IBM has announced the inaugural SmartCamp has opened for submissions. Facilitated by IBM, the exclusive event will create a local IT ecosystem for innovative early stage start-ups, connecting entrepreneurs with IBM technology, mentors, venture capitalists and industry experts to help build a Smarter Planet.
SmartCamp is part of a larger IBM initiative to help entrepreneurs build their business by providing support and resources.
“Innovation from the start-up community is critical to building a Smarter Planet. SmartCamp Sydney offers local innovative start-ups the opportunity to present their business to some of the most visible IT experts in our industry, and to also get access to IBM technology in order to grow,” said Phil Sheehan, ISV and Developer Relations, IBM New Zealand. “As an example, we help talented start-ups like the recent Boston SmartCamp winner Skyfoundry to help build a network of valuable contacts that can enable them to grow and take their technology business to the next level. Despite having only three and half employees, IBM sees big potential in its technology to help solve some of society’s most pressing challenges.”
SmartCamp forms part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program and aims to support the next generation of entrepreneurs that hope to capture emerging business opportunities in fast-growing industries such as healthcare, public sector, natural resources, utilities and telecommunications. The contest culminates into an exclusive event for the top start-ups to present their business idea to a panel of experts.
“Programs like SmartCamp present massive opportunities for innovative IT start-ups in New Zealand,” said Jane Smallfield, President of the New Zealand Software Association. “It demonstrates awillingness by the ICT industry to get behind our entrepreneurs and to support innovation.”
Applications for SmartCamp are now open and will close on 15 August 2012.
Finalists will be announced on 22 August 2012 and will be asked to present their business idea in front of a panel of IT experts at the SmartCamp event in Sydney on 6 September 2012. In addition, the ANZ winner will also receive three month mentorship from IBM, as well as the chance to progress to the regional SmartCamp event in Beijing.
In 2012, there are 13 IBM SmartCamp events including, Miami, New York City, Munich, Bangalore, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Moscow, Paris, Istanbul, London, Cape Town, Mexico City and Dublin. Winning companies from these events will have the opportunity to participate in one of the four regional SmartCamp events in Boston, Beijing, Berlin and Sao Paulo. The winners of the SmartCamp events will further move on to participate in the 2012 Global Finals and be named IBM Entrepreneur of the Year.