After three days of collaboration, discussion, recognition and celebration, the curtain came down on the Red Herring Global Conference of 2013 in Santa Monica, California, leaving attendees to reflect on the dynamic and changing environment they work in. On the evening of November 20th, Red Herring announced the winners of the prestigious Red Herring Global Top 100 award for 2013.
The conference provided much food for thought to the attending entrepreneurs, who were selected from the most promising technology startups in the industry. The major talking points were funding, exits and the state of the market.
The attendees came from all over the globe – 34 countries and five continents to be precise. Companies from Afghanistan, Mauritius and Lebanon were joined as finalists by a number of U.S. and Europe-based startups. The average age of the nominated companies was seven years, and 75% of them were 10 years old or younger.
Innovation was one of the main focuses of the event and the finalists did not disappoint, no surprise as they own 578 patents between them. The software sector was the best represented, making up 18% of the finalists. Internet companies accounted for 14%, while 10% were mobile and 9% from the world of telecoms.
Detailed analysis presented at the conference revealed a thriving investment market. But there was also a note of caution that a boom must be followed by a downward cycle. A number of venture capitalists speaking at the conference reminded entrepreneurs of the dangers of turning down money, especially when the cash is flowing into the sector. Other key takeaways concerned exit advise, the fickle nature of the consumer electronics market and the challenges that pave the road to success.
Of the finalists, 76% had at least one round of funding, and the average total funding they had attracted stood at $22.3 million.
After two days of company presentations, in which the standard was astonishingly high, the Red Herring Top 100 Global winners were announced to much joy and celebration. They all shared the quality, necessity and innovation that puts them ahead of the curve in the technology sector.
During the event the leaders of some of the brightest startups in the world spoke directly to investors, shared advice with each other, and discussed partnerships and collaborations that will allow continued growth.
By the end of the conference, when the last of the business cards had been exchanged and many lasting relationships had been established, the attendees left with a resounding sense of community, inspiration and cause for nothing but the greatest optimism for the future.