While the novelty of building online services around APIs has long faded, they’re very much a part of every day life for startups around the world. While you might not want to base you your entire livelihood around someone else’s API, there’s no doubt that creative use of third-party data and systems can fuel innovation and creativity.

With this in mind, the API Mashup Contest is back to celebrate the best startups using third-party APIs in their products. A panel of judges will assess the entries, and the winner will receive a bundle of services worth $5000 and an Amazon Kindle Fire. The best entries will receive help, including mentoring and links to angel investors.

The contest is open to all developers from all over the world, and the winners will be announced in mid-December.

This is the fourth API Mashup Contest, and judges this time include high-profile angel investor Esther Dyson; Adam DuVander, the Executive Editor at ProgrammableWeb; Rob Spectre, developer evangelist for Twilio; API evangelist, Kin Lane; SEOmoz founding president, Gillian Muessig; Dmitry Namiot, senior scientist at Lomonosov Moscow State University… and me.

So, if you use APIs in an interesting and creative way in your startup, get your application in as soon as you can. The deadline is 30 November 2012.

➤ API Mashup Contest

Image credit: iStockphoto / Thinkstock