New from London (2006) comes the Global Security Challenge, a unique startup business competition that aims to help address problems of our modern age by identifying and promoting the best and brightest new ideas in the security industry.
Unlike most business plan contests, the GSC is singular in its focus. It also holds place on the short list of competitions that are not sponsored by any university or require any kind of student affiliation.
As the world becomes increasingly preoccupied with ways to thwart security threats, this competition is sure to attract more and more attention. Startup companies and parents of infant security innovations are already taking notice of the opportunity to catch the eye of government and commerce leaders at this event and possibly garner lucrative contracts.
Up for grabs each year is a grand prize of $10,000. First-place winners and runners-up alike will also receive priceless benefits such as mentorship by Siemens Capital, press coverage by the media, and unparalleled networking opportunities on a global scale.
Contestant requirements and stipulations are fewer compared to those at most university-based contests, but the GSC’s genre is decidedly narrower. Each team or venture must currently have annual revenue of no more than Â£10 million (British) and must be privately held. Companies and individuals alike may compete. The Global Security Challenge seeks participants whose products or ideas apply to public security interests. Examples include, but are not limited to:
– Mesh Networks
– Data Storage and Recovery
– Detection/ Sensors
– Search Software
– Cyber/Network Security
– Communications Interoperability & Reconstruction
– Biological/Chemical/Radiological Remediation
– Protective Equipment
– RFID, Asset Tracking & Container Security
Judges hailing from the technology, government, venture capital, security sectors primarily focus on the magnitude of the impact that the venture has/could have on society by empowering and augmenting security capabilities. They also look at the strength of the business plan and the quality of the management team and their presentation. Other focuses include technological feasibility, political and legal compliance, potential return on investment, etc.
Deadlines have yet to be set for GSC 2007, but the competition will take place in the fall. Preliminary entries in 2006 were due August 16th. For round one, executive summaries must be turned in (MS Word or PDF format) to submit-at-globalsecuritychallenge.com. After being reviewed by the panel of judges, the 15 most promising candidates will submit their full formal business plans for evaluation in round 2 where the pool will be narrowed down to the 5 best and brightest. These 5 will then give a live presentation on their business to the panel of judges consisting of government, venture capital, security, and technology experts. Winners will be chosen in October.
The grand prize winner for 2006 was Ingenia Technology with its one-of-a-kind Laser Surface Authentication or LSA TM technology. LSA scans the surface of paper, plastics, and metals and then creates a virtual “fingerprint” of the material by reading the reflected laser light, capturing microscopic details of the surface with a reliability level of “one million trillion. The material can then be identified and tracked in databases, thus thwarting counterfeiting and theft.
Runners-up presented technologies that can identify people by the way they walk, protect databases, detect bioterrorism agents and carry out accurate surveillance over 5,000 feet in the dark.
For more detailed information on the Global Security Challenge, please visit http://www.globalsecuritychallenge.com/.