Hundreds of applicants and dozens of competition rounds later, we are now just a month away from the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals February 5-7 in New York City! But if you are reading this blog for the first time, let’s talk about what a SmartCamp is and why it’s something to be excited about.
IBM SmartCamp was launched in 2010 with a goal to identify early-stage entrepreneurs who are developing business ventures that align with the IBM Smarter Planet vision, and give them the visibility, mentoring, and resources that only a large company like IBM can provide. Eligible startups apply to local SmartCamp events in cities all around the world, and just a handful are selected to compete in each local or “Kickstart” SmartCamp event. The winners of the Kickstarts then move on to Regional Finals, and the Regional winners move on to the big event, the SmartCamp Global Finals.
These mentoring and networking events put entrepreneurs in touch with investment firms, serial entrepreneurs, academics, marketing, communications, and technology experts that can help accelerate the solutions of startup companies to market.
Since 2010, the program has grown significantly. With fewer than a dozen worldwide events the first year, the program expanded to 22 events worldwide in 2012. The Global Finals next month will feature 8 startup finalists from around the world, from Kenya to France to Singapore. Over the three-day competition February 5-7th, the finalists will attend workshops, work with knowledgeable mentors, and present their business pitches in a public session where they will be judged by a panel of experts and a winner will be named.
Tune in to this blog over the next few weeks to get to know our 8 finalists. Our “Meet the Finalists” series will feature in-depth interview questions and videos to help you learn more about these promising entrepreneurs. A few days before the Global Finals, you can even let your own voice be heard by casting an online vote for People’s Choice Winner.
So stay tuned, and don’t forget to follow us on @IBMSmartCamp!
Click here to register to attend the SmartCamp Global Finals public session on Feb. 7th.