GOGII and Zendesk in Wall Street Journal- Unveiling VentureWire’s FASTech 50: Most Innovative Start-UpsSeptember 09, 2011
Wall Street Journal
by Scott Austin
The search for the most innovative venture-backed technology start-ups is over!
Over the past few months, the VentureWire editorial team analyzed hundreds of start-ups in the Dow Jones VentureSource database, and pored over about 2,000 nominations on Twitter, to select 50 companies paving a unique path technologically.
We also consulted an advisory board panel of venture capitalists to help sift through a clutter of me-too start-ups.
Today we’re introducing this distinguished list of companies — dubbed the FASTech 50 — whose chief executives will be invited to speak at the upcoming VentureWire FASTech conference in November. (There will also be a contest for one more spot — keep reading below.)
You can find the FASTech 50 list by clicking here or clicking on the “Interactive Graphics” tab of this blog post. This diverse group — spread among a number of sectors such as software, data storage, mobile and health-care IT — includes relatively under-the-radar start-ups such as Oblong Industries, whose gesture-based computing technology has its roots in the movie “Minority Report,” as well as those blessed with blogosphere buzz, such as social-magazine app maker Flipboard and business-networking software company Yammer.
What you won’t find on this list are the start-ups that have already made it big — the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. We wanted to keep this list confined to earlier-stage companies with a product or service that we can see, so we adhered to the following criteria:
Not only must they be U.S. based, privately owned with at least one venture capital firm as an investor, but they also must have a product or service on the market that launched no earlier than three years ago. Most importantly, the start-up’s innovation should break from conventional methods, introduce novel technology or markedly advance an existing product or service.
But we also have a surprise. This year we supplemented our research with nominations submitted via Twitter. To give the public another opportunity to play a role in selecting the nation’s most innovative start-ups, you are invited to vote for a 51st company from a group of 24 runner-ups. Voting ends Sept. 23. The winner will be named the “FASTech Fan Favorite” and invited to join the FASTech 50 at the conference.
To vote, please visit http://www.research.net/s/fanfave
VentureWire FASTech will be in Redwood City, Calif., on Nov. 8 and 9. There will be a diverse line-up of keynotes and panelists in addition to the investment-worthy start-ups deemed by VentureWire editors and advisory board members. In conjunction with the event, The Wall Street Journal will be holding the annual Technology Innovation Awards, where companies, individuals and nonprofit organizations throughout the world will be honored for their breakthroughs.