There are 2 reasons I’m highlighting this, firstly Joe Drumgoole and the guys at Echolibre are good friends of mine so I’m proud of their achievement in coming 3rd at such a prestigious conference (especially given the level of funding they’ve received compared to some of the other startups) and I’m excited for what the future holds for them.
Secondly, I feel they were robbed. Ok, I didn’t watch all of the startup pitches but I did happen to see the top 3 pitches (Stribe came first and Tigerlily came second) and Cloudsplit not only had the most unique product of the top 3.
Stribe were showcasing a new white label version of their site and facebook connect integration! To me that is not a new startup but just some new features to an already launched service and while it’s great for the startup to be able to showcase these new features to a large audience, they shouldn’t be up for the top prize. It reminds me of oDesk making it onto the TC50 stage from the demopit, when they’ve been around for years and were just showing off new features to their well-funded and established service. Another issue for me would be that Stribe is in competition with the likes of Ning, socialthing and Meebo so it’s not exactly groundbreaking.
Tigerlily, however, is pretty cool and a useful service for corporates looking to create a nice facebook page but it’s a service that already exists again so nothing really groundbreaking.
On the other hand, Cloudsplit are in one of the fastest growing spaces in the online world, have built something that hasn’t been done before and provide a service that most businesses online would happily pay for…but on the downside they’re not French, unlike the other two! (Note: Irish people no longer trust the French after what Thierry Henry did to us in the World Cup Qualifier )
If you’d like to see Joe’s pitch at LeWeb, it’s below: