Open Cloud company, Rackspace, has launched an Australian startup pitching competition, Small Teams, Big Impact Down Under, giving small teams the change to win an inaugural grand prize involving a trip to Silicon Valley to meet investors and profile their product.

Following the application process, 10 shortlisted finalists will pitch to investors, media, the startup community and a judging panel consisting of: Rackspace startup liaison officer, Robert Scoble; Pollenizer co-founder, Mick Liubinskas; PushStart founder, Kim Heras; Kogan founder, Ruslan Kogan; Xero country manager, Chris Ridd. This will take place on August 6 at Fishburners Sydney.

Cloud Storage - Comparison of 30 Services

"With Sydney and Melbourne ranging 12th and 18th cities globally for startup activity, and Adelaide, Brisbane, and other cities hot on their heels, we're seeing a surge in activity in local entrepreneurship," RackSpace Australia director and general manager, Angus Dorney, said.

"A recent PwC report found that startups alone could contribute $109 billion and 540,000 jobs to the Australian economy by 2033. We're looking forward to seeing the best of the best, and holding a great final event for the whole community to enjoy."

The grand prize is a round trip to San Francisco, where the winning entrepreneur will be interviewed in Scoble's studio. They will have the chance to talk about their startup in front of his global audience which consists of 335,000 Twitter followers, and 500,000 Facebook fans.

"We'll be judging startups based on the scope of their innovation, the highest potential to change or disrupt an industry, and having the greatest impact to the largest number of people or businesses," Scoble said.

Startup teams of 10 or less are able to submit an application to 'Small Teams, Big Impact Down Under' via the Rackspace web site. Submissions close July 26.