Shengjing Technology Corp., a holding company famous for investing in VC’s around the world, organized one of the largest competitions to date: the Global Innovation Awards or GIA for short. About 3,000 companies entered the contest in early 2015 and over the course of 6 months 21 finalists were determined in several rounds. By beating over 600 competitors in the North America competition, Datometry was invited to the finals in Beijing in August!
In preparation for a military parade, the Chinese government had limited traffic and factory output for weeks, in order to clear Beijing’s infamous smog—as a result the event got underway with a one-day training camp, under an unusually blue sky. Coaching and info sessions, mixed with games and a cooking competition (yes, these are traditional Chinese dumplings in the picture below) made for a fun warm-up for the big day.
The jury comprised 20 judges from a variety of VC firms and technology companies including household names like Menlo, JVP, Garage, and EMC. Each contestant got six minutes to pitch and five minutes for Q&A. We were one of only a few enterprise software startups in a very strong field of mostly consumer-oriented companies. As you can imagine, presenting the highly technical and complex subject of data virtualization in only six minutes is a pretty tough challenge—competing with polished consumer plays and business model innovations is even tougher. If you’d like to see how we did it click here.
And yet, we made it: We took home the Grand Prize of $200,000—the top 5 finishers shared one million—and we ranked highest among all enterprise software startups! In short, GIA was a great validation of our vision, or as one VC put it “great company, great presentation, and a great need for this product.”