There’s plenty of startup awards and competitions, but Techcrunch Crunchies seems to be one that startups pay attention to. Techcrunch published the list of finalists for Crunchies 2011, revealing two Israeli nominees:
Soluto, nominee for best international startups, develops software that helps users speed up their PC computers using advanced driver technology combined with collective user wisdom. The software is a download client, which runs as a background service that detects slowdowns and tries to analyze the cause. The software leverages its entire user base to then compare the causes of slowness on your PC and other machines, in order to suggest a simple solution to speed up your PC. Soluto won Techcrunch Disrupt last year, and has raised approximately $7 million to date from Proxima Ventures ($1.6 million in seed, 2008) and Bessemer Venture Partners, Giza Venture Capital and Proxima Ventures ($6.2 million in Series A Nov 2009).
Boxee Box, nominee for best new device, is the Israeli answer to Apple TV, a hardware product that connects to the TV to enable a rich Internet TV experience which includes a fully decked media center (based on the xBox media center open-source software) which is also connected to a social network to enable content recommendation and sharing with friends. The box came out this year with a retail price of $200, which puts it in a higher price tier than Apple, but as they mention on the website “there’s more to life than iTunes”.
Boxee has been getting very positive buzz in CES 2011 and has recently signed distribution agreements with CBS and Voodoo and Viewsonic is releasing their first “connected” TV running Boxee’s software platform, without the need for a box. Check out the video from this year’s consumer electronics show:
Good luck to the Israeli finalists and don’t forget to support them by casting your vote in this link. The Crunchies have had their share of Israeli startups (including iMedix that snatched the top prize in the past) but the presence of Israeli startups has been thinning down. Are there any other Israeli startups you would have liked to see nominated? leave a comment!