Seven finalists selected from more than 1,500 submissions in 78 countries demonstrated their AWS-powered businesses to a panel of judges and VC’s
Nov. 11, 2011-- (NASDAQ: AMZN) Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced Fantasy Shopper as the winner of the fifth annual AWS Start-Up Challenge. Fantasy Shopper was awarded $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS credits, AWS premium support services for one year and technical mentorship from Amazon Web Services. AWS also awarded Localytics with the second place prize, and the company received $25,000 in AWS credits and AWS premium support services for one year. The remaining five finalists were each awarded $10,000 in AWS service credits. Amazon Web Services provides highly scalable, reliable and low-cost technology infrastructure that enables organizations around the world to instantly acquire compute, storage, database and other on-demand services in the cloud. To learn more about AWS, visit: http://aws.amazon.com.
This year AWS received more than 1,500 applications from 78 countries across the globe. During the final round of judging, seven finalists presented their businesses to representatives from AWS and leading venture capital firms. The winners were selected based on their originality and creativity, likelihood of long-term success and scalability, how well the business addresses a need in the marketplace, and implementation of AWS solutions.
Based in Exeter, UK, Fantasy Shopper has created a social game platform focused around real-world apparel. In this community application, shoppers browse actual selection from top stores in fashion centers such as London, receive “paydays” with which they make virtual purchases to create their own outfits, share their creations with others, comment on their friends’ outfits, and can even purchase the actual apparel items offline. “Without AWS, we wouldn’t have even been able to think about launching this business. After watching the insane growth rate during our private test sessions, we knew we needed to build our business on highly scalable technology infrastructure, and AWS was our only choice,” said Fantasy Shopper Co-Founder and CEO Chris Prescott. “Our goal for Fantasy Shopper is to become the world’s number one social shopping platform, which means we’ll be going global very quickly. Thankfully, AWS provides us the foundation to make this ambitious goal possible. As the only tech start-up in a small town 150 miles outside London, we’re honored to win this year’s AWS Start-Up Challenge. We truly believe that because of AWS, start-ups from small towns everywhere will be able to successfully bring their ideas to market.”
Localytics is a real-time mobile application analytics service that provides app developers with tools to measure usage, engagement and custom events. All data is stored at a per-event level to give customers detailed segmentation of their user’s usage, behavioral and demographic profiles. “We are currently processing more than 100 million data points every day, and because our business is built entirely on AWS, we’re able to process this data in real-time in a highly scalable and cost-efficient environment,” said Raj Aggarwal, CEO, Localytics. “Localytics is helping thousands of mobile application publishers better understand their customers and make their applications more successful and profitable. AWS is critical to scaling our infrastructure to handle our explosive growth and to meeting our customers’ needs.”
“This year’s Start-Up Challenge received a record number of applications from 78 countries including the Czech Republic, Spain, Estonia, Egypt, Congo, the Philippines, Vietnam, Honduras, Brazil and Canada,” said Adam Selipsky, Vice President, Amazon Web Services. “The finalists demonstrate the amazing breadth of innovation coming from the global start-up community, including disease research and information, peer-to-peer car sharing, video creation and sharing from smart phones, integrated management solutions for human resource departments, and social media analytics. AWS lets entrepreneurs access the resources they need to put their ideas to work so they can grow and even go global as their business succeeds.”
Amazon Web Services recognized 15 regional semi-finalists from Asia Pacific, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and the Americas. From these, seven finalists were selected to move into the final round and were flown to San Jose, California to attend the AWS Start-Up Challenge finale event. At the event, each finalist presented their ideas to a panel of judges with representatives from AWS. The finalists also had the opportunity to present their business to venture capitalists during “lightning round” sessions. At the end of the day, the judges selected the winner and announced the results at the evening awards ceremony. After accepting their award, the Fantasy Shopper team was presented with the coveted “Golden Hammer,” and then partook in the annual AWS Start-Up Challenge ritual of using the hammer to demolish a real server, symbolizing how companies no longer need to own servers when they operate in the cloud.
AWS congratulates the 2011 AWS Start-Up Challenge finalists:
Booshaka - United States (Sunnyvale, California)
Booshaka simplifies advocacy marketing for brands and businesses by making sense of large amounts of social data and providing an easy to use software-as-a-service solution. In an era where people are bombarded by media, advertisers face significant challenges in reaching and engaging their customers. Booshaka combines the social graph and big data technology to help advertisers turn customers into their best marketers.
Deputy.com - Australia (Sydney)
Deputy.com is an online business management solution specifically addressing the HR department. The powerful online and mobile platform engages all staff across an enterprise, builds positive culture and drives business growth.
Fantasy Shopper - UK (Exeter)
Fantasy Shopper is a social shopping game. The shopping platform centralizes, socializes and “gamifies” online shopping to provide a real-world experience.
Flixlab - United States (Palo Alto, California)
With Flixlab, people can instantly and automatically transform raw videos and photos from their smartphone or their friends’ smartphones, into fun, compelling stories with just a few taps and immediately share them online. After creation, viewers can then interact with these movies by remixing them and creating personally relevant movies from the shared pictures and videos.
Getaround - United States (San Francisco, California)
Getaround is a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that enables car owners to rent their cars to qualified drivers by the hour, day, or week. Getaround facilitates payment, provide 24/7 roadside assistance, and provide complete insurance backed by Berkshire Hathaway with each rental.
Intervention Insights - United States (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Intervention Insights provides a medical information service that combines cutting edge bioinformatics tools with disease information to deliver molecular insights to oncologists describing an individual’s unique tumor at a genomic level. The company then provides a report with an evidenced-based list of therapies that target the unique molecular basis of the cancer.
Localytics - United States (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Localytics is a real-time mobile application analytics service that provides app developers with tools to measure usage, engagement and custom events in their applications. All data is stored at a per-event level instead of as aggregated counts. This allows app publishers, for example, to create more accurately targeted advertising and promotional campaigns from detailed segmentation of their dedicated customers.
To read more about the AWS Start-Up Challenge finalists and semi-finalists, visit http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2011/11/aws-start-up-challenge-2011-finalists-semi-finalists.html