Guest post by Founders Fund startup investor and geek blogger Dave McClure, who will be running the fbFund 2009 Incubator Program.

Alright folks, the votes are in! The Academy... er, i mean the fbFund team has spent the last month reviewing ~400 submissions for the fbFund 2009 Incubator program. Now we're ready to announce the first 25 of our 50 finalists (& we'll announce the second group of 25 soon, as well as our eventual Incubator winners and fbFund investments).

Different from previous fbFund funding cycles, this time around we invited more than 20 of our Developer Council advisors and investors to help us review, rate, interview, & select the finalists. We spent many a late night in April & May toiling over hot laptops, reading executive summaries, reviewing powerpoint presentations, watching video pitches (both good and bad -- some of you should NOT be on YouTube), and even calling a few of the most amazing companies & developers to make sure they weren't droids in disguise. At the end, we had a tough time figuring out which teams building Facebook apps, Facebook Connect websites, and iPhone apps would make the cut and which would not. However when in doubt, we simply consulted the Mighty Magic 8-Ball for insight & inspiration (NOT!).


So with no further ado, we'd like to announce our first 25 fbFund 2009 Finalists:

Select finalist descriptions:

  • Frintro: Play matchmaker to help your single friends find friends of friends to date! Think social dating via "friendly introductions."
  • RentMineOnline: Combines the success of resident referral programs with the power of social networks. Residents refer their community to friends through Facebook to earn rewards and live with friends.
  • Travel Brain & GeckoGo.com: Play the Travel Brain app on Facebook to choose your favorite travel spots; then search travel reviews on GeckoGo.com
  • FriendFreak: Play a fun and social iPhone app to learn more about all your Facebook friends

Congratulations to all of the first 25 finalists, and much thanks to everyone who applied to the program.

Next up we'll be announcing our second group of 25 finalists, and then from among the 50 finalists we'll reveal the winning Incubator apps and startups. The winners will be offered the opportunity to participate in our summer Incubator program, and we'll also be providing seed investments of up to $100,000 (note: no longer grants). Our 10-week program will begin in mid-June and go thru end of August in Silicon Valley, and will be housed at one of the former Facebook offices in downtown Palo Alto. Throughout the summer, we'll be inviting mentors and advisors from Facebook and over 20 top development companies and startup investors to help our Incubator startups grow up from Paduans to Jedis.

And remember young Jedi... there is no try, only DO!