Big Kahuna award, $213,000 up for grabs at Siemer Summit

Brian Ree, the founder and chief executive of online fashion retailer DailyLook, celebrates winning the Sand Dollar award at the 2013 Siemer Silicon Beach Summit.
(Grant Tanguma)

Thirty-five start-ups are vying for a $213,000 prize this week in Santa Monica at the Siemer Summit, a conference for entrepreneurs and investors.

A total of 10 “WaveMaker” awards are scheduled to be given away, including the Silicon Beach Award and the Big Kahuna Award, which carries the prize money. Half of the nominees are based in Southern California.

The fourth annual digital media-focused summit is organized by the Los Angeles investment bank Siemer & Associates, its technology venture capital arm and its Singapore-based tech incubator WaveMaker Labs. It’s taking place Wednesday and Thursday at Shutters on the Beach.

“The WaveMaker Awards gives us an opportunity to showcase and celebrate these innovators and acknowledge the contributions of industry’s most promising entrepreneurs and startups from around the world,” Siemer & Associates founder David Siemer said in a statement.


Bridg, Buzzstarter and Dealflicks are among start-ups backed by Siemer Ventures that are up for awards.

In the video technology category are several companies trying to make watching online videos an interactive experience. Trailerpop, for example, mixes trivia questions and movie trailers to get people talking about movies.

In the music category, Audiocommon is one of several start-ups trying to create a music-focused social network of sorts to connect artists with different groups of people. Audiocommon wants to help artists get their fans’ attention by revealing behind-the-scenes experiences.

Other award categories target online shopping, social media, advertising technology and data-crunching. The start-ups spread throughout those categories include Southern California ones aimed at freelance journalists (Ebyline), advertisers (PlayMyAd) and concert-goers (DigiTour).


About 50 investors are judging the awards and providing feedback to nominees. The judges include Andrew Cleland of Comcast, Richard Wolpart of Amplify, Jeff Tannenbaum of BlueRun Ventures, Bruno Bensaid of Shanghai Vest and Cody Simms of TechStars.

Last year’s winner of the Big Kahuna prize for “the single most innovative, most disruptive and most likely to succeed company” was Adomic. The Santa Monica-based company is trying to make online advertising more effective by giving advertisers and websites real-time data about ad campaigns. This year’s award will come with $75,000 in convertible note financing and more than $138,000 in legal and consulting services.

The complete list of awards and nominees.

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