Ingram Micro has expanded its Comet Competition to Canada with the second iteration of its global ISV search contest.
Introduced last year, and with the first round of winners announced at this year’s Ingram Micro Cloud Summit last spring, Comet aims to find new cloud-focused software vendors and introduce them to the channel through the distributor’s Cloud Marketplace. The first round ran with contests in Tel Aviv, Austin, and Boston, but the second version of Comet expands that dramatically, to 15 countries worldwide. Each of those 15 countries will have a “Shark Tank”-style day of pitches with the top fifteen contenders in that market, as determined by a panel of judges, and each of those regions will name a winner getting $100,000 in a combination of cash and go-to-market support from the distributor, as well as a seat in the global finals of Comet at Cloud Summit 2020 next May in Miami, with a $1,000,000 grand prize on the line.
Greg Onoprijenko, director of the cloud business at Ingram Micro Canada said the distributor is ramping up its support of such ISVs and is well on pace to have a very large field of entrants for the Canadian local competition day, slated for early November in Toronto. Currently, he said, Canada is “in the top three” in terms of the number of entrants, along with the U.S. and Israel.
“We’re really bullish on this opportunity. There’s some great technology talent in Canada right across the country, so we’re glad we were included this time,” Onoprijenko said. “This is a big priority for us globally, and not just in the cloud business. Country-level leaders all the way up to [Ingram Micro CEO] Alain Monie are keeping a close eye on it.”
Along with cash for their business, winners and top finalists will receive go-to-market funding and support from the distributor. Onorpijenko said that will include a streamlined path to getting finalists onto Ingram’s Cloud Marketplace, where finalist solutions will be accessible to solution providers across the country.
Onoprijenko said there are two goals for the contest. First and foremost, the goal is to “unveil some hidden gems that we can take to market” through the Cloud Marketplace, and also, the distributor is working with contest partner Microsoft to help make sure finalist ISVs are running their offerings on Microsoft’s Azure platform through Ingram Micro.
To qualify for Comet, ISVs have to be currently doing $10 million U.S. in annual revenues and have to offer business-to-business solutions. Of course, given Ingram Micro’s role and considering the prize, there’s a third suggested qualifier as well.
“Ideally, they’ll be interested in selling through the channel,” Onoprijenko suggested.
While the contest isn’t necessarily intended for solution providers, it is certainly open to the growing number of solution providers that have “productized” an offering through the cloud, or spun off a business that does so. More information about Comet is available on Ingram Micro’s website.