A new competition “The Clouded Leopard's Den” has been launched today at GEN14, not only to identify potential winners among early and mid-stage cloud computing start-ups but also to accelerate their opportunity for success by providing high-level exposure to media, analysts, VC’s and IT leaders, plus offer access to business mentors, marketing and technical resources. This competition is for pre-IPO cloud companies, and provides two award categories:
The Hottest Cloud Start-up
Preparing for early stage A-round funding
The Hottest Pre-IPO Cloud Company
For those companies at a more advanced B/C round stage
The competition is open for entries until 2nd February, 2015 and a shortlist of finalists will be announced at the end of February. Both awards will be presented in front of an audience of the world’s leading IT media, analysts, industry giants and Silicon Valley VCs at the NetEvents Global Summit which will be held at the Corinthian Yacht Club, Tiburon, San Francisco on April 23.
The name “Clouded Leopard’s Den” is inspired by the elegant but endangered Clouded Leopard – Neofelis nebulosa – surviving in the Himalayan foothills. The competition is the first of an annual series to be organized by NetEvents – the global leader in connecting press, analysts and the cloud ecosystem. NetEvents CEO Mark Fox explains: “The Clouded Leopard is thought to be the last surviving link between the small cat and the big cat families. The Clouded Leopard’s Den will be the link to lift today’s ‘small cat’ startups into the cloud’s ‘big cat’ league. There’s a mass of talent out there waiting to be discovered, and we wish our contenders every success.”
Bob Metcalfe – Ethernet inventor and Professor of Innovation and Murchison Fellow of Free Enterprise at The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering – is the “Top Cat”, chairing the competition’s judging panel. According to Metcalfe: “The Clouded Leopard’s Den 2015 will identify the next generation of cloud computing leaders. Innovation is driving the cloud, and the cloud is driving much of today’s tech industry, from mobile devices to data center technologies. The competition will spot the best innovators looking for their first A round financing to develop their ideas, as well as the players who need their B/C funding to drive products, solutions and go-to-market initiatives. The best of the best – we invite them all to The Clouded Leopard’s Den”.
The lead host for this year’s competition is the CloudEthernet Forum (CEF), the global industry organization promoting cloud development through open standards. So all this year’s finalists, as well as the winners, will win a full year’s membership to the CEF along with mentoring and privileged access to the CEF’s technical initiatives and developments such as the CloudE 1.0 reference architecture and OpenCloud Project lab facilities.
James Walker – CEF President and Vice President for Managed Network Services at Tata Communications – explains: “We are throwing the door wide open to fresh, original thinking. But there are three key criteria that will be strictly enforced: it must be something new and different; it must be practical; and above all it must deliver significant benefits. As a participant in the OpenCloud Project, winners will have a head start on interoperability with the systems of major datacenter, network service, and cloud and software providers. There could not be a better head-start in any development or go-to-market process.”
All entries will be initially examined and whittled down by NetEvents’ network of top international business press and analysts – providing an exceptional opportunity for getting their name in front of the world’s key opinion shapers. They will select the finalists for The Clouded Leopard’s Den 2015 panel of judges. The panel consists of representatives of pure-play venture capital firms, investment funds, business angels and leading technologists including Bob Metcalfe, the panel chair.
The final round will take place on 23rd April at the NetEvents Global Summit in San Francisco, where finalists will provide an elevator pitch on stage to The Clouded Leopard’s Den judges before an audience of C-level executives from the world’s leading cloud organizations, VCs, industry analysts and IT business press from around the globe. Winners will be announced on the same day.
The Clouded Leopard’s Den 2015 competition is open to all innovative pre-IPO Cloud Computing companies, whether serving consumers, enterprises or service providers and whether promoting mobile, data center, private cloud, Software-as-a-Service, NFV/SDN infrastructure, or other cloud technologies.
The full competition rules and criteria can be found at www.cloudethernet.org/cld. Initial proposals are invited until Feb 2, 2015. Chosen finalists will be contacted at the end of February and assigned a business mentor, who will support them with the development of their product and business case elevator pitch – these innovative cloud companies will then enter the Clouded Leopard's Den and pitch their company to our judging panel on 23rd April.