LeWeb, the major European tech conference takes place next month, and the 16 companies that will present on stage in the finals of its 2011 Start-up Competition have been announced.

From over 600 entrants, the numbers have been whittled down to a selection of finalists from Europe, the Americas and Asia. We’ll be at LeWeb to check them out and bring you the ones we think you should be keeping an eye on, but for now here they are in brief:

23minutes.to (USA) – 23minutes.to helps friends organize spontaneous ‘wild ideas’ for group activities quickly, working from the concept that “If a wild idea doesn’t catch on in 23 minutes, it probably never will.”

Apila (France) – A service designed to give on-street parking an online, social dimension.

ARNav (Poland) – An Android app that uses augmented reality to help pedestrians and tourists navigate to nearby points of interest.

Babelverse (Chile) – Billed as “Real-time voice translation, powered by a global community of human interpreters,” Babelverse promises to allow anyone to get an on-demand translation from a human in any language.

Beintoo (Italy) – A social app-discovery service complete with gaming and virtual currency elements.

ClearKarma (Austria) – A service making it easier to get information about what’s in the food we buy and eat.

Commerces & Co (France) – Lets customers connect directly with local independent traders.

Compath.me (USA) – A photo-sharing app that aims to be “a compass of your life”, helping you discover locations and events around you.

Echo Labs Inc (USA) – The Echoer app promises to enable you to “shape and explore a world of thoughts around you.”

Flagtory (France) – FlagFriend is a location-based mobile game which sees you earning points and money by answering questions left on the map by other users.

Gauss (Germany) – We recently saw this startup pitch at the European Pirate Summit in Cologne. It’s a mobile app designed to help you find interesting people around you.

Geowiki (France) – Geowiki describes itself as “A geolocated wall displaying messages posted around you.”

HeyCrowd (France) – A social polling application allowing you to interact easily with large groups of people.

inZair (Switzerland) – Described as “Next generation mobile messaging”, inAair aims to help people communicate, share and surprise each other.

RadikHub (USA) – Aiming to be “The Swiss army knife for social networking”, RadikHub will let you manage multiple identities on a single platform.

Staround (France) – A mobile app that allows you to take photos and note people and objects of interest within them.

The 16 startups will present at LeWeb to be judged by a panel of experts. There’s also a People’s Choice award. Keep an eye on the LeWeb YouTube channel for a playlist of all the startup’s videos (it’s not there at the time of writing) – your votes will help determine the People’s Choice winner.