Business-to-business (B2B) software innovators from more than a dozen countries, including Colombia, are set to take part in what co-sponsors describe as the “world’s largest startup competition.”
The Comet Competition, which awards a total of $5,000,000 in funding to the world’s top B2B software startups with no requirement of repayment or exchange of equity, officially got underway in August when the call for applicants began. The competition is sponsored by Ingram Micro Cloud, a leading global cloud software company, and Microsoft for Startups, Microsoft’s immersive global accelerator network that provides promising startups with Microsoft’s scale-up products including Azure.
During the first phase of Comet Competition, startups concurrently compete in 16 of the world’s foremost tech markets. Winners each receive $100,000, while two runners-up in each region each get $50,000. Each winner will be eligible to compete in Ingram Micro’s Cloud Summit in Miami, May 12 – 14, 2020. At that point, the overall winner of the competition will be awarded $1,000,000.
“Our goal at Ingram Micro Cloud is to help identify and bring to market the best technology in the industry,” said Michael Kenney, head of strategy and business development for Ingram Micro Cloud. “It’s especially exciting to advise global startups at the beginning of their journeys and watch them achieve significant business milestones faster and more broadly than they ever anticipated.”
The 16 host countries for the Comet Competition are spread out across five continents, which gives promising tech innovators in unlikely places an unparalleled opportunity to bring their revolutionary B2B innovations to the world much faster than they might have been able to otherwise. Any startup that has made less than $10 million in annual revenue over the past year is able to compete, especially those innovating in cybersecurity, infrastructure management, IoT, fintech, and other leading B2B technologies.
Last year’s overall winner, Pixm, is a next-generation software that leverages computer vision to decipher authentic web pages from phishing attempts. Google, Wells Fargo, PayPal, and Bank of America are among the many organizations enlisting Pixm’s protection. Arun Budri, Pixm’s co-founder and president, described the Comet Competition as ‘nuclear fuel’ for his company’s business, thanks to “bringing [Pixm’s] customer acquisition cost down to nearly zero.”
For Ingram Micro Cloud, the Comet Competition opens a path for the most innovative technologies in the world to reach key markets around the world exponentially faster than they otherwise would have.
“Finding new routes to market for amazing, never-before-seen technologies benefits the entire channel ecosystem,” said Nimesh Davé, executive vice president at Ingram Micro Cloud. He also acknowledges the impact that a partner like Microsoft has on achieving this goal.
“Teaming with Microsoft affords us amazing scale and resources. In turn, we are extending these benefits to our Comet Competition applicants, giving these startups the opportunity to share their ideas with a global audience.”