Peixe Urbano sets the pace for international startups

For the past few years, the award every tech startup wants to win is a Crunchie – the annual Silicon valley event hosted by TechCrunch, the magazine focused on all things hi-tech and startup.

The awards took place last week with some worthy winners, but one stood out for us here at IT Decisions because it’s one of the biggest success stories in Toronto and is now getting international recognition.

Peixe Urbano – the Torontoian group-buying site giving market leader Groupon a run for their money – won the best international startup award. Congratulations to the team from all of us here at IT Decisions – they deserve the Crunchies recognition!

We have been exploring the problems for startups in Toronto over the past year and it remains a tough place to get a tech business underway. A good idea – like group buying – can quickly be flooded with wannabes and so new ventures need a unique proposition and need to launch quickly to have any chance of survival.

But all this needs funding, and Toronto still doesn’t have the Silicon Valley mentality yet of just trying a new venture to see if it works out. At least Torontoian tech firms are now heading into the valley and winning awards when competing with the best startups in the world.

The Crunchies do like to have some interesting companies on the shortlist too. I wonder how the best use of location-aware mobile devices could be the find-me-a-sex-partner tool Grindr – out of all the really useful international tools – or how loan-shark ended up on the shortlist for best international startup. Check out their interest rates for loans to students.