Shaker, an app that has been described as “Facebook meets Second Life”, has emerged from a 29-strong field to win TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2011.
The Israeli start-up won the coveted prize after the participants were whittled down to seven finalists, including Bitcasa, Cake Health, Farmigo, Prism Skylabs, TalkTo and Trello.
Shaker, which is currently in “exclusive private beta”, has already raised $3 million in funding. It will now be backed by Michael Arrington, the recently-departed founder of TechCrunch.
The app works by creating a virtual world where users can interact with people they know on Facebook.
It features a “Facebook bar” in which people can talk, buy drinks and even dance via an avatar.
The app has proved extremely popular with initial users, leading to the Shaker team withdrawing invitations for further participants.
Prism Skylabs, a cloud-based service which allows businesses to bring video feeds online, was runner-up. The start-up is backed by, among others, Google chairman Eric Schmidt.
Vocre, a translation app, was the audience choice winner. The app translates your voice into another language by simply speaking into an iPhone.
Fortune Planet won the award for the best game, while Vocre took out the award for the best mobile app.