A new competition has been launched for enterprise technology start-ups around the world, offering them the chance to win a share of an estimated prize fund worth more than $1 million (£640,000).

Run by IT market accelerator Launchpad Europe, the Tech Trailblazers Awards are designed specifically for small businesses and start-ups that are less than five years old and at ‘C’ level funding or below.

Start-ups can enter their products into one of seven categories: cloud, mobile technology, networking, security, storage, sustainable IT and virtualisation. There is also a separate category for start-ups in emerging markets.

Entries open on 18 July and close on 12 September. The 'early bird' submission rate is $250 (until August 17th), and goes up to $295 thereafter.

All entrants to the Tech Trailblazers Awards will receive a “goodie bag” of products and services worth around $3,000, to help them get their businesses off the ground and help with their marketing efforts.

The winners of each category will also receive coaching and mentoring from established enterprise CTOs and venture capitalists, as well as development products and services worth tens of thousands of dollars.

“Tech Trailblazers offers a forum for game-changing new technologies and amazing young companies to showcase their products and services,” said Stephen O'Donnell, former CIO and chairman of the Tech Trailblazers judging panel.

“We have assembled a world-class team of judges on the panel commensurate with the quality of entries we expect. The prizes and publicity for winning entries will ensure an exciting contest.”

The judging panel includes an impressive list of industry figures, including Joe Baguley, chief cloud technologist at VMware, Harkeeret Singh, global head of energy and sustainable IT at Thomson Reuters, Raj Samani, EMEA strategy advisor for the Cloud Security Alliance, and Matthew Yeager, chief technologist at Colt Technology Services.

Launchpad said that the prize fund is supported by industry vendors, analysts, venture capitalists and government bodies. The current list of sponsors includes MIT/Stanford Venture Lab, the Cloud Security Alliance, Prezi, RealWire, MyNewsDesk, and ExecEvent.

To be notified as soon as the Tech Trailblazers Awards opens for entries, or to subscribe to the mailing list to receive information on early bird submission savings and the “Meet the Judges” webinar series, email [email protected] More information can be found here.

Earlier this week, venture capital firm Index Ventures announced it had closed a new €350 million fund to invest in early-stage technology companies. The new fund will concentrate its resources heavily on Europe, while also making investments in Israel and the US.