IBM SmartCamp Finals Take NYC By Storm
StreetLight Data, the other co-winner of the North America regional finals, also provides an analytics solution. The firm uses advanced analytics on transportation and behavioral data to help retailers make smarter business decisions and determine the ideal location for storefronts and improve sales by adjusting inventory and marketing campaigns. CaptainDash, co-winner of the Berlin regional finals, also stands as a finalist for entrepreneur of the year with its Software as a Service marketing platform. CaptainDash produces interactive and visual dashboards for marketing organizations. Marketers can synchronize all company data, add data from open sources and external factors, such as weather reports and traffic conditions, and generate visual explanations of their business in real time. Poikos, co-winner of the Berlin regional finals, delivers the Poikos FlixFlit technology, which uses consumer devices such as smartphones, tablets and PCs for imaging and measuring the body in 3D. GetWay, co-winner of the Latin American finals, produces an analytics solution for retailers. Their solution enables any industry to monitor real-time sales data from retailers that are spread all over a territory.Finally, MoDe, pronounced “mode,” is a Kenyan startup and co-winner of the Latin American finals. The company provides value added services to mobile network operators in emerging nations. MoDe’s flagship product is Airtime Credit Service (ACS), which provides emergency airtime credit to prepaid mobile subscribers. The mobile micro credit firm provides micro and nano credit products to prepaid customers of mobile telcos and other utilities.“You’ve heard of microfinance, well we operate at a level below that that we call nanofinancing,” said Julian Kyula, group CEO and co-founder of MoDe. “We have customers who may only need to borrow as much as $20.” Josphat Kinyua, group commercial director and co-founder of MoDe said to date the company has facilitated more than 200 million transactions in the five African countries where it has operations, which has helped mobile network providers such as Airtel and MTN to increase both subscriber revenues and talk time on their networks. Kinyua said MoDe is about to enter another five countries as demand for its services continues to grow. “One thing we have to deal with is the issue of companies wondering whether they can rely on a company based in Nairobi,” Kyula said. “Of course they can. But that’s where working with a big name like IBM comes in handy.” The IBM SmartCamps are designed to spark innovation and help startup companies using advanced technologies such as cloud, big data, analytics, and mobile computing bring their solutions to market faster. As evidenced by this year’s finalists, the innovations tackle some of today’s most pressing issues, such as healthcare, water management, cyber security, finance and energy efficiency. Corgel said IBM has a deep commitment to the entrepreneurial community. Since launching the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program in 2010, IBM has helped launch more than 500 new businesses in areas such as green energy, healthcare and transportation. IBM Venture Capital Group professionals work with nearly 300 VC firms and have broadened beyond the Silicon Valley area to more than 30 countries, focusing on key initiatives such as cloud computing and analytics. Corgel said IBM’s former CEO, Sam Palmisano, identified analytics as the number one opportunity Big Blue had ahead of it prior to his leaving the post last year. And analytics figures heavily in IBM’s 2015 roadmap. Meanwhile, IBM nurtures startups, bringing them into its 121,000 strong business partner ecosystem, and helps to get their technology ready for market. Over the past six years, IBM has engaged with more than 1,500 startups to bring new technologies to the market. In that time, IBM has accepted more than 1,400 startups into the Global Entrepreneur Program.