Even the most promising tech startups will tell you that disruptive technology and a fantastic team notwithstanding, they still struggle to achieve a good ‘reach’ in the market.
It is here that initiatives like the Ingram Micro Global Comet Competition are a game-changer. Ingram Micro is the world's largest technology solutions aggregator & distributor with over US$50B in revenues. So when the global behemoth looks to partner with promising start-ups in the B2B space to take their products and services global, it's an absolute win-win proposition.
“Winning the Ingram Micro Global Comet Competition has been a total blessing,” says Arun Buduri, Co-founder and President of Pixm, a New York headquartered startup that is building a first-of-its-kind cybersecurity product that leverages AI, deep learning and computer vision to detect phishing attacks in real-time. The startup was among the 12 winning startups of the inaugural edition of the Comet Competition— a challenge dedicated to discovering talented B2B tech businesses and funding their trajectory to channel market success. Arun says, “Between getting our team in front of thousands of potential customers while bringing our customer acquisition cost down to nearly zero, we couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Ingram Micro. I like to say that Comet was ‘nuclear fuel’ for our business.”
Watch Arun share his journey and what winning the Comet Competition meant for Pixm.
Get the funding you need to map your success
Aimed at identifying revolutionary business-to-business (B2B) software innovators whose products have clear applications for the technology channel, the Comet Competition is designed to give new-age tech companies the financial jump-start and support they need to get their technologies off the ground. The Comet Competition will award a total of US$5,000,000 in go-to-market (GTM) funds and cash awards to 16 B2B tech businesses - making it one of the biggest initiatives of this kind globally.
“Successful B2B startups are increasingly looking for an indirect distribution channel to help diversify and accelerate their revenue, and gain fast access to new markets around the world. Participating in the Comet Competition presents a huge opportunity for these innovative companies,” says Michael Kenney, Head of Strategy and Business Development for Ingram Micro Cloud. With GTM funds a key winning stake, startups will also get to participate in joint GTM opportunities such as industry expos, trade shows, conferences, webinars and demand generation activities. They will also get access to Ingram Micro’s 10,000+ ISVs and as well as its tech vendors like Microsoft and IBM.
“Our goal at Ingram Micro
Compete with the best tech businesses across the globe for a $1 million prize
Supported in part by Microsoft under a recently-announced partnership between Microsoft’s Microsoft for Startups group and Ingram Micro Cloud, this year the competition will expand its global footprint. While the first edition saw the competition being hosted in three countries, this year the competition will have 16 host countries, including India. The other participating countries include Brazil, Israel, Colombia, Mexico in addition to established economies such as Canada, UK, US, Singapore, Germany and several others.
Applications will be evaluated on their vision for the future and potential for success in the channel by an eminent panel of engineers, executives and industry experts. The finalists for each location will be invited for an in-person judging round resulting in one winner and three runners-up. The runners-up will receive US$50,000 in GTM funding while the winners from each location will receive US$100,000 in GTM funding and a chance to win US$ 1 Million in cash at Ingram Micro’s Cloud Summit in Miami, Florida in May 2020. The go-to-market funding and cash awards are completely non-dilutive with no exchange of equity or debt expected.
Driving a whole new way of doing business
A decade ago, Ingram Micro Cloud was known for sourcing, activating and billing third-party SaaS applications. Today, it has evolved to become the world’s largest cloud marketplace and end-to-end commerce platform that is powering the growth of businesses in the digital economy. It offers a portfolio of vetted security, communication & collaboration, business applications, cloud management services and infrastructure solutions designed to help service providers, telcos, resellers and enterprises monetise and manage the entire lifecycle of cloud and digital services.
While Ingram Micro Cloud brings best-of-breed cloud products from leading vendors around the world to the market, it is also deeply invested in establishing new relationships with emerging ISVs and taking them to market. As part of its ISV FastTrack program, Ingram Micro has helped Indian ISVs such as NowFloats, Datamatics etc. scale faster through channel sales. Through initiatives like the Comet Competition, Ingram Micro is looking to build deeper synergies with stakeholders in India’s vibrant startup ecosystem, including accelerators, incubators and startup communities while providing a major boost to Indian ISVs seeking funding and support to expand globally.