London software start-up Cirro Labs named finalist in Elance’s global ‘Big Idea’ competition

Cloud testing business to compete for $10,000 prize and chance to pitch in Silicon Valley

Online marketplace Elance has announced the UK finalist going through to the next stage of its ‘Big Idea’ start-up competition, a global programme intended to support the freelance community.

Selected at the London semi-finals yesterday, Cirro Labs, an automated software testing start-up, beat four rival UK semi-finalists, including My Beauty Compare and Sign Tech, to pitch its ‘big idea’ in the online finals where it will compete against seven international businesses for the chance to win $10,000 and present to venture capitalist’s in Silicon Valley.

To enter the competition, start-ups from across the world had to outline a business idea that they would realise if they had $2,500 to spend on online freelancers.

The 40 most creative ideas were then granted $2,500 in credits to make this idea “a reality” and worked with online freelancers to complete their projects in the space of three weeks.

Judged by a panel of business experts including Simon Jenner of Oxygen Accelerator, Rebecca Burn-Callander, Telegraph enterprise editor and Rackspace’s start-up marketing director, John Webb, Cirro Labs was selected for its market appeal, forward planning, and using Elance’s freelance credit to make its system more scalable.

Finalists from competition cities San Francisco, Berlin, Melbourne, New York, Copenhagen, Chicago and a “worldwide wildcard city” were also announced yesterday and will be presenting their propositions in the online finals live, alongside Cirro, on February 6.

Hayley Connick, Elance UK country manager, commented: “Starting a business is a significant challenge and many great ideas fail in their infancy due to lack of resources.

“This competition provides entrepreneurs with the right resources to usher these great ideas along. In addition to the prize funds, we enable the winners to engage with the world’s best freelancers in Elance’s network.”

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