Going for Gold! Enterprise Tech Startups’ Challenge to Keep Their Eyes on the Prize
Unveiling a new way for young startups to achieve recognition and reward
Olympic athletes have a lot in common with the entrepreneurs who compete in tech startup land. Day in, day out, these entrepreneurs and the teams they create build products and services, flex their marketing muscles, polish their customer service and research new markets with the goal of being the best every day.
The Path to Tech Startup Success
Many tech startups will “get gold” with a successful acquisition by a larger vendor or service provider. For others, IPO will be their reward. Others will not succeed.
There are many reasons for tech startup failure, but perhaps one of the most frustrating reasons is “not in the right place at the right time” syndrome. Having worked with many tech startups, I think the most frustrating thing is when the startup actually has better technology than competitors who end up getting acquired or receiving private funding for many millions (or even billions) of dollars, and the more innovative company is left on the sidelines.
The reasons are often quite simple: The buyer or investor didn’t know the company existed, or if they did, they did not value the brand enough. Having the right connections and a highly visible brand are so important for tech startups. These considerations should never be neglected. However, financial constraints and lack of experience in sales, marketing, and PR are often challenges for tech startups, especially in the early stages before VCs sit up and take notice.
The Challenges of Information Technology Awards
The tech startup community greatly values awards, much like Olympic athletes covet gold medals. The likes of Red Herring, AlwaysOn and many others offer valuable recognition. However, some IT awards have a more general focus, which means the more consumer-focused and “sexier” technologies get the most attention, while enterprise and B2B innovations can be overlooked. IT awards can also be quite expensive, both in terms of time and money. Another challenge is that some awards have restrictions such as being intrinsically linked to participation in an event, such as the fantastic RSA Conference Innovation Sandbox, an award that excludes any non-exhibiting companies. Finally, let’s not forget that the prize for many of these awards is a logo, a press release, and a fancy (i.e. costly) dinner. It is challenging and expensive to enter many IT awards, let alone win them — and even if you do win, it is questionable whether the value of the award is commensurate with the time and capital investment necessary to enter the award.
The Tech Trailblazers Awards: Taking Innovative Tech Startups into Gold Medal Territory
To get around these challenges, we developed the Tech Trailblazers Awards to focus on enterprise technology startups and to allow them to compete amongst their peers. Of course, recognition itself is not enough.
With huge industry support, the Tech Trailblazers Awards offer much more than just a prize and promotion; they offer real benefits from a prize fund with a value estimated at $1million, plus first-rate mentoring from the VC and vendor communities. We also reward all the entrants with prizes from our sponsors worth approximately $3,000 for the administration fee of just $295. The final deadline is Friday, September 21st at 11:59pm PT.
Entries from enterprise tech startups are invited from the enterprise IT areas of big data, cloud, emerging markets, mobile, networking, security, storage, sustainable IT and virtualization. If you’ve got tech fire, we want to hear from you. Good luck!
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Opinions and statements expressed by guest bloggers are theirs alone, not opinions of The Startup America Partnership.