Last week on Oct. 5th, IBM held its London SmartCamp Kickstart event where 5 innovative startups competed. After inspiring keynote addresses, mentoring sessions, and networking opportunities, the finalists presented their cases and tried to deliver winning pitches. Finalist Viewsy was named winner, with MMVSense getting the win for the People’s Choice online vote.
Viewsy uses smart analytics to detect signals (anonymously) from mobile phones so they can track how many people pass through locations, are queuing, how long they dwell and what holds their attention. Retailers, owners of large venues or public buildings will be able to find out which displays or signage work best, and restaurants and catering kiosks can find out how many people are taking up special offers or make a repeat visit.
Measuring and analyzing foot traffic data fits neatly into IBM’s Smarter Cities ambitions, making Viewsy a worthy winner of this year’s SmartCamp Kickstart event in London. But the other four finalists delivered some compelling presentations as well.
Chris Mitchell, CEO of sound analysis and classification firm Audio Analytic told how, in development stages, his team smashed windows and fired Uzi machine guns before running the data through supercomputers. Its Soundpack product analyses sounds/tone of voice – for enhanced security applications.
Nick Rankin, CEO of Quorate, electrified watchers by revealing the huge cost of police interview transcripts – one force alone conducting 70,000 hours of interviews. He showed the market opportunity for Quorate’s application to automate interview transcripting and the searching and analyse important conversations for the police, military in intelligent operation services.
Brothers Luke and Adrian Morrell set up MMVSense to create a workplace health and well-being activity program called Activity4Charity, addressing what medical journal the Lancet termed a ‘pandemic of inactivity.’ MMVSense already has 750 people across a range of firms in its program.
Pat Breslin of Voice Secure impressed judges with his company’s Biometric-based identity management solutions that improve security voice security; the featured emergency rest center application has the potential to help save lives. The audience noted the clear UK market opportunity with police and blue light services – and reflected on the fact that, after the police declare an emergency, they hand over to local authorities to co-ordinate disaster response, many of whom are having to use paper-based administration systems.
Aside from the finalists pitches and winner announcements, a big highlight of the day was Mischa Dohler’s rousing keynote address. Dohler, 2010 SmartCamp winner and CTO of Worldsensing, had these wise words to offer the finalists:
- Save your energy to sell things; that’s the most difficult bit.
- Don’t focus on one product; stick to what you’re good at
- Competition is good – shows they have competitors too; their very presence shows you have a market
- Beware of bootstrap money – it makes things complicated
- Being your own boss is great – the rewards are ten times greater; but so are the problems!
- Remember that life isn’t about money – it’s about lots of money
The day overall was a success, with great feedback from many of the attendees. “I really like the programme!” said Shalini Khemka, Co-Founder, CEO and Board Director of The London Entrepreneurial Exchange, “It is a fantastic way to support entrepreneurs and I’m proud to be affiliated and supporting.” Jennifer L. Schenker, Founder and Editor-in-chief of Informilo Media said, “I found it valuable on several levels. It gave me a deeper understanding of what IBM is trying to accomplish with its smart camps and I met a lot of interesting people and start-ups.”
Congratulations again to Viewsy and all the finalists! Looking forward to the EMEA Regional Final in Berlin in November.