mtvU's & Cisco's Digital Incubator Names Finalists

NEW YORK (Hypebot) — mtvU and Cisco have launched five Web 2.0 online applications conceived, developed and run by college students. Their joint Digital Incubator offers up tp $250,000 in grants and a platform at www.digitalincubator.net. Two music sites lead the finalists which include:

RapHappy – New York University – This online and mobile-phone-based hip-hop community enables members to easily record, collaborate on, search and listen to freestyle or written raps, without software or file uploading. RapHappy can be used as a self-promotion tool for musicians or a communication tool for recording private audio messages. Members can dynamically collaborate, rate and comment on submissions, and participate in battles for prizes.

Osiris – Brown University – An MP3 visualizer using song lyrics to dynamically generate music videos, using images pulled from Flickr and a user’s own hard disk. This free app gives users a new way to enjoy music, using each song’s lyrical narrative to tell a visual story.

Casablanca – New York University -This free online and mobile-phone-based ice-breaker party game combines elements of social networking, espionage and alternative-reality gaming.

Selectricity – M.I.T. – An online communal ranking technology. Using a drag-and-drop mechanism, users rank choices and Selectricity generates a winner most acceptable to the group. Anyone can set up a question in 30 seconds and tap their friends to settle daily dilemmas like, "which club do we go to tonight?" or "who are the best indie rock bands out right now?"

How Do I Say This? – UCLA 0 A Web-based advice wiki, where users help script and create video messages for people with problems that have left them at a loss for words. A new topic is selected every month and members weigh in with advice and suggestions, in the form of user-generated videos, illustrations, photos, prose, poetry and cartoons.

Each of this year’s Digital Incubator teams has already received upwards of $30,000 in funding. The teams also submit business plans and are competing for a supplemental Digital Incubator grant of up to $100,000. The field will be narrowed to two and finalists will pitch their projects to executives from MTV and Cisco.

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