X Factor for Tech Startups

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Can the X Factor format be applied to finding the next Facebook? London's Digital Shoreditch thinks so.  By Faith Forster (Founder, pinipa.com)

There is no doubt that X Factor an unbeatable platform to set up a pop star career, catapulting a lucky few each year into fame and fortune. Many of the budding singers, having been put through their paces to prove they have what it takes – singing abilty, stage presence and popular appeal – have gone on to realise their dreams.

But can this format be applied to find the next Facebook? Digital Shoreditch in the UK's Silicon Roundabout are giving it a go.

The Million Pound Startup competition offers the chance to win £1million ($1.57million) in investment and business support for a tech startup who can demonstrate they have what it takes to become a £100 million company within five years.

While absent of the made-for-camera drama, there is definitely a popularity angle to it with the need to gather votes to add credibility to your application.

However it has a more decidedly global reach than TV networks allow. The competition has already received 553 applications from 60 countries – with the winner needing to relocate its headquarters to London. The deadline for entry is 31st August 2013.

The applicants will also be put through their paces, needing to demostrate their technology is disruptive with a significant global market opportunity, and that they have the product, business model, team and customer engagement to capitalise on this opportunity.

The lucky few who make it through the rounds of pitching and due diligence will receive all the support the tech startup scene in London can muster, including help from a long list of partners and investors pooling resources, expertise, industry know-how and contacts to accelerate the success of the winning business.

As one of the tech startup hopefuls, pinipa.com want to use this unbeatable opportunity to learn from the best in the business.

We believe we have what it takes - a disruptive market opportunity, a strong product and customer engagement, and a strong team - with the first web application for managing business change. This complex exercise is undertaken across every medium-large size business in every industry in the quest to become more agile than their competitors in the market... and is still largely managed manually.

We have used our 'friends, family and fools' round to gather votes instead of funds, however we need your support to be part of the show. To vote for pinipa.com, go to millionpoundstartup.com/discover/pinipa

What do you think of the idea of an X Factor for startups?

About the blogger: Faith (@faithforsteris a wife, mother and senior change consultant. She is the founder of pinipa.com and leader of the change practice for a global IT consultancy firm. She also founded the UK Chapter of the Change Management Institute, an independent professional body which promotes the practice of change management.  Photo credit: Bob B. Brown via Flickr