The ballots are in! They have all been counted and recounted, and we have a winner for this year's Vator Splash SF!
Congratulations to Apartment List for winning the judge's vote.
Apartment List brings millions of listings from around the web into one elegant interface, drastically reducing the time it takes renters to find an apartment. Apartment List launched in September 2011 at TechCrunch Disrupt and won a 2012 Webby Award for Real Estate.
The company currently has 13 million in revenue, without ever having raised capital. That is because of the huge amount of money available in the space. $1 billion is spent filling vacanies in the U.S. every year, from 40 million rentals.
The company, which focuses solely on apartments, has 31 employees, more than half of which are engineers, due to the amount of data that needs to be processed. Apartment List is available on desktop, but will be coming to iOS soon.
Eventually Apartment List wants to have a profile page for every rental in American, and want to become a self service platform for landlords and agents, fostering friendly interactions between them and renters.
We should also say congrats to Kismet for winning the People's Choice Award.
Kismet connects you to your existing friends in the real world by simplifying getting together face to face. The app lets people find friends nearby or alert them when the app isn't open, then make it simple to invite them to meet you.
One interesting feature for Kismet is that users can find their friends whether or not they actually use Kismet themselves. Non-users can easily reply from the web or their phone without having to install the app.
Users are invited to private group chats that are tied to an event. It is time and location based,and can even alert people to when their friends have arrived.
The app, which launced at the South By Southwest festival, is different from the larger social networks because it would be hard for a company like Facebook to justify turning on passive location. Kismet's entire model is based around it, and they are smaller company so they can more easily sell the idea of finding people who don't use their app.
But fear not, those of you worried about privacy: the app hides people when they are at home.
Here are our other finalists from Vator Splash SF:
Playmysong is a free app and web service that allows users to both play songs in social jukeboxes. Users can also host their own social jukebox experience in a matter of seconds. Users are allowed to choose the music that is playing around them, at bars, parties, and more, simply by using their smartphones.
Showbucks is a social app platform that brings human interaction back to social apps by combining social video with social games. It develops a series of social apps on iOS and Android that allow users to play with their friends face-to-face on video.
Tie Society offers a monthly service, where members choose to have either 1,3,5, or 10 spots available in their online closet. Tie Society allows members access to hundreds of different ties each month to fill these spots. Shipping is free both ways, with all necessary packaging already provided.
Fandrop allows users to accurately capture the best part of their web browsing experience and share to any network. Any fragments (videos, maps, flash games, images, articles...) of a page can be saved and shared at ease, while preserving their original functionalities.
Addvocate simplifies and systemizes the task of posting, scheduling, training, archiving, & governing the social voices of your employees.
It aggregates and connects employee personal social channels to extend the reach and impact of company messages.
Conga discovers the social relevance between people - whom you should know, within a group, at an event, or wherever you are. Its science applies sophisticated machine learning algorithms to understand the underlying factors behind your professional relationships
Contur is a virtual assistant for email. It scans all incoming emails and determines whether those emails fits into existing labels, task lists, and projects. Contur infers how the user wants the emails organized based on metrics like the title, sender, and content of the email.
The interface also has an integrated to do list, and the user can turn any email into a task with a meaningful title, deadline, and reminder. With a dedicated space to keep track of the user's tasks, projects, follow ups and meeting, the user will be able to stay on top of everything.
KitchenNetwork is a multi-browser, cross-platform app that empowers cooks everywhere to publish, discover and share their favorite recipes. KitchenNetwork also includes broader recipe management solutions and a recommendation engine for discovery based online preferences – all wrapped with a unique social layer for the consumer.