Social web-search start-up HeyStaks has been chosen to represent Ireland at the Vodafone Mobile Clicks 2011 final in Amsterdam in September, a contest that seeks out the most innovative mobile internet start-ups.
Known as one of the biggest start-up competitions of its kind, Vodafone Mobile Clicks has a €225,000 prize fund.
This year, the competition was open to start-ups with a mobile site, service or app from Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Turkey and the UK.
HeyStaks will now represent Ireland in the finals at the PICNIC festival in Amsterdam on 15-16 September 2011, where it will be judged by a prominent panel of experts that will include Rudy de Waele, founder of Mobile 2.0 Europe and dotopen; Peter Barry, head of VC and Start-up at Vodafone Ventures; Paul Jozefak of Neuhaus Partners; Reshma Sohoni, partner at Seedcamp; and Lee Epting, director of Content Services at Vodafone Group.
The company was chosen as the overall winner of the Irish leg of this competition after it edged ahead of the four other finalists, which all pitched their mobile products to a judging panel.
The criteria to win included originality, technical and operational feasibility, economic and financial viability and value to end user.
Social search results from the HeyStaks app, appearing on the iPhone 4 screen
Disruptive social search technology
Launched earlier this year, the HeyStaks social web search service enables users to collaborate anonymously with friends and people of like-minded interests as they search, to get better, more relevant results.
The service aligns with people’s favourite search engines so they can continue searching as normal. It also enables search synchronisation across multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablet and TVs.
"This is great timing for us as we are seeing very positive consumer reaction to our iPhone and Android phone apps, and will be releasing our new apps for iPads and Android tablets in September," said Jonathan Dillon, CEO, HeyStaks, and a former vice-president of Corporate Development of Yahoo!
Spin-out from UCD
Dr Peter Briggs, Dr Maurice Coyle and Prof Barry Smyth founded HeyStaks, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out, in 2008.
It is based on technology developed as part of Smyth’s research group and the CLARITY Centre for Sensor Web Technologies, a Science Foundation Ireland-funded research centre between UCD, Dublin City University, and Tyndall National Institute.
In 2010, HeyStaks secured venture funding from The Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund.
The company now employs 18 people between its Irish headquarters at NovaUCD and its offices in San Francisco, where Dillon is based.
Photo: Dr Peter Briggs, Prof Barry Smyth and Dr Maurice Coyle, founders of HeyStaks Technologies