Maxroam wins as best gadget start-up at TechCrunch awards

22 Nov 2010

Cork entrepreneur Pat Phelan’s Maxroam last night picked up the Best Hardware or Gadget Startup Award at the TechCrunch Europe awards, The Europas.

Established by Pat Phelan, Maxroam, a low-cost roaming SIM card provider, enables mobile phone users to make low-cost calls anywhere in the world and the company has struck deals in a number of verticals that enable users to make calls on land, at sea and in the air.

The company had been up for three other awards at the London event, including Best Mobile Start-up, Best European Web Application and Best Start-up Founder/Co-Founder.

For Maxroam’s winning category, the judges remarked: “By creating a SIM card anyone can use globally, and a service which cuts roaming charges, Maxroam has become the European start-up entrepreneur’s SIM of choice, and deservedly so.”

Indicative of the direction the company is taking, its MAXRoam division last year forged a €10m partnership with global maritime charity Mission to Seafarers to provide voice and data packages to 1.7 million seafarers at the 250 Mission to Seafarers ports around the world. In a recent deal, Ryanair’s 73 million passengers can now also significantly cut the cost of making and receiving calls, text/SMS messages or mobile data by buying a Maxroam SIM card. In another first, the company launched the first low-cost roaming solution for the Apple iPhone 4, which allows users to access the internet, make calls and send SMS messages anywhere in Europe.

The winners of other categories at the awards were:

Winner of The Europas Grand Prix – Moshi Monsters

Best New Startup in 2010 Flattr

Best Business or Enterprise Startup 2010Tradeshift

Best Advertising or Marketing Tech Startup 2010Cognitive Match

Best Cleantech/Environmental Tech Startup 2010– Whipcar

Best Startup Founder/Co-Founders 2010 – Errol Damelin, Wonga

Best VC or Seed Fund of the Year 2010 – Index Ventures

Best Angel Investor of the Year 2010 – Stefan Glaenzer

Best Startup Adviser/Mentor of the Year 2010 – Sherry Coutu, Angel

Best Service Provider to Startups 2010Winston & Strawn/Bootlaw

Best Ongoing Startup Programme 2010 Seedcamp (Pan-European)

Best Platform Startup 2010– Tweetdeck

Best Exit 2010 Betfair (public listing)

Best European Startup Tool For Startups 2010Codility

Best European Web Application Or Service 2010Spotify

Best Mobile Startup – Layar

Best Entertainment, Sport or Leisure Startup 2010 – Fanduel

Best Learning Startup 2010Moshi Monsters

Best Music Startup 2010Soundcloud

Best Video Startup 2010 Brainient

Best Social Innovation Startup 2010Patients Know Best

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years