The competition spans 16 international cities with each event featuring one winner and three runners-up, all of whom receive go-to-market funding, training, and resources.
Chicago’s runners-up are Morpheus Data, Coreview, and Cyglass while San Francisco’s include Blue Hexagon, Air Slate, and Nerdio. Each runner-up receives $50,000 in funding and free entry to Ingram Micro’s Cloud Summit in May 2020.
The competition was designed with the hope of identifying highly innovative B2B (business-to-business) software innovators from around the world whose products have clear applications for the technology channel, the company says.
The Winners Speak
Following their win, Jared King, co-founder and CEO of Invoiced, commented:
“We are so thrilled to have made it through to the final and further our relationship with Ingram Micro Cloud. Invoiced uses Accounts Receivable Automation to help companies get paid faster and save valuable time, and this competition will help us raise awareness amongst businesses and accelerate our push into the channel.”
Invoiced's goal is to automate the accounts receivable process, providing a comprehensive billing system for fast-growing businesses. The company has thousands of customers and more than $40 billion in receivables processed, according to its website.
Chris Griffith, VP business development and alliance at Balbix, said:
“We are delighted to have been named the winner of the San Francisco Comet Competition. Balbix’s collaboration with Ingram Micro Cloud will help bring cybersecurity posture transformation to a much broader set of enterprises, reducing their risk of breach by 95 percent or more.”
Balbix is a security platform that leverages specialized AI in order to provide real-time visibility into an organization's breach risk. The system predicts where and how breaches are likely to happen and then helps address the underlying security issues.
The Next Step
In-person judging events happened in November and December 2019. The winners and runners-up from each will converge at Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida in May to compete for the grand prize of $1 million.
Michael Kenney, head of strategy and business development for Ingram Micro Cloud, explained:
“To come out on top in the final round, our winners will have to convince the judges that their technology is not only viable, but has what it takes to mature into a potentially thriving and profitable business.”
Judges will consist of founders, executives, and industry influencers. Contestants will be evaluated on their vision for the future, potential in their channel and ecosystem readiness, the company said.
Nurturing SaaS Startups for Channel Partners
Numerous companies are seeking to find, fund and/or nurture SaaS companies that have channel- and MSP-friendly business models.
All of the major MSP platform providers (Datto, ConnectWise, Kaseya, SolarWinds MSP, etc.) host major conferences that features potential startups that may warrant investment. Pax8 will join the mix this June with its new Wingman2020 conference.
And BitTitan has hired Kirk Swanson as corporate development associate. Swanson will lead BitTitan’s effort to acquire SaaS companies that have a strong focus on IT service providers and MSPs.
Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.