Qualcomm reignites global hunt for bright tech start-ups

Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of chip designer Qualcomm, has launched the latest round of its annual competition to find the world’s next groundbreaking technology companies.

The QPrize, now in its fourth year, aims to identify and fund early-stage technology companies and is open to entrepreneurs across Europe, China, India, Israel, Korea, Latin America and North America.

The Californian tech giant will select a total of eight finalists from the seven regions and award them $100,000 (£61,000) each in seed funding. The finalists will then be pitched against each other and an overall winner will receive an additional $150,000 (£91,000).

Qualcomm ventures said the entrants will be assessed based on the merits of the technology innovation, its market potential, the company’s management capabilities and the attainability of the proposal’s financial projections.

“The QPrize competition allows us to take a look at very early stage companies in key regions throughout the world and fund the next wave of up and coming innovators,” said Nagraj Kashyap, senior vice president of Qualcomm Ventures. “As a leading industry enabler, Qualcomm is committed to fueling innovation and driving cutting-edge technologies into the entire wireless ecosystem,”

Last year’s winner, Israeli start-up, iOnRoad, was acquired less than 30 days after the “grand finals” when Harman International Industries saw potential in the firm’s augmented reality driving safety app.

A number of other tech companies run similar competitions in a bid to spot new technologies. For example, Cisco has its BIG Awards, while Microsoft has BizSpark.

In addition to cash, the winners are often given other forms of support, such as mentoring, office space and access to software, hardware and services.

The deadline to submit business plans for the QPrize competition is 18 April 2014.

This story, "Qualcomm reignites global hunt for bright tech start-ups" was originally published by Techworld.com.


Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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