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Today we’ve opened voting for the best mobile start-ups of 2008.

The winners, as determined by readers, will be invited to present at MobileBeat2008, our conference in July.

To vote, go here. Please vote for the company you think has the boldest idea, but also has an opportunity to be a grand-slam business hit. You can vote in two categories: 1) applications, and 2) infrastructure/services. We’ll publish more details about the actual awards shortly.

We’re holding the conference because of the revolution happening in the mobile industry. We’re seeking to create a high-level conversation about the changes (i.e, new spectrum, new entrants, a move to open networks). But we also want to recognize the leading start-ups in the industry.

We’ll cut off voting on July 2. We’ll then invite the 30 top-ranked companies to present at our MobileBeat2008 conference, to be held on July 24. The top 10 companies get to pitch directly to the entire audience.

See our original announcement here, which has more. Check out more panel information and sign up for the conference here. A second batch of Early Bird tickets lasts until next Friday.

Who should come? Developers and investors, of course, but also other players with a stake in this fast-changing game. More broadband, smarter phones, an opening of networks, and excitement created by the iPhone and Android are combining to create a wave of new opportunity. If you’re a developer, what platforms should you write for, and how do you monetize your application? If you’re a content provider, carrier or handset maker, what do you need to keep in mind?

Meanwhile, here’s our initial list of nominees:

Application companies:

AirG — generates multi-milion dollars in revenue by selling its mobile social communities to operators.

Bluepulse — in the bidding to be the multi-purpose messaging gateway on mobile, letting users share photos and more.

Comvu — live video company that focuses on mobile broadcasting, is used by Reuters, and was also the world’s first mobile webcasting service.

Chatterous — early days for this company, but
it offers a platform for communicating any way you want. For example, it
lets you send an email, but your friend can receive in SMS if they want

Ebuddy — lets you chat across clients (AIM, Yahoo Messenger, gtalk, etc), tailored for the mobile phone.

Earthcomber — a navigation service that helps users find nearby locations and events; the listings are personalized to your interests.

Facebook — despite garnering initial fame via the PC Web, Facebook has emerged as one of the fast-growing mobile applications; clearly a front-runner.

Flixwagon — mobile videocasting company that competes with Comvu for the attention of citizen journalists and partnered with MTV for coverage of Super Tuesday.

ItsMy — mobile-only social network + advertising platform + clever advertising = one of the highest traffic growth mobile companies.
Jumbuckoffers mobile community products like “Fast Flirting” and “Power Chat” to operators including Verizon and Virgin Mobile.

Jumptap — a leading mobile search engine provider with a advertising platform, letting carriers monetize search. — another live video company, lets you broadcast live video from a phone and keeps it organized on a web site through a personalized player.

Loop Mobile Ltd — one of the world’s largest mobile social networking providers (white-labeled) with multi-million dollars in revenue, also known for innovative marketing (website).

Loopt — a company offering location-based applications for users of various carriers, including Sprint and Verizon.

Mig33 — a mobile application that’s seeing rapid global growth for its bundle of SMS text messaging, instant messaging and cheap calls.

MocoSpace — a US mobile-only social network and one of the industry’s best examples of how to grow off-deck.

Mygamma (BuzzCity) — has created possibly the second biggest mobile advertising platform on top of its successful social network.

MyStrands — a social recommendation service that wants to steal away YouTube’s music video viewing audience.

Mywaves — a very easy video sharing product that has grown quickly, now offers advertising, and has cut a deal with MTV

Pelago — its Whrrl service lets you update your friends (including about your location) as well as discover other things like reviews of movies in your area.

Peperonity — a mobile-only social network with one of the industry’s highest off-deck traffic, making it of Admob’s biggest publishers.

Qik — Robert Scoble’s favorite live video streaming platform, Qik also offers RSS feeds for its content; parent company Visivo Communications just took its first funding in April.

Radaroffers easy photo-sharing and commenting on all phones, and boasts over one million users.

Rearden Commerce — a mobile concierge service, that lets you track travel plans, calendar, events and reviews all from a single application

Treemo — mainly known as a mobile community provider to third parties like CBS Mobile (website).

Twitter — a micro-messaging service, featuring one-liners, that has become all the rage among techies and beyond, despite performance problems.

Xumii — offers an SMS service where users can have all their social contacts available, form private groups and also share rich media (website).

Zanneldubbed the “multi-media” Twitter, it shows the industry how well you can grow with rich media messaging and an open API (possibly the frontrunner with that in mobile).

Zumobioffers mobile users a way to create their own mobile widgets; this is a spin-off from Microsoft, formerly called Zenzui, now an independent private company.


Infrastructure companies/service

4Info — wants to change mobile marketing by offering consumers, publishers and advertisers SMS services to distribute content, alerts, news and advertising.

Admob — a leading mobile ad network, serving billions of ad impressions monthly globally, and doing interesting analytics.

Aggregate Knowledge — a recommendation service that started on the Web, but is now mobile, letting readers enjoy what like-minded users have enjoyed previously, used by CBS.

Agito Networkslowers cost of mobile communications by using WiFi instead of cellular networks. Enterprise play.

Amobee — has built advertising technology for large carriers such as Vodafone and Telefonica to support non-voice apps such as browsing, SMS, MMS and games.

Beceem — a Silicon Valley company offering a next-generation mobile broadband chip for WiMax, being used by Motorola and also Intel.

Bytemobile — provides mobile internet software and services for data
networks operators, allowing things like browsing and access of video (website).

Dashwire — stores a backup of all your mobile info on the cloud and lets you access it on a Web page. Offers one-click photo uploads to Flickr, Facebook, etc.

Echovox — offers publishers and advertisers ways to market content across all mobile platforms (website).

Ecrio — an instant messaging company that tacks on mobile payments and coupons, active in Japan with NTT DoCoMo and backed by Visa.

FushionOne — lets you backup pretty much any content on your mobile phone.

GetJarhosts mobile application downloads for other companies and developers.

IMMI — pays for you cellphone (at least during trials) in exchange for the ability to listen in on your life throughout the day. The goal is to make advertising more tailored and effecient.

IntegratedMobile — serves the enterprise through its lifecycle management technology platform, called iManage. It offers consulting and professional services (website).

Jasper Wireless — a back-end mobile infrastructure company (GSM/GPRS), providing communications between mobile devices; supports Dash. Sequoia backed.

Knowtate — provides tags on physical objects, which let people with mobile phones find out much more information about them.

Kodiak Networks — push-to-talk and other infrastructure tech for mobile. Redpoint backed (website).

mBlox — connects mobile users with third-party content providers; raised $22 million in January.

Medio — a mobile search company, available on the decks of carriers such as Verizon and Vodafone.

MobiTV — offers TV and other digital content on your mobile devices via carriers; raised $100 million in 2006.

Mobopia — lets Flash developers build mobile applications on the phone (website).

Myxer — a product of MVisible Technologies, Myxer helps manage delivery of digital media to mobile devices (website).

Numobiq — turns dumb phones into smart phones via a software that sits on top of the mobile phone’s operating system, backed by Benchmark.

Ontela — offers easy-to-use photo-taking and sharing technology that lets you upload media from cameras to PC; White-labels for carriers.

Playphone — offers all kinds of personalized entertainment, such as ringtones, mobile games, wallpapers and text services.

Pudding Media
— creates voice recognition software that picks up keywords from conversations and deliver contextual ads based on them.

Skydeck — lets you analyze your phone calling behavior based on bills you get from your phone carrier, for example showing you the strength of your friendships.

Skyfire — a mobile browser that uses compatibility with the latest versions of Flash and Ajax to deliver an experience that’s as rich as browsing on your PC.
Smaato — a mobile advertising technology company specializing in targeted, in-application ads; it recently raised $3.5 million.

TeleNav — hardly a startup, this nine-year-old private company was early to location-based services, offering mapping, and tracking workforce and other assets (website).

Thumbplay — a ringtones, mobile games and wallpapers company that recently raised $18 million.

Trafficcastprovides real-time and predictive traffic and travel time information. The company is more than ten years old, but it’s still private.

Ubiquisys — a Google-backed Femtocell company offering hardware that lets cell phones run on home broadband networks.

Webalo — makes it easier to navigate spreadsheets and other business information on your mobile device; recently launched the ability to keep your data behind a firewall.

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