthen these weak zones.

iTravel: An online tour operator that provides high-quality customized vacations. Customers can access a wide range of travel options through intuitive user interfaces and book them.

Zooz: Has developed a unique payment platform that enables a quick and easy way to checkout and pay on mobile devices. Using the multiplatform ZooZ SDK, mobile developers can easily integrate secure in-app payments with only a few lines of code. After integration, app users are offered a true mobile wallet that is fast, easy to use and secure.

Watchup: A new iPad app that lets you discover what’s up in the world through a curated lineup of high-quality news channels. With its next-generation tap-and-play interface, Watchup lets you create your video playlist in a snap while you grab breakfast or prepare dinner. Watchup has been incubated at StartX, the Stanford startup accelerator. Has delivered over 5 billion push notifications exclusively for the world’s leading media companies. Now, the company is unveiling its suite of professional-grade tools so app publishers everywhere can deliver smartly tailored, real-time content to their users.

Spectralmind: Sonarflow by Spectralmind makes music discovery a breeze. Its unique music-matching engine and its slick visual interface make finding the right music for the right moment easy as never before.

Selligy: A mobile service for salespeople. A salesperson’s primary activity is meetings, hundreds per quarter. Good meeting prep requires dealing with many systems beyond CRM: e-mail, phone, calendar, maps, traffic and more. Selligy ties all the information a salesperson needs into a beautiful mobile experience.

Placed: Placed Analytics quantifies the value of location for mobile content creators and marketers by connecting the physical and digital worlds through a free location analytics service.

Retailigence: A hyperlocal marketing platform that utilizes brick-and-mortar inventory data obtained directly from retailers to turn online consumers into offline buyers. Serving both retailers and brands, Retailigence distributes local store inventory-based advertising via its own network of location-based application partners, mobile ad networks, search providers and social networks.

Fluid interaction: We are passionate about building brain-friendly solutions. We understand and incorporate in our work the underlying mechanisms of human cognition: how humans perceive and process information, and how we interact with the environment. We seek to build functional beauty in digital solutions, like with Twheel, our upcoming Twitter application.

Nukotoys: Silicon Valley’s Toy Company disrupts the $40 billion-plus toy market, redefining toys and games for digitally fascinated kids and engaged parents. It offers NUKO, collectible trading cards that come to life when tapped to mobile and tablet devices, which merge digital and real-world play.

Mobileday: Provides one-touch into any conference call using your iPhone or Android. Painlessly connect to your audio meeting no matter where you are or what you are doing. MobileDay eliminates the hassle of dialing, remembering pin codes, or writing down conference details.

Tablet X: Stealth, more information to come live at MobileBeat 2012.

Glomper: Stealth, more information to come live at MobileBeat 2012.

To refresh, here are the three categories the companies will be competing in:

1) Tablet apps: With the emergence of tablets as such as powerful force in mobile, we’re holding our first-ever tablet-oriented part of the competition. Show us how you’re taking advantage of larger touchscreens and how you’re innovating beyond smartphone design. We’re looking for 10 tablet apps that will prove to the world why tablets are an exciting new computing platform and not just a fad.

2) Smartphone apps: Here we’re looking for smartphone apps — be it native or a web app — that best demonstrate innovative and beautiful design, interface, or overall experience. We want to see design that will make us either instantly put your app on our device’s home screen, or scream “wow” about your service and advocate for colleagues to use it too. Show us something that could be mistaken for a work of art.

3) Mobile services: Design isn’t just skin deep — the services that power the mobile revolution can also be elegant in their architecture. You could be using a hot new programming language or a little-used API. Show us how you’re creatively solving problems in mobile, and how end-users benefit.

MobileBeat 2012 takes place on July 10-11 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. You can grab your tickets here. Spots are limited!

We want to thank the industry leaders that are supporting MobileBeat 2012: W3i as Platinum Sponsor; Flurry, Tapjoy & YouWeb as Gold Sponsors; Greystripe, Nokia Developer, LifeStreet Media & Sequoia Capital as Silver Sponsors;tak and Game Insight, Apsalar, Kontagent, Gree, Nexage, Pontiflex, Swrve & Urban Airship as Event Sponsors.

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