It's time to announce the winner of the Wine 2.0/Vator.tv competition, seeking the top-notch tech innovator in the wine industry.
The winner wins a beautiful glass sculpture made by Jack Storms, and the opportunity to have a one hour meeting with each of the judges. The judges include Heidi Roizen, founder of Skinny Songs, former partner at Mobius Venture Capital; Richard Rosenblatt, CEO, Demand Media; Bowen Osbourn, M&A, Demand Media; Gary Vaynerchuk, star of Wine Library TV; Alan Citron, executive at Buzznet and J. Smoke Wallin, chairman of Wine 2.0.
Before we dive into the winners, here are a couple of companies that didn't receive enough popular votes to get them into the top three. But they received high enough ratings from the judges (click here to see who judged the event) that they deserved an honorable mention.
"Bibola has a tremendous business plan and a great overall concept," said J. Smoke Wallin, chairman of Wine 2.0, the wine social networking and events company that hosted the competition. "This company was very much liked by the judges."
Another company, WomenWine was also liked by the judges, said Wallin. The startup could be "the Martha Stewart or Oprah of wine," he said. Unfortunately, WomenWine didn't attract enough of the popular votes.
Remember, the winner of the overall competition won based on a combination of the popular vote (as measured by the community votes) and 25 points, coming from the judges.
Coming in at No. 3 is Snooth, a wine community and social shopping site. The judges rated Snooth very highly. But unfortunately, Snooth didn't get the community turnout for the popular vote.
In second place is Mutineer magazine, an online wine publication. This was the competition "dark horse," said Wallin. Mutineer was practically a last-minute entry. But by the end of the competition, Mutineer was in second place with the popular vote. "They had a huge following. They had a nice presentation and the judge's liked them," said Wallin.
The winner of this year's Wine 2.0/Vator.tv competition is Curiosk Marketing Solutions, a wine marketing company. Curiosk has developed a kiosk that resides in wine and liquor retailers. The kiosk allows consumers to scan a wine bottle, and create personalized cards that have pre-filled information about the wine, such as characteristics and suggested pairings.
Once again, the winner of the popular vote also won the votes of the judges. Last year, Crushpad won the popular vote with the Vator community and won the overall Wine 2.0/Vator competition. Crushpad went on to raise $9 million in venture financing.
Let us know what you think of the winners.