Facebook Announces FbStart Apps of the Year, New Partners, Benefits

Facebook’s FbStart initiative for fledgling developers announced its FbStart Apps of the Year winners, along with some new benefits for developers.

Facebook’s FbStart initiative for fledgling developers announced its FbStart Apps of the Year winners, along with some new benefits for developers.

The social network introduced FbStart at F8 in May 2014, and the program has grown to more than 9,000 members from 137 countries.

Strategic partner manager Ime Archibong announced in a blog post that Amazon, DocSend and Pitchbook are new FbStart partners, while the initiative’s Social Good sector added ChangeCorp, M4 Global Partners and Phone2Action.

Archibong also revealed that FbStart will begin offering monthly office hours, or online access to different Facebook teams for startup developers to better learn how to build products with Facebook’s developer tools and deal with challenges.

FbStart events will be held in the following cities:

  • June: Bangalore, India; Gurgaon, India; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Hong Kong; and Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • July: Boston, Chicago, New York and Toronto.
  • August: Bogota, Colombia; and Mexico City.
  • September: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.
  • October: Miami and Sao Paulo.
  • November: Amsterdam; Berlin; Cape Town, South Africa; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Lisbon, Portugal; London; Istanbul; Paris; and Tel Aviv, Israel.

Finally, Archibong provided details on the winners of this year’s FbStart Apps of the Year contest, saying that submissions were judged by a panel of technology experts from Andreessen Horowitz, ChangeCorp, DeskConnect, GitHub, Facebook and Saavn.

The grand-prize winner received $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in Facebook ad credits, while the other winners were each granted $5,000 in cash and $7,500 in Facebook ad credits. The winners, as described by Archibong:

  • App of the Year: VoiceTube (Android, iOS). Based in Taiwan, VoiceTube is a way to learn English through videos. Founded by married couple Richard Zenn and Carol Lai, the application features more than 30,000 videos with features such as bilingual subtitles, an online dictionary, sentence repeat and recording. According to Zenn, the video platform idea came about because “education in Taiwan teaches us reading and writing in English, but less in listening and speaking.” To learn more about VoiceTube, see our case study.
  • Europe, Middle East and Africa App of the Year: Musixmatch (Android, iOS). Bologna, Italy-based Musixmatch is a crowd-sourced lyrics catalog that syncs directly with a wide variety of apps and features lyrics in a broad number of languages.
  • Latin America App of the Year: Emprego Ligado (Android). Emprego Ligado is a mobile-based recruitment platform focused on the blue-collar job market in Brazil. The app has facilitated millions of interviews for Brazilian workers, with 18 percent of customers getting a job offer the first day after signing up for the app.
  • North America App of the Year: RadPad (Android, iOS). Based in Los Angeles, RadPad makes discovering an apartment for rent easier, safer and more social. The app lets you rent or sublet a room in your apartment, as well as pay rent through the app.
  • Social Good App of the Year: MedShr (Android, iOS).MedShr, based in London, is a global platform that enables doctors to connect with each other and discuss clinical cases in a secure place. Founded by Asif Qasim, a London cardiologist, the app has even been used by doctors in European migrant camps for Syrian refugees.

Readers: Do any of you have any experience with the FbStart initiative?