TIE50 Screening & Judging Methodology

TiE50 awards program incorporates standard multiple regression techniques combined with comprehensive evaluation, screening and judging processes. All processes are designed and validated at various levels to deliver a transparent, robust and fool-proof system.

1. Register your company for TiE50: Any individual, founder, CTO, or authorized representative of a technology start-up can register their company. Nominating individual must use a website domain email address. Registration can only be done exclusively online on the TiE50 portal www.tie50.org. Incomplete nominations or incorrect contact details automatically disqualify the registry. No further contact will be made. Successfully completed registrations are automatically confirmed by email. Thousands of companies representing virtually every technology hotbed community worldwide participate each year.

2. Qualification: Companies are first qualified by ensuring that they meet the criteria set for what constitutes a start-up. To qualify, companies must be privately held and less than 7 years old. More than 2000 tech start-ups are screened each year.

3. Segment Expert Screening: A team of carefully chosen panel of segment experts with direct domain experience will screen the companies. Scoring is done on each company’s IP, business model, and team. This process pares down the 2000+ applicant pool to 300 best-of-breed semi-finalists. This pool is further vetted through a second level of selection process by a group of accomplished well rounded judges to pare down the pool to 100 finalists who are recognized as 2016 TiE50 Top Start-ups.

4. Top-Startups Value Proposition & Conference Registration: It is mandatory for all 100 finalists to attend TiEcon. They 50 winners are announced at TiEcon on May 6, 2016 at the VIP TiE50 Reception. The fee partially offsets the program costs. Most of the program costs are underwritten by TiEcon sponsors. There is a mandatory participation conference package fee of $1000 per start-up to attend. Participant privileges include:
  a. A coveted “Winner” or “Top Start-up” (Finalist) recognition from TiE Silicon Valley, a global non-profit organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship.
 b. Opportunity to pitch to an audience of VCs, angel investors, senior tech enterprise execs, investment bankers, domain experts, bloggers and media. Presentation is in a dedicated TiE50 room at the conference. This could open up a multitude of opportunities.
  c. Access to the TiEcon 2016 Media Lounge and press to say your story.
  d. Prioritized access to Mentor Connect program to meet VCs, Angels, industry experts and serial entrepreneurs.
  e. Each 2016 "Top Start-up" (finalist) is offered a IBM Bluemix Platform credit of $120,000. Must be present at conference to receive.
  f. Two full conference registrations with all privileges including meals.
  g. Invitation to private VIP Reception & Networking Dinner on May 6, 2016. One guest representing each Top Start-up.
  h. Opportunity to connect with prospective domain experts for advisory, Board, or mentoring engagement based on mutual willingness.

5. General Judging Process: This select list is further subjected to a higher level of diligence and screening by the expert panel of judges who are Serial Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, CEOs, and well-rounded Technology Experts. Upon final submission, the scores will be locked-in and validated. The short-listed companies are announced as "2016 TiE50 Top Start-ups".

6. Confidentiality: Judges’ identities, their affiliations, company representations, scoring patterns, and all information related to their participation in the TiE50 selection process will be held confidential. Judges will work independently and will not know the scores or identities of the other judges. Judges are selected only by invitation and are subject to TiE Silicon Valley's strict confidentiality and disclosure guidelines.

7. Validation: Judging process is monitored for time expended and scoring consistencies. Final scores are further validated to eliminate extreme scoring patterns. All qualified judge scores are consolidated for all three parameters and weighted.

8. Top Start-up Announcements: Upon successful screening, a list of "2016 TiE50 Top Start-ups" will be announced. These companies are chosen based on their mix of attributes that demonstrate the highest probability of success. "2016 TiE50 Top Start-up" list is announced on April 18, 2016 at 4:00 PM. This select group goes through another last round of judging.

9. TiEcon Live Presentation: TiE50 Top Startups are required to attend TiEcon and present to a global audience on Friday, May 6, 2016. Presentations will be held in 5 separate rooms with a capacity of about 150 attendees. The TiE50 presentations will be attended by many distinguished top-tier venture capitalists, renowned technology angel investors, industry experts, consultants, researchers, bloggers, and publishers. In order to be slotted for stage time, companies are required to register for the conference and show proof of travel (at own expense - not compensated by TiEcon 2016) for presenting at the conference by 4:00 PM PST on April 21, 2016.

10. Winner Announcements: The very best of the best "2016 TiE50 Winners" are announced at TiEcon 2016 at 6:15 PM PST on May 6, 2016 in the presence of a live audience at the TiE50 VIP Reception.