Ingram Micro has launched a new global competition to recruit leading independent software vendors (ISVs) into the distributor’s channel ecosystem.
Revealed on the sidelines of Microsoft Inspire in Las Vegas, applications will open on 1 August for the Comet Competition, with the aim of finding business-to-business 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 ISVs.
Specifically, the top finalist in each region will receive $100,000 in-kind go-to-market funding while the three runners-ups in each region will be awarded $50,000. The overall competition winner will receive $1,000,000 cash at Cloud Summit 2020.
“Finding new routes to market for amazing, never-before-seen technologies benefits the entire channel ecosystem,” said Nimesh Davé, executive vice president of cloud at Ingram Micro. “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.”
The competition is run in collaboration with Microsoft’s global start-up program - Microsoft for Startups - and is supported by Ingram Micro’s Cloud Marketplace, which reaches partners and customers in more than 50 global markets.
Davé said that Ingram Micro will not receive any equity in the winning companies and the funding dollars awarded “do not require repayment”.
“Microsoft for Startups is a global program designed to help B2B start-ups quickly scale by providing access to Microsoft Azure, technical support, and a streamlined path to selling alongside Microsoft and our partner ecosystem,” added Jeana Jorgenson, general manager of 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 start-up teams in the coming months.”
To be eligible, start-ups cannot be generating more than $10 million in revenue over the last year and should be positioned to make an impact on their respective industries.
Davé said any B2B technology start-up with a “world-changing technology” that meets eligibility requirements should consider applying. This is particularly the case in cyber security, infrastructure/IaaS management, middleware, manufacturing tech, retail tech, collaboration tech, Internet of Things and fintech.
Applications for the Comet Competition will be accepted on 1 August through to 30 September. Specific global locations for finalist pitches will be announced when applications open up on 1 August.