Martin Kelly, partner of the IBM Venture Capital Group is responsible for the SmartCamp initiative:
- SmartCamp is an exclusive global program bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and experienced mentors who want to build a smarter planet. In my view the entrepreneurs are essential in driving these new innovations that will help us archive the vision of a smarter planet. This initiative helps us to create local communities, in a way local mini Silicon Valleys focused on high potential entrepreneurs.
- This is not just about IBM, this is about working with a whole ecosystem where we bring people together and try to find ways of creating new and smart solutions.
IBM is partnering with an impressive list of organizations including Seedcamp, SDFORUM, Kauffman Fellows, TechStars, Enterprise Ireland, Stockholm Innovation Group (STING) and Massachusetts Tech Leadership Council to name but a few. The selected company in each city will be invited to the global finals week to be held in Nov.
- Some of our partners are offering their own forms of recognition independent of IBM to organizations that impress them in their areas of interest. Last year 4 of 5 companies received investment offers or funding from our partners.
With over more than 400.000 co-workers word-wide, IBM´s strategy is to collaborate with entrepreneurs to build what they call a smarter planet is significant.
- SmartCamp will be rolled out in seven cities in 2010. In each location, five companies will be selected to spend one day networking with 25 world-class entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. One selected company from each city will be invited to SmartCamp week in Dublin, Ireland in November where one will be named “The World’s Smartest Start-up”.
SmartCamp aims to accelerate the expansion and internationalization of promising companies and has successfully achieved this in the past. Additionally, the event will be covered by leading press which will offer the companies great visibility.
In 2010 Smart Camps will be held in Paris, Tel Aviv, San Francisco, Boston, Stockholm, London and Dublin. Deadline for Stockholm is 30th April.
Facts about SmartCamps
SmartCamp is an exclusive global program bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and experienced mentors who want to build a Smarter Planet. SmartCamp provides access to world-class advisors plus a direct route to seed and venture capital. The objective of the program is help companies build an ‘investor ready’ commercial proposition in order to secure funding. The most appropriate companies will get a 3 month IBM mentorship program.
IBM is interested in early stage technology companies with potential to become global leaders that fit IBM´s vision of a Smarter Planet – this includes: Networking and Mobility, Enterprise Software Applications , Internet & SAAS , Cloud and IT infrastructure , Healthcare & IT related , Analytics and Modelling , Energy efficiency and Smart buildings , Carbon and Water management , Transportation systems , Smart Cities including – transportation, education, and public safety.
The program is open to companies with revenues less than $1m in the last 12 months. This includes seed stage with product in development phase with possible trials with customers. It also includes start-up stage – product in alpha / beta stage and possible first round of VC funding. Regardless of stage of development, all presenting companies will represent: