The 2017 FbStart Apps of the Year Are …

Facebook launched its FbStart initiative to help support startup app developers at F8 in May 2014

Facebook announced its FbStart Apps of the Year at the Rise conference in Hong Kong Monday.

The FbStart Apps of the Year recognize the most innovative startups in the social network’s FbStart initiative in terms of building native iOS or Android mobile applications.

Facebook launched its FbStart initiative to help support startup app developers at its F8 developers conference in May 2014.

Head of platform partnerships Konstantinos Papamiltiadis said in a blog post that 900 submissions were received from 87 countries, and they were evaluated by a panel of judges from ActionSprout, General Catalyst Partners and Spotify.

The winners, with descriptions from Papamiltiadis, were:

  • Global App of the Year: SoloLearn (North America) (iOS/Android): SoloLearn is a free mobile-first app for people interested in learning the basics of software programming and coding an interactive experience that combines personal accomplishment with community engagement. The app’s approach is to educate members through game mechanics, dynamic peer-to-peer activity and user-generated content. SoloLearn community members compete in head-to-head challenges, unlock hidden lessons and contribute to peer learning. The SoloLearn app offers 12 free courses, including JavaScript, Swift, Python, C++ and HTML/CSS. Tens of thousands of new content pieces that are generated by the community every day, paired with community support, provide an infinitely fun learning experience for students in all levels of programming.

  • Social Good App of the Year: Golden (North America) (iOS/Android): Golden makes volunteering effortless by helping people apply their everyday interests in noble ways. Golden helps people find local volunteer opportunities based on the activities they prefer to do for fun, rather than skills-based requirements. For example, history buffs can volunteer as a docent at a local historical museum, while digital natives can sign up to manage social media campaigns for nonprofit organizations. Golden helps nonprofit organizations by providing high-value volunteers and operational analytics. Volunteer organizations with premium monthly cost plans can list private opportunities to affiliates whose members may have desired interests and skills. With a strong focus on high-school and university volunteer recruiting, Golden helps people discover the personal and societal benefits of volunteerism.

  • Asia-Pacific App of the Year: Maya (iOS/Android): Women around the world use Maya to track their periods, monitor related symptoms, set health reminders, track pregnancy and connect with health experts. Founded in early 2014 in India, Maya has more than 7 million downloads across 190 countries worldwide. The app logs more than 1 million active people every month, and it’s predominantly used in Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, Russia and South Korea. Maya supports 14 international languages, and it garnered a 4.6-star rating from more than 120,000 consumer app reviews on the Google Play Store. Learn more about how Maya leveraged Facebook’s developer tools to scale its business here.

  • Europe, Middle East and Africa App of the Year: Mondly (iOS/Android): Mondly is a leading language learning platform with more than 15 million downloads worldwide. Available on iPhone, iPad, Android and PC, it’s the first company to launch a virtual reality experience for learning languages featuring speech recognition and chat bot technology. The app takes people on a journey where they learn a new language by using most of their senses to do reading, writing, listening, speaking and visual exercises. In just minutes, you’ll start memorizing core words, form sentences, learn phrases and take part in conversations. These fun language lessons improve your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation like no other language learning app.

  • Latin America App of the Year: ReservaTurno (iOS/Android): ReservaTurno is a mobile app to book beauty appointments on the go. ReservaTurno allows customers to discover new services, book online appointments and connect with salon managers. People can book beauty shifts from hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, beauty centers, hair removal and more.

A total of $160,000 in prize money will be awarded as follows:

  • Global App of the Year: $100,000 prize ($50,000 in cash and $50,000 in Facebook advertising credit), including mentorship from Facebook’s team to help the startup accelerate its growth.
  • Regional App of the Year (three winners): $15,000 per winner ($7,500 in cash and $7,500 in Facebook advertising credit).
  • Social Good App of the Year: $15,000 ($7,500 in cash and $7,500 in Facebook advertising credit). David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.