There is a great post at VentureBeat about Ahmed Siddiqui’s extensive experience of startup competitions; winning, not winning, and running them.
How to win a tech conference startup competition | VentureBeat.
.. I have come to the realization that certain types of startup concepts always do well, while others just don’t… The key thing to consider is that these are tech conferences, so you should have something inherently “techie.” The majority of the audience members are engineers, or else marketing and sales professionals pretending to be engineers.
Ahmed suggests that three types of startup are usually successful; programming made easy, mashups, and fancy algorithms. He also found that areas like health and education were not popular although that may be changing. In that case, the new trend towards having different verticals at startup events may make developing startups for industries like health more appealing. We all know there is a huge market for health related products, but when you are competing for attention against a slick race car addon, a sweet fashion shopping tool and new social or (unsocial) network…