Next week two startups will win the Clouded Leopards Den 2015 prize for cloud innovation. One will be an early-stage startup; the other will be a later-stage, pre-IPO company.

The three finalists for the early-stage awards are Innovate Create Limited, TapLink and Truedash Ltd.

The later-stage finalists are CENX Inc., Mirantis and Viptela.

What are the prizes, you ask? The most visible are these trophies featuring the beautiful Clouded Leopard. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Clouded Leopards Den Photo 1 Low Quality

In addition:

• Start-ups will receive immediate exposure to global press
• Start-ups will not have to spend excess amounts of money, it guarantees them free publicity
• Finalists will be mentored by a top VC or/and entrepreneur
• Finalists will gain global recognition from all the publicity received
• Winners will receive OCC membership for a year along with mentoring and privileged access to the OCC’s technical initiatives and developments such as the CloudE 1.0 reference architecture and OpenCloud Project lab facilities.
• Start-ups will have the opportunity to network with MEF and/or OCC at quarterly meetings
• Start-ups will be able to have their own input into technical committee meetings

The final round of judging, to determine the two winners, will be announced at the Global Cloud Innovation Summit, on Thursday afternoon, Apr. 23 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow the awards ceremony at @CloudLeopardDen, and get to know the five VC judges!