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Tech start-ups urged to get Under the Radar

Tuesday, 20 December 2011 | By Michelle Hammond
Aussie tech start-ups are being encouraged to apply for start-up event Under the Radar, held in the US, which led to acquisitions from the likes of eBay, IBM and Facebook in 2011.

 

Under the Radar is regarded as one of the most important showcases of innovation and deal-making in Silicon Valley, whereby market-ready start-ups pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

 

In the past four years, almost 70% of presenters have gone on to raise funding and/or be acquired by major companies including Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Microsoft, Twitter and Fox Interactive.

 

It should be noted Under the Radar is not a funding event. Participants must have a product built, and be ready to present to potential customers and buyers.

 

Applications are now open for the next round, to be held on April 25-26, with big data, application provisioning, analytics and platform-as-a-service identified as major growth areas.

 

Selection criteria includes a unique value proposition, the ability to monetise the business, and a large market opportunity. However, companies must still be considered “under the radar”.

 

“They need to have some traction and customers that they have proven themselves with,” event spokesperson Clare Jacobson says.

 

“They need to have the ability to do major partnerships [but] they need to not be older than three-years-old.”

 

“They need to be working in platforms, big data, developer tools, business apps, analytics, workforce tools, mobile, enabling tools, social CRM, infrastructure or the cloud.”

 

According to Jacobson, there has been little involvement from Australian start-ups, noting software powerhouse Atlassian as one of the only Australian companies that has presented.

 

However, she says start-ups should consider Under the Radar as a gateway to future funding or acquisitions.

 

“[The event facilitates] lead sources for major partnerships, business development leads, a high level of introductions to leading partners, visibility, sometimes funding, press, etc,” she says.

 

Start-ups are encouraged to send off an application and follow up with an email if they don’t hear anything after a few weeks.

 

“Make sure you look at our website and specifically at past events. If our judges are people you want to get in front of, it’s a fit. If our past companies are like you, it’s a fit,” Jacobson says.

 

2011 Under the Radar alumni acquisitions include: