Over on Forbes.com they’ve announced the winner of the $100K Boost your Business business plan contest for 2009. It’s K-Splice, the startup of a group of MIT engineers who have a new and presumably better way to do operating system updates en masse without having to close and restart systems.
The $100,000 that K-Splice won is what we call “non-dilutive,” like a grant, meaning that it doesn’t dilute the founders’ ownership of the company. It comes half as good, old-fashioned money–a check–and half as free advertising.
I was one of the judges for this event, so I listened to the five finalists pitching and was one of six judges asking questions after the pitch one morning in the middle of October. More interesting, though, is that the public also got to watch the pitches, and the questions and answers, and then vote online. So the judges there didn’t make all the decisions. It also had to do with the votes of everybody else.
Another good thing about this contest is that all the pitches and judges’ questions are still available to you readers afterward, so you can go back on that site and look at the winning pitch as well as the other finalists. See what you think. Is K-Splice really, in your opinion, the best company in the contest?
I will add this, as an additional comment, from a judge’s point of view. It was a very strong field again this year (this was my second year), with a lot of very good companies. I expect them all to be successful.
And, finally, what do you think? Is the best company the best investment? Or is it the company most likely to succeed, with or without outside investment? I think that’s an interesting question.