Qualcomm Ventures’ QPrize Contest Pulls in VCs, Especially Overseas
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important role [overseas] in terms of VC activity,” Kashyap said.
India and China, in particular, are emerging as important markets for mobile innovation. As Karthee Madasamy, a senior director for Qualcomm Ventures, explained in 2012: “India is the world’s third-largest Internet market with over 120 million users, of which 50 million access it through mobile devices.”
These markets also are evolving differently in terms of wireless data technologies, Kashyap said. “The kind of companies we see in India are very different than the ones we see in the United States, and China is somewhat in the middle.” Smartphones represent a small percentage of the mobile market in India, he explained, and innovation is not concentrated on mobile applications to the same extent as in North America.
Last year’s QPrize was also notable because of Harman’s acquisition of iOnRoad, an Israeli startup that developed a mobile app that enables a smartphone to monitor traffic and serve as a dashboard-mounted “personal driving assistant.” Harman (NYSE: HAR), the Stamford, CT-based maker of audio and infotainment products, purchased iOnRoad for an undisclosed price less than 30 days after it had won the overall grand prize in the QPrize finals.
The QPrize “acts as an important validation point for many of these startups,” Kashyap says in an statement. The deadline for submitting business plans is April 18, and Qualcomm Ventures says entries will be evaluated on the following criteria:
—Companies with less than $2 million in early stage funding (with no institutional investors).
—Team’s management capabilities.
—Innovative technology products and services.
—Attainability of the company’s financial projections.
More information about the contest is here.