Qualcomm Ventures Eyes LatAm for QPrize

QPrize, the annual seed investment competition held by Qualcomm Ventures, is underway. Applications are due this Friday.

The opportunity to get on the radar of tech giant Qualcomm is a pretty big deal. And through Friday, startups from around the globe will have the opportunity to do just that. The forum: QPrize.

QPrize is an annual seed investment competition held by Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated. The contest identifies and funds the industry’s most promising early-stage companies and is open to projects across China, Europe, Israel, Korea, North America and Latin America. One finalist from each region is awarded US$100,000 in convertible note financing from Qualcomm and will be invited to compete at the QPrize Grand Finals. The global victor will be awarded an additional US$150,000.

Nagraj Kashyap, Senior Vice President at Qualcomm Ventures, highlighted the importance of the competition in an official release:

As a leading industry enabler, Qualcomm is committed to fueling innovation and driving cutting-edge technologies into the entire wireless ecosystem. The QPrize competition allows us to take a look at very early stage companies in key regions throughout the world and fund the next wave of up and coming innovators. Last year’s entrants redefined the capabilities of mobile technology, which was showcased when the Grand Finals winner, iOnRoad, was acquired less than 30 days after the Grand Finals. QPrize acts as an important validation point for many of these startups, and we look forward to fostering the development and leveraging the QPrize brand to further raise awareness of these breakthrough technologies.

The deadline for business plan submissions is this Friday, April 18th. Up to eight finalists will be selected from each region and invited to take part in a regional competition for evaluation. Judges will rate projects based on technological innovation, market potential, management capabilities and financial projections.

Eye on LatAm

As mentioned, Latin America is one of the seven regions contemplated in QPrize, and the Qualcomm Ventures team is on the lookout for proposals.

Last year, Qualcomm received over 500 applications from the region, 30% from each Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The remaining 10% came from Mexico, Peru and Colombia.

Carlos Kokron, Managing Director of Qualcomm Ventures LatAm, told us the team is especially interested in projects that “will make the mobile internet more exciting and robust for consumers and businesses alike.” Both software and hardware proposals are welcome, though more software is anticipated. They’re interested in solutions for health, education and security as well. We would love somebody doing drones, robotics and IoT as well,” he added. The competition is open to any business that has raised under two million dollars.

Last year’s regional winner was Zoop, a mobile payments platform out of Brazil. Kokron updated us on the startup as well, telling us that Zoop “continues to work on its solution and is in discussion with commercial clients.”

Who will follow in Zoop’s footsteps to become the regional winner of this fourth annual QPrize competition? We’ll have to wait and see. Those interested in applying have just a few more days to do so. Find out more and submit a business plan here.