American broadliner Ingram Micro has announced during Microsoft Inspire a competition to find and fund the most promising business-to-business (B2B) technology startups. Applications are opened since August 1st for the international Comet Competition, with a focus on finding B2B software innovators whose products have clear applications and potential implementations in the channel.
Through simultaneous global competitions spanning five continents, the Comet Competition is set to award significant funding to 15 independent software vendors (ISVs). The top finalist in each region will receive €89,000 in-kind go-to-market funding. The three runners-ups in each region will be awarded €44,500 in-kind go-to-market funding. The overall competition winner will receive $890,000 cash at Cloud Summit 2020. Ingram Micro does not receive any equity in the winning companies and the funding dollars awarded do not require repayment.
This competition is run in collaboration with Microsoft’s global startup program, Microsoft for Startups, and is supported by Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace, which reaches partners and customers in more than 50 global markets.
“Finding new routes to market for amazing, never-before-seen technologies benefits the entire channel ecosystem”, said Nimesh Davé, executive vice president Ingram Micro Cloud. “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.”
“Microsoft for Startups is a global program designed to help B2B startups quickly scale by providing access to Microsoft Azure, technical support, and a streamlined path to selling alongside Microsoft and our partner ecosystem”, said Jeana Jorgenson, General Manager, Commerce and Ecosystems at Microsoft. “Supporting the Comet Competition with an industry-leader like Ingram Micro is a natural fit. We look forward to working directly with the startup teams in the coming months.”
To be eligible, startups cannot be generating more than €9M in revenue over the last year and should be positioned to make an impact on their respective industries. Any B2B technology startup with a world-changing technology and meeting the eligibility requirements, should consider applying, particularly those in cybersecurity, infrastructure/IaaS management, middleware, manufacturing tech, retail tech, collaboration tech, IoT and fintech.