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10 hot cloud startups to watch

Jeff Vance | March 6, 2013
After evaluating more than 150 new cloud ventures, here are the top 10 cloud startups. These companies are shaping--or have the potential to shape--how the cloud computing market will evolve.

When we requested suggestions for cloud startups to evaluate in order to come up with the Top 10 list, we received more than 150 nominations. After reviewing the nominations and getting your input, we narrowed the list down to the 10 most promising.

The Top 10 mixes track record with potential. Some startups, such as Aryaka Networks and HyTrust, are more established and have long lists of customers wins. The list also includes more recent startups that are included more for their potential than their current status in the market. Several of these newer companies are helping determine just how the cloud computing market will evolve. They include dinCloud, Nebula and SaaS Markets.

The process for this roundup was a little different than in the past. After the nominees were narrowed down to 25, the list was posted at Startup50 and then we let readers vote. After more than 4,500 votes were cast, we finalized the top 10 list. However, voting was weighted at only 25 percent of the overall score. Equally important were pedigree of the management team, VC funding and just how pressing the pain point is that the startup addresses. Yet, most of the top vote-getters ended up in the final roundup (7 out of 10).

We want to take the Top 10 list a step further. In a week or so, these startups will be reordered and ranked (they are in alphabetical order now) based on voting, funding, strength of the management team and several other factors.

You can vote for your top startup now.

If you feel some startup was snubbed, you also have the option to write one in. If any of the write-ins get enough support, we may expand this list by one or two and include them when we release the final rankings.

As votes were tabulated votes, some companies, such as Nebula, are included here despite it not being on the original list of 25 nominees. Other impressive startups that weren't in the initial batch of 150 include RiverMeadow (cloud migration), InverCloud (PaaS) and Oxygen Cloud (cloud storage and collaboration).

We also learned of a few stealth-mode startups to keep an eye out for, such as Symbolic IO (storage). On paper at least, there's an impressive batch of startups getting ready to emerge from stealth-mode soon.

With those caveats out of the way, here are 10 Hot Cloud Startups you should watch (in alphabetical order).

1. AppZero

What they do: Help companies migrate server applications to the cloud.

Headquarters: Andover, Mass.

CEO: Greg O'Connor. He previously served as founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software.


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