Data Center World is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Super Early Bird Rates Avaialble!

Overview

Are you an entrepreneur with a great technology idea that’s going to revolutionize the IT community and impact the data center? Data Center World will be holding its 2nd annual tech startup competition at our annual conference being held in Austin March 28-31, 2022.

Companies interested in being selected to participate should be developing or selling a technology solution that directly impacts the data center or data center professionals, and will be judged by a panel of experts based on several business model and go-to-market criteria (outlined below). Winners will be chosen by the panel based on their presentations on stage, and presentations will be judged on a clear technology solution, a concise pitch, and the value of technology to the data center industry.

Qualifications of a Startup for the Program

  • Revenue: $5 million or less
  • Number of Employees: 50 or fewer
  • Funding Status: Series A or before
  • Age of Company: 5 years or less

Judging Categories

  • Most Disruptive Technology – The award for the technology that the judges determine to have the best opportunity to create short-term positive market, sales, or customer service disruption among existing data center technologies in its vertical
  • Best Chance for Market Success – The award for the technology that judges determine will be the most successful at creating revenue upside and profit for the startup company
  • Best Ability to Gain Additional Capital – The award for the startup company that judges determine is sufficiently structured, has the most attractive data center technology, and has the most connected and well-run management team to be able to raise additional capital to grow the company
  • Most Influential Founding Team – The startup company that judges determine has assembled the most experienced founding backers, founding management team, and strongest investment profile

Judging Criteria

The following criteria will be used by our panel of judges (experts from the market research, editorial, and investment communities). Contestants should be prepared to address each of the five main criteria (we’ve included some examples with each category) with a concise and informative presentation that will be judiciously timed to 10 minutes per company.

Business Model

  • How does the team plan on making this a successful business? Have they done due diligence on competition
  • Is the business model scalable, either globally or regionally?
  • How will the company acquire customers
  • What is the company’s revenue model?

Customer Validation

  • Is the company building something that people actually want?
  • How well does the company understand their customer and their customer’s needs?
  • Did the company get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers?
  • What is the company’s capacity to recognize and describe the problem to be solved?
  • Does the company know the cost of acquiring a customer and their lifetime value?

Go to Market

  • What’s the plan for building sales team and a sales ecosystem?
  • Is there a plan to open source the product?
  • How do you plan to use partners/analysts/PR?

Execution & Design

  • Does the technology or service deliver a compelling and valuable user experience?
  • How much capacity to disrupt the market?
  • Is there a sustainable competitive advantage, or can it be copied?
  • What’s the lead on the competition?
  • If applicable, are they able to demo a product, and if so, was it functional?

The Team

  • Is the founding team multidisciplinary and complementary with the capacity to implement their stated goals?
  • Are the team’s goals ambitious enough? Or too ambitious?
  • Is the team capable of selling the “vision”?

How to Apply

We will be opening the Data Center World Startup Challenge call for submissions in mid-November. Please check then for more information. 

2021 Data Center Startup Competition Winners

Congratulations!

2021 Data Center Startup Challenge

The 2021 Data Center Startup Challenge contest pitted data center technology startups against each other. Foliophotonics was named the winner of the “Most Disruptive Technology”; HydroMx was named the winner of both “Best Chance for Market Success” and “Most Influential Founding Team”; Metify for “Best Ability to Gain Additional Capital.” The panel of judges included Bill Morelli, Chief Research Officer, Omdia, Moises Levy, Principal Analyst, Data Center Power and Colling, Omdia, Michail Clutter, Program Manager – Technology Services, Casne Engineering Inc., and Jane Hsieh, Senior Director of Sales, Aligned.

1. Most Disruptive Technology – The award for the technology that the judges determine to have the best opportunity to create short-term positive market, sales, or customer service disruption among existing data center technologies in its vertical

Winner: Folio Photonics

2. Best Chance for Market Success – The award for the technology that judges determine will be the most successful at creating revenue upside and profit for the startup company

Winner: HydroMx

3. Best Ability to Gain Additional Capital – The award for the startup company that judges determine is sufficiently structured, has the most attractive data center technology, and has the most connected and well-run management team to be able to raise additional capital to grow the company

Winner: Metify

4. Most Influential Founding Team – The startup company that judges determine has assembled the most experienced founding backers, founding management team, and strongest investment profile

Winner: HydroMX

Finalists:

Chekhub

Layer 9 Datacenters

Blue Mamba