Blazing New Tech Trails!
This time last year, the inaugural TechTrailblazer Awards (@techtrailblaze) kicked off. At the time, it was a new global award targeted for emerging and recently launched companies. If you worked for a company six years or older, even if still emerging, there were other awards for you to consider. It attracted an impressive list of judges, along with a competitive judging process, and cool prizes for the winners. Personally, the video submissions as part of the judging process were a nice touch.
While many in the US may have been celebrating the July 4th holiday last week, Rose Ross, chief trailblazer (@rose_at_O) and team were busy announcing this year's Awards and call for entries. Details can be found here. Like last year, the awards, global in nature, are looking to recognize "Innovation and enterprise tech startups in Big Data, Cloud, Emerging Markets, Information Security, Mobile, Networking, Storage, Sustainable IT & Virtualization."
This year's awards have changed though slightly from last year's. Not in the intent or objective, to recognize achievement in key industry categories by emerging companies, but the first year's successes and learnings gave way to several improvements. A few of those, which Rose shared with me recently include:
- New Judges: Addition of several new judges, including Hans De Lenheer/Blogger (@hansdeleenheer), Derrick Harris/GigaOM (@DerrickHarris), James Governor/RedMonk (@MonkChips).
- Regional Category Competition: Addition of new emerging countries categories where regional nominees compete for regional awards such as The Norh America Cup, Latin America Cup, Middle East and Africa Cup, Asia-Pacific Cup, etc.
- New Sponsors and Partners: Like last year, The Tech Trailblazers Awards prize fund, projected to be worth in excess of $1m, is supported by sponsors and industry partners including the Cloud Security Alliance, Computing, GigaOM, Innovation Warehouse, MyNewsDesk, RealWire, VMware, and many others. This year, GigaOM and the Cloud Security Alliance were new faces to types of sponsorship and participation and bring with them significant industry knowledge and presence.
- Qualification: Last year it was open to companies that had been founded up to five years but not including. However, this year it includes the fifth year.
As Chris Evans, director, Brookend Ltd and industry watcher that can be found at ArchitectingIT and at @chrismevans, and one of last year's judges who is returning to this year's judging panel, noted to me:
“Last year was clearly a learning process. However, the intent of the Tech Trailblazers approach has not changed. They are focusing on true startups and what they need most to move their businesses forward, earning industry recognition and the support of the community. Like last year, winners of the TechTrailBlazers awards will receive invaluable mentoring in developing their business – something I feel is ultimately more valuable than a prize alone."
I am sure we will all be reading about and seeing the success of this year's awards as they continue to mark important milestones. For now, the first milestone you all should be marking down on your calendars is the early bird nomination deadline at 11:59pm PT on August 12th. The final deadline for submissions will be announced for mid September.
Disclosure: Neither I, nor LPP, are involved in this year's Awards in any way other than as was the case last year, as excited industry watchers. While I will be encouraging current qualified clients and friends to consider entering, I was under no obligation to post a blog on the Awards. I've known Rose and many involved in the awards for a while, and while I enjoy catching up with many as part of my work, and socially, I received nothing in return for this blog post, nor asked for it. Good luck with the awards Rose/team! And updated with a few changes to list of judges, new entrants, and list of regional awards!