500 Startups is a $250,000 micro-fund dedicated to companies that are based on Twilio’s telephony platform (Twilio is one of 500 Startup’s portfolio companies). The funds has announced its first three winners today, each of whom will receive $10,000 in return for a 1% stake in the company. The three companies are Textaurant, OrderMapper, and Voicendo.
Textaurant is a service that lets restaurant customers ‘put their names down’ for a table without having to sit around on a restaurant bench for 20 minutes. Instead, they receive a text or voice message (via Twilio) when it’s their turn (this sounds like an alternative to those vibrating gizmos that some establishments hand out).
OrderMapper helps restaurants create mobile applications that customers can use to order food, including the completion of credit card transactions. Orders are delivered to restaurants via fax, email, Point of Service, or phone numbers ( using Twilio).
Finally, Voicendo offers a dashboard that lets businesses route their incoming calls and text messages using a variety of rules (which can be quite complex). Rules can be set up using a drag-and-drop interface, and businesses can incorporate options like Text-to-speech instructions and menus.
For interested startups, the program is still accepting submissions through to December 31.