DevelopIQ takes top honors in BlackBerry Partners Fund contest

SAN FRANCISCO--DevelopIQ's 7digital Music Store application was named the grand prize winner in the 2009 BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge, an honor announced here at the BlackBerry Developer Conference event. 7digital Music Store enables users to browse the latest music charts, preview tracks and discover, and purchase and download DRM-free MP3 files directly to their BlackBerry smartphone. The software also features an integrated advanced media player that imports existing playlists and music files. DevelopIQ takes home a prize package valued at more than $100,000. "[7digital Music Store] pushes the boundaries of BlackBerry devices in terms of both hardware and software," said BlackBerry Partners Fund co-manager Kevin Talbot in an interview with FierceDeveloper. "It offers convenient navigation, a great UI and great integration with the device core."

Nickel Buddy's game Fierce Towers claimed the runner-up prize package valued at more than $25,000, and Kik, which lets users find, manage and play music files stored on BlackBerry devices, won honorable mention and $5,000. "We're looking for companies that are innovating on the BlackBerry platform," Talbot said. "We believe the smartphone is your computer, your wallet and your lifestyle device, and we're looking for apps that bring those things to life."

BlackBerry Partners Fund--a $150 million venture capital fund created in mid-2008 to invest in applications and services for the BlackBerry OS as well as rival mobile platforms--announced the 2009 BlackBerry Developers Challenge in May of this year, calling for compelling mobile products and services as well as clearly defined value propositions, viable business models and entrepreneurs with the skills to execute their concepts. While the contest was open to all working BlackBerry apps, submissions were required to originate from startups--firms receiving more than $1 million in outside investment were ineligible to compete. Sixteen finalists competed for the grand prize.

Related articles:
BlackBerry Partners Fund kicks off 2009 developer challenge 
BlackBerry Partners Fund invests $3 million in Neuralitic
First BlackBerry Partners Fund investments on tap