One of the more interesting and colorful items I ran into at the GEN14 conference this week was the unveiling of the Clouded Leopard’s Den. It’s not a new product or service, but rather an effort by the Cloud Ethernet Forum to bring the popular Shark Tank concept to the cloud, where the teeth this time belong to the endangered Himalayan big cat.
It’s going to be a competition aimed at accelerating cloud innovation, giving early stage cloud start-ups and pre-IPO companies a chance to make their case in the spotlight — and perhaps land some funding. They’ll be taking entries through February 2, 2015 (Groundhogs being a succulent snack for a clouded leopard I assume), which will be whittled down to a set of finalists by a filter of press and analysts.
Those finalists will then be judged in public by a panel from the world of venture capital, investment funds, angel investors, and leading technologists on April 23 out in San Francisco. Leading that panel will be none other than Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet himself and the ‘Top Cat’ in the den.
Not that the cloud itself needed a bit of help in the hype department of course, but I like this idea. It brings a bit of fun and lets us shine a spotlight on ideas that might otherwise not get it. And you just know the next big thing is in there somewhere.
Don’t worry, I think he’s just yawning in that picture. And you thought you accidentally clicked on National Geographic…
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