January 30, 2015

Startup competitions can be the key to acquisitions

The tech-startup space is dominated by narrative. Whether a company is the hottest new property in Silicon Valley, or an innovator from an unlikely corner of the country, building a narrative around your startup is essential to gaining the attention of potential buyers. One of the best ways new companies can grab headlines and make an impact on tech media is to enter, and, hopefully, win startup competitions. 

Whether it's making an annual "best of" list at a publication, or winning prize capital from a formal contest, being able to say that your firm is award-winning helps generate interest and credibility. When rattling off the bona fides of recent acquisitions by big corporations, sites like TechCrunch and Wired are quick to list the accolades a young company has used to justify recent mergers, despite a short history of success. Emerging from the field of competitors can be made that much easier if you manage to land prestigious awards. 

There are a couple of ways entrepreneurs can make their presence known. For one, they can enter national or regional startup competitions to prove their innovative spirit and thirst for bigger reach. Those are easy to find online, and many tech contests release lists of finalists that your company can add to its acquisition resume. 

The other way to boost visibility by earning impressive selections is to network with tastemakers. Your part of the country may have its own tech media sphere, with writers and editors who are eager to identify the best and brightest startups in their market. Earned media can be an award in and of itself, particularly if the story reaches national attention.