Six startups named ‘most likely to succeed’

by Dan Nakaso  (courtesy Mercury Image selected by TiA Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — Two young Silicon Valley companies and two more that just set up shop in the valley are among the six winners selected “most likely to succeed” by a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors.

All six winning companies, which were announced Wednesday in San Francisco, join a group of previous winners that collectively have raised more than $145 million in venture capital funding over the past eight years of the annual competition, according to SVForum, which helps organize the awards and calls itself Silicon Valley’s leading nonprofit organization for developers, technologists and entrepreneurs.

This year’s winners include Mountain View based, which delivers predictive analytics using cloud computing and open source software; Santa Clara-based Bugcrowd, which provides crowd-sourced security for web and mobile applications; and Menlo Park-based WHILL, which recently moved from Japan to design and create a new generation of sidewalk electric vehicles.

Luxembourg-based FLASHiZ, Europe’s first mobile payment system based on both NFC and QR codes, also opened a Sunnyvale office in April “because it’s where the business is,” said FLASHiZ CEO Alexandre Rochegude.

The two other companies that won were Fresno-based OnFarm, which allows farmers to better manage fertilizer, water, labor and energy through a cloud-based system; and Athens, Ohio-based E3 Clean, which produces clean hydrogen fuel as a byproduct of cleaning up diesel and power plant contamination, exhaust and emissions.

This year’s competition drew more than 300 entries from around the world. And even nonwinners regularly attract capital and interest from companies that want to invest in them, acquire them or purchase their technologies, said Chris Gill, SVForum’s CEO.

“It can be a game changer for companies that participate and aren’t selected” as a winner, Gill said. “One of the perennial challenges for startups is rising above the noise and getting the attention of investors and others.”

All of the entries were narrowed to a list of 30 companies that made presentations on Tuesday before venture capitalists and angel investors in Mountain View at Microsoft, which co-sponsored the awards. on Tuesday received attention from six potential clients representing diverse industries that are interested in better using “all of the data they’re sitting on,” said Andy Bartley,’s CEO.

So being named a winner in the “next generation Internet” category means even more “exposure and introductions,” Bartley said.

Also on Wednesday, SVForum announced the winners of its 16th annual Visionary Awards: Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, author and academic; Peter H. Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X-Prize Foundation; Ray Kurzweil, Google’s (GOOG) director of engineering; and Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s (CSCO) chief technology and strategy officer.

Last year’s Visionary Award winners included Elon Musk, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors (TSLA).

This year’s Visionary Award winners will be honored June 26 in Los Altos.

“These individuals have each played a significant role in the furthering of technology and innovation, inspiring others to continue to push the bounds of ‘what’s now’ and identifying ‘what’s next,'” said Deborah Magid chairwoman of SVForum’s board of directors.

Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648. Follow him at

SVforum names “most likely to succeed” winners

Here are the six companies honored Wednesday by SVForum:

Next Generation Internet: (Mountain View) and Bugcrowd (Santa Clara)

Mobile: FLASHiZ (Luxembourg and Sunnyvale)

Life Science: WHILL (Menlo Park)

Clean Tech: E3 Clean (Athens, Ohio)

Technology: OnFarm (Fresno)


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This entry was posted on June 5, 2013 by in FUNDED and tagged , , , , , , , .

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