The year ending 2013 Geek Award winners
A jam-packed night of flattery and fun, the first annual Geek Awards came and went with few surprises as the Israeli startup scene memorialized a well deserved pat on the back for a record breaking $6B+ year of deal flow in the quizzical but cute form of a Space Invaders Buggy.
Without further adieu,
The 2013 Geek Award Winners
Best startup in Internet
Wix – This Do It Yourself (DIYS) website builder founded in 2006 by CEO Avishai Abrahami, brother and VP Nadav Abrahami, and CTO Giora Kaplan IPO’d in November and not six weeks later their value jumped $400M to break the $1B valuation mark. Wix was the second Israeli startup this year to surpass $1B in value.
Best startup in Enterprise
uTest – One of the pioneers in crowdsourcing, uTest has become a gold standard for software testing. When Co-Founder and VP Product Roy Solomon accepted the award he revealed that uTest’s army of testers now exceeds 100K people from across the globe.
Best startup in Mobile
Waze – This crowdsourcing traffic app acquired by Google was the first Israeli startup to break $1B this year and was the largest mobile exit by any company, anywhere, ever. Waze still generates contentious debates about the the true value of mobile, Israel consumer, startups in general etc. Thanks for all the journalistic fodder guys.
Best start up Cyber Security
MyPermissions – This Android, iOS and Chrome plugin grants users single click execution to choose, accept or remove permissions for multiple social networking applications, as well as offers real-time Twitter account protection; informing users if, when and how their account is being accessed by third party apps or other nefarious entities – I guess you’ll just have to DM me and ask my permission next time you want to spread your propaganda on my Twitter, Syrian Electronic Army.
Best startup in Hardware
PrimeSense – The Comeback Kid of 2013, PrimeSense was in some deep water earlier this year after Microsoft decided not to renew their contract. The company seemed sure enough of themselves though even while others were already writing them off, and sure enough indeed, they came back with a very respectable exit, courtesy of Apple, to the tune of some $345M.
Best New startup
FeeX – Personally, I think this category was totally Feexed. The truth is FeeX is all about combatting ‘legal’ fraud as they help clients understand their bills and fees, and set up their plans in a such a way as to save them thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.
Best Rising startup
Taboola – Online social video discovery platform. This Outbrain of video gets your media in front of the right people at the right time for a measures and qualitative approach to video virility.
Best startup Exit
Waze – for obvious reasons.
Best startup Accelerator
UpWest Labs – Unique among accelerators, UpWest caters exclusively to Israeli startups while basing itself exclusively in Palo Alto’s Silicon Valley. After only two years running, UpWest already has notable achievements which include 150 entrepreneur graduates and $20M in total follow on funding secured by graduating companies.
Best Male Investor
Zohar Gilon – Managing partner at Tamar Ventures, Gilon has invested in over 45 companies with 13 exits. Recent investment include JoyTunes, Tvici, Garantia Data, OUtbrain and Payoneer.
Best Female Investor
Rona Segev-Gal – General Partner at Pitango, Segev-Gal’s portfolio investments include Skycure, Traiana, Identify, Actona, Varonis, Item Field, and Aduva.
Best Venture Capital Fund
Magma Ventures – One of the leading Israel VC’s specializing in early stage investments, Magam was one of the forces behind Waze and Onavo, two of the major exits of 2013.
Best startup Male Entrepreneur
Avishai Abrahami - CEO and Co-FOunder of Wix.
Best startup Female Entrepreneur
Iris Shoor – Co Founder of Visual Tao – acquired by Autodesk in 2009, and now Takipi, who recently raised $4.5M this past November.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Dov Moran – Serial entrepreneur and inventor of the Disk-On-Key; Moran accepted his award remotely as he was attending the CES event in Las Vegas. Moran was honored but at the same time playfully offended making it clear that this award should in no way signify that his life achievements are over.
Best Startup of the Year
Waze – And that makes 3 – hat trick.