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BlackBerry Partners Fund Invests in buzzd, Digby and WorldMate

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BlackBerry Partners Fund

Big news breaking from the always exciting crew over at the BlackBerry Partners Fund!

Following up a busy week where they announced the winners of the BBDC BlackBerry Developer Challenge (Poynt, Strands and BlackBerry Cool 15 winner Nobex) and made two on-the-spot offers to BlackBerry Cool 15 presenters Smrtguard and BeamBerry, the Partners Fund has announced investment in three more BlackBerry developers: buzzd, Digby, and WorldMate. Here’s a quick rundown of each developer and the investment amount:

    buzzd, a location-sensitive city guide and social network for mobile devices, has raised $3.2 million in a Series A Preferred Stock financing with BlackBerry Partners Fund, Greycroft Partners, Monitor Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures.

    Digby, a leading mobile commerce service provider, has raised $5.5 million Series B Preferred Stock with the BlackBerry Partners Fund and existing shareholders.

    WorldMate, a company that has paved the way for mobile travel innovation and serves over one million frequent flyers and road warriors around the world, has raised $8 million in a Series C Preferred Stock financing with BlackBerry Partners Fund, Motorola Ventures and AMC Communications.

Congratulations to WorldMate, buzzd and Digby! You can read the full press release after the jump, with statements from key Partners Fund members and representatives of the respective development companies.

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BlackBerry Storm, Pearl Flip, Rogers Plans and Parties (BlackBerry Cool Podcast)

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The BlackBerry Cool Podcast

After a few setbacks and delays (damn you, CTIA), the BlackBerry Cool Podcast is back! It’s also our 40th podcast, which is some sort of milestone, I guess, and a good place to implement changes. We’ve fiddled with the format a little, added some music and a new weekly podcast guest: Fake Ted Rogers. The BlackBerry Cool Podcast will also now be released on Mondays (apologies to all those who enjoy listening to podcasts while raking leaves on the weekend).

This week’s podcast is a bit of a catchup, as we discuss the major news of the past month: the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220 and BlackBerry Storm, and Rogers new BES/BIS plans and BlackBerry Bold price drop. Coincidentally, we also discuss why RIM will never make a BlackBerry app store. Whoops. In fairness, the BlackBerry Application Center is the perfect compromise between what we said RIM needs and what they would never do, so give us partial credit. We also attempted to talk about RIM’s stock and the economy, but cut it because we had nothing significant to contribute on either subject.

Downloading/streaming options for the BlackBerry Cool Podcast can be found after the jump, as well as links to all the relevant news stories. Enjoy!

Special thanks to our new sponsor, Rove Mobile!

The BlackBerry Cool Podcast Episode 40

‘What would you change about BlackBerrys?’ (Weekly Contest)

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BlackBerry Stress Ball

Boy has it been a trying time for the BlackBerry Nation. The economy is in the tank, the BlackBerry Bold has yet to arrive on AT&T and one of our most intensely debated Weekly Contests came when we asked if RIM was going to be okay. We need some fun!

Earlier in the week, you guys tore Gary Krakow a new one over a complaint about BlackBerrys that was easily corrected. However, I liked his style – he had an issue and he vented in the hopes of solving the problem. I think we need to get it all out, all those nagging issues that don’t stop us from loving our BlackBerrys, but maybe cause us to curse the smartphone gods every once in awhile. Issues like a BlackBerry Bold price drop six weeks after launch, or the inability to get OS updates for your BlackBerry. Perhaps you have a long-running hardware concern, or maybe you’re just tired of seeing unreleased BlackBerry teaser videos before you can get the Bold on AT&T.

Whatever the reason, post your most inspiring argument in the comments section about how you could make BlackBerrys even better with just a few minor tweaks. Maybe the smartphone gods will answer our prayers!

The two posters that come up with the best BlackBerry fix will win a FREE ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO WORLDMATE LIVE‘S GOLD SERVICE!

View Last Week’s Weekly Contest Winner

WorldMate Live celebrates 1 year anniversary with facelift and special promotion

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The lovely Sandy over at WorldMate reminded me yesterday of some news sitting in my inbox that you should all know about. WorldMate Live has just celebrated its one year anniversary and is in the mood for celebrating! If you didn’t know, WorldMate Live is an application that specializes in mobile travel services for the frequent flyer and road warrior, providing them with crucial and timely information. The super fun video above (probably one of the most endearing BlackBerry product demos I’ve ever seen) shows why this type of information can be so important.

In addition to a new look and feel, the one year anniversary of WorldMate Live also brings some new feature upgrades. Both the Web and mobile versions have seen a functionality bump, including a new home screen featuring a contextual dashboard based on users’ travel behavior, and a “carousel” display and navigation of all WorldMate Live’s services (you can see a full list of improvements as well as some screenshots after the jump).

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL! WorldMate is also offering their Gold Service at a 25% discount for a limited time! Simply head to https://www.worldmatelive.com/ and use the promo code: specialwml. Oh, and make sure to tell them BlackBerry Cool sent you.

WorldMate Live Screenshots and Features

WES Exhibitor Spotlight: WorldMate

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WorldMate LiveWorldMate Live is just about the greatest travel companion you can get for BlackBerry, and best of all, it’s free. Combined with a web client, you can create itineraries, check world clocks, weather, flight status and more. They offer a second-tier Gold membership that unlocks some of WorldMate’s finer features for the regular globetrotter. For a closer look, check out our review. Oh, and we’ll be talking with WorldMate this week on the podcast, so stay tuned!