Tech Trailblazers Awards open with US$1m prize fund for start-ups

20 Jul 2012

The Tech Trailblazers Awards, an independent initiative to recognise and reward technology start-ups from around the globe, is now open for entries. Prizes include business-development products and services from a prize fund that its organisers say is worth around US$1m.

The Tech Trailblazers Awards prize fund is supported by sponsors and industry partners including MIT/Stanford Venture Lab, the Cloud Security Alliance, Storage Networking Industry Association, (SNIA), Prezi, Startup America, RealWire, Lissted, Launchpad Europe, MyNewsDesk and ExecEvent.

The organisers say winning start-ups will also be able to avail of mentoring from venture capitalists and chief technology officers.

So what type of companies are eligible to apply? Start-ups operating in the areas of big data, cloud, infosecurity, mobile, networking, storage, sustainable IT and virtualisation are eligible.

Meanwhile, there’s also an “emerging markets” category for tech start-ups in the aforementioned categories from geographical regions where IT industries are rapidly growing, such as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) regions.

Stephen O’Donnell, a blogger and consultant, is chairman of the Tech Trailblazers Awards. He said the category winners will get industry recognition, as well coaching and mentoring from leading VCs and CTOs.

“Tech Trailblazers has deliberately set out to become a unique part of the start-up ecosystem, helping young, job-creating businesses with growth, publicity and business development,” said O’Donnell.

Apparently each category winner will receive prizes from sponsors and supporters of Tech Trailblazers totalling an estimated $50,000-plus prize fund. Two runners-up in each category will also win prizes. The organisers said every entrant is also guaranteed a goody bag worth more than US$3,000.

The judging panel at the awards will include the likes of Cynthia Artin, president, Artin Arts; Joe Baguley, chief cloud technologist, VMware; Frank J Bernhard, strategy and operations director, Deloitte Consulting; Mike Burkitt, CTO, Launchpad Europe; and Chris Evans, consultant and blogger,

Other judges are Edward P Gibson, director, Forensic Technology Solutions, Pricewaterhousecoopers; Elise Huang, partner, WestSummit Capital; Harkeeret Singh, global head of energy and sustainable IT, Thomson Reuters; and Jennifer Steffens, CEO, IOactive.

To enter, however, start-ups have to pay a fee. According to the organisers, the submissions fee is US$250 if companies enter before 17 August.

Innovation image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic