This is a guest post from Hillel Fuld, who is head of Marketing at inneractive. In addition to his marketing activities with inneractive, Hillel works with Appboy, a leading mobile discovery engine on their dynamic web content and brand awareness. You can find Hillel on Twitter here and on Google+ here.While many people do not yet associate Israel with technology and startups, Israel has the second-largest concentration of startups per capita after Silicon Valley.
Many of the leading tech companies have established a presence in “Startup Nation” and the latest of the bunch is of course Apple with its acquisition of Anobit and a new R&D centre in Haifa, Israel.
As far as the startup world is concerned, what is interesting is that you will find many Israeli entrepreneurs who are not only developing innovative and disruptive technology, but that are actually working on launching multiple startups simultaneously.
Failure in the Israeli startup scene is also handled differently than in other places. Generally speaking, Israeli entrepreneurs do not view failure as a reason to give up. On the contrary, a failed startup is the drive to think of the next big thing and push even harder than the first time.
The following are 10 relatively small Israeli startups operating in various spaces that are developing interesting new technology to say the least.
A new iPhone app that was recently featured in the App Store, Groupshot solves a real problem that you might have if you are taking group photos of kids or friends. You know the drill. You shoot a photo. Then another one. And another one. Except in the first one, everyone is smiling except one person. In the second one, someone is blinking, and in the third, someone else was looking in the wrong direction.
With Groupshot for iPhone, you can select which face you want to replace and easily choose the same face from another photo and place it into the original photo. The result is the perfect group shot with no decrease in resolution. It is actually kind of magical. The app is $.99 in the App Store.
Speaking of magic, Magisto knows how to pull a rabbit out of a hat. A new iPhone app that brings the Youtube partner to the mobile phone, allows you to take the standard home video shot with the iPhone and easily transform it into a full-fledged professional-looking video production. I am not talking about cute effects and a soundtrack, I am talking about advanced cloud-based video editing that notifies you via push notifications when the video is ready and it is then stored on Magisto's servers in the cloud.
The results are fantastic and easily shared across your various social networks as well as email. Despite all its advanced features, Magisto is available for free on the App Store.
This one is different than the previous startups in that it is not a mobile app but a Web-based Twitter platform. No, not another Hootsuite, Twtrland solves one of the biggest challenges of using the micro blogging service that continues to take off, namely, how to find relevant people to follow and engage with.
Twtrland enables you to search for any Twitter user, after which you are presented with a whole list of useful facts about that person's Twitter activity. What do they tweet about? How often do they tweet? How often do they reply to people? What were their most popular tweets? And the list goes on. Of course, the data is presented in a very visually stimulating fashion, something we are seeing more of from services like Pinterest. Twtrland has accumulated hundreds of thousands of Twitter users around the globe, a database the company intends on putting to good use to help users in the coming months.
An interesting Android app that has made its way over to iPhone as well, Flyscreen is a widget-based reader of RSS as well as social feeds. On Android, Flyscreen can replace your home screen enabling you get quick access to your feeds, something Windows Phone has become well known for with its live tile solution.
Obviously, the home screen replacement is not something supported in iOS so Flyscreen redesigned the app for iPhone to offer a great reading experience with various themes and other nice features. Flyscreen also recently signed an interesting deal wth NTT DoCoMo to bring the Android app to millions of Japanese users.
While many of the above startups operate in either mobile or the social space, Outbrain is a good old-fashioned Web solution that facilitates more effective and relevant content discovery across the Web. Outbrain is also the biggest company on the list with its platform installed on some bigger online publications including Newsweek, USA Today, and TMZ.
The idea is actually fairly simple. As you read Web content, Outbrain uses its advanced algorithm to suggest other content you might be interested in reading based on various parameters. The result is obvious, publishers get more traffic, readers get more content, win win.
While the photography-based social networking world has become quite crowded lately with players such as Instagram and some might say, even Pinterest, Mobli is another social network based on photography, but that is where the similarities end. Mobli is both a mobile app as well as a Web-based social network. As far as mobile is concerned, it is available cross-platform on iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.
Mobli has also become well-known for its celebrity participation including Lukas Haas, Paris Hilton, Tobey Maguire, J-Lo, as well as a $4 million round led by Leonorda Dicaprio. Well, the product is nice enough, but this kind of celebrity buzz is sure to bring users as well.
Anyone paying attention has surely noticed the explosion in mobile gaming. What is sorely lacking from the hundreds of thousands of mobile games out there is the ability to compete against friends within your favourite games. Playerduel offers an SDK to developers that enables them to simply add a competition layer into the standard mobile game.
In addition to the SDK, users can download many games that already integrated PlayerDuel and test it out for themselves. The problem PlayerDuel solves for developers is actually two-fold. While statistics have proven that users download apps and rarely use them in most cases, a competitive layer is sure to change that. More engagement within an app is also sure to increase the revenue the app generates for the developer. Users can download the PlayerDuel app to see all the games currently using the SDK here.
Last but far from least, Loudlee, a recently launched music service is, what many have called it, Pinterest for music. Log in to Loudlee and you will see for yourself. Its big advantage is the beautiful UI and the ability to use the service globally unlike Spotify and other music solutions.
With 50,000 artists and over 3.5M songs, Loudlee organizes the music based on albums, not songs, something some of us old-timers will appreciate. It brings us back to the days before Jobs started the iTunes music store that sells music by song and rips apart (no pun intended, or was it?) the albums artist spent time putting together. Loudlee is also by invite only at this point and guess what? Here's yours!
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