Launch 2012: Winning Startups

Some cash-starved startups are now flush with cash, thanks to Launch 2012 in San Francisco this week. The biggest winner — Space Monkey. Announced at Launch 2012, the new DropBox competitor will go live this summer. Check out all the other winners here.

It isn’t easy being lean. But some startups competing in this year’s Launch 2012 are about to enjoy the fruits of fat city.

The annual Launch Festival 2012 kicked off March 7 with Israel President Shimon Peres keynoting. It’s a fast-paced event, now in its fifth year. Launch 2012 matches early-stage startups with major cash from tech investors — more than $1M in cash total is at stake for the startup companies vying for the top slots.

Investor Yossi Vardi and Jason Calacanis Speak with President Shimon Peres of Israel

Julie Blaustein and I returned to Launch on Day Two and the competition was fierce. Here are the winners, starting with the top dog — the best all around startup as seen by venture firm Charles River Partners  (CRV).

CRV awarded  $100K to not one but two startups it judged to be the best of the best of the ten winners in the show’s two separate competitions: 1.0 for extremely early stage or stealth startups and the traditional 2.0 competition other early stage startups. And the winners were ultra early stage startups, Captricity and Minbox.

Space Monkey was  a big winner at Launch 2012.  It swept up the Launch 1.0 Best of Show prize and the most cash of any startup in attendance.

In the traditional competition — now called Competition 2.o — here are winners in these five categories. These companies have previously launched but unveiled significant new features, upgrades or extensions of their products at Launch 2012.

Overall Winner/Best of Show


Alltuition is the TurboTax for financial aid and helps students manage, prioritize and submit their applications for financial aid.


Alltuition's Sue Khim and Silas Hundt

Best Technology


With YouEye you can conduct online usability testing with webcam eye tracking.

Best Design


Wanderfly gives you a place to discover and visually travel around the globe with recommendations from people you trust.

Best Business Model


Docstock has all the documents and resources to help small businesses more successfully start and grow.

Best Presentation


Vocre is a new spin on the traditional translation app. Language is not a barrier.

And in the new Competition 1.0 for the earliest of early stage startups, here are the winners:

Overall Winner/Best in Show

Space Monkey

To launch this summer, Space Monkey generated a ton of buzz at Launch 2012. It’s an inexpensive data storage system ala Dropbox and BitTorrent.

Diamond in the Rough


Copper is a service that makes it easy for anyone to show their appreciation for the work they enjoy.

Best Technology


Captricity’s hosted data entry web app and API helps organizations that use paper forms quickly extract quality data into spreadsheets.

Best Design


Minbox is an email client focused on people, not messages. And it’s quite good looking.

Best Business Model


AppStack makes it easy for local businesses to get mobile customers, just give them your number and they will do the work for you.

Best Presentation

That’s Suspicious Behavior

That’s Suspicious Behavior is a virtual neighborhood watch that lets users view and report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods and communities.

Cash Winners

There were a lot of changes at the last minute with investors and I quote “doubling down” cash prizes and splitting awards among multiple winners. And the winners are:

AppStack $75,000

Alltuition $75,000

Benetracker $25,000

Captricity 250,000

Couple Street $25,000

HipSwap $25,000

MeetCute $25,000

Minbox $200,000

Scoot $50,000

Space Monkey $276,000

That’s Suspicious Behavior $50,000

Which brings the grand total of monies awarded to $1,076,000 by our calculations.

We at congratulate all the winners and plan thorough reviews of each one soon.

A great show!

Photo credit: Julie Blaustein