MySmart Farm continues to cultivate its relationship with IBM

Here’s an update from our 2013 SmartCamp Johannesburg winner, MySmart Farm!

mysmartfarm-joburg-smartcamp-winner-logoWhen Wolfgang von Loeper decided to carry on his family’s 350-year tradition of farming in South Africa, he encountered a modern dilemma: managing all of the data and technology needed to encourage healthy crops. “I was using all available technology, including satellite imaging and solar maps,” says von Loeper. “I had many different types of software and management packages installed.”

On the recommendation of a local investment firm, von Loeper investigated the IBM Global Entrepreneur program, which offers support and resources for technology startup organizations. Through the Global Entrepreneur initiative, von Loeper further developed his business idea and connected with IBM resources and SoftLayer, an IBM company, to create a minimum viable product version of the MySmart Farm service offering.

The collaboration between IBM and MySmart Farm resulted in a first-of-its-kind solution with great potential to help address food scarcity issues in South Africa and beyond. By bringing together a wide range of agricultural and geospatial data and delivering easily accessible intelligence and insights, the MySmart Farm solution will help farmers improve their harvests.

Hosting the MySmart Farm platform in a SoftLayer cloud environment proved critical in getting the solution up and running quickly and cost-effectively. Participating in the SoftLayer Catalyst Startup Program will save MySmart Farm USD24,000 over the course of its first year of operation, freeing more funds for the new business to direct toward platform and business development activities.

Watch this video to learn more

Great story and congratulations to MySmart Farm! If you are a startup and you’d like to compete in SmartCamp events, be sure to register for the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program. Great things can happen!

Follow MySmart Farm @MySmartFarm.

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SmartCamp Sydney produces 2 winners!

Photo of Brendan Roberts

Brendan Roberts of 9 Spokes

Congratulations to 9 Spokes for winning the SmartCamp Sydney competition! Also, congrats to Tapit for winning the people’s choice award!

9 Spokes was the judges’ choice with its integrated software dashboard. They select apps through a rigorous accreditation program and then make them available to the user through a dashboard environment. No more sifting through thousands of apps trying to find the best match for your industry. They’ve already located them for you, and made them easy to access!

Also, they use the power of the cloud! You can access 9 Spokes and all your apps from any Internet connected device. Everything is at your finger tips!

Tapit’s solution deploys, manages and analyses contactless technology, such as Near Field Communications tags, Beacons and QR codes. Using powerful Tapit visualization reporting, clients can easily make sense of how people are interacting with their Tapit-enabled infrastructure in real-time. Their solution provides an easy to use platform that instantly tells you how and where people are engaging with your content, as well as channel format and device.

With Tapit, it’s easy to see how people are interacting with your Tapit-enabled infrastructure in real-time.

Congratulations again to our winners Down Under!

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Wumdrop delivers a victory at SmartCamp Cape Town

SmartCamp events keep rolling along and with that, we have new winners on a weekly basis! Recently, it was the SmartCamp Cape Town event that brought out the best and brightest of startups to IBM! The South African winner this year was Wumdrop!

Photo of Wumdrop winners, Roy Mathieu Borole and Simon Hartley

L to R – Roy Mathieu Borole and Simon Hartley of Wumdrop; Clayton Booysen, IBM

Wumdrop’s mobile solution allows you to request shipping service at the click of a button. No more waiting in lines at the post office or shipping kiosk! What’s so impressive about their solution is that it furthers the notion of mobile solutions making daily tasks easier and faster to complete. This is a great resource for business and personal use!

SmartCamp Cape Town ran in partnership with Tech4Africa. Every SmartCamp event is huge success when Tech4Africa is involved! So THANK YOU to Tech4Africa!

And, congratulations again to Wumdrop for winning the SmartCamp Cape Town competition!

Posted in Africa, cloud, ibm, mobile, SmartCamp, South Africa, startup, venture capital | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Déjà vu: SmartCamp London flexes serious muscle

Photo of Canary Wharf in London

Canary Wharf in London

Thanks to the sponsors and mentors, the success of last year’s SmartCamp London is spilling over into this year’s event! With over 20 mentors and 7 sponsors from leading London entrepreneurial groups, IBM SmartCamp London looks to be another great success.

Last years sponsors Level 39, Entrepreneur Country and Seven Hills are joined by 4 more companies big on supporting startups: Silicon Valley Bank, Tech City, London & Partners and Shoreditch Works.

The October 8th event will be hosted at Level 39, where startups will be able to network with experienced entrepreneurs, technology investors and industry experts to gain support, exposure and resources for their technology startup. Applications are still open until midnight on September 12th, so there’s still plenty of time to apply for the chance to collaborate with IBM and take advantage of the unrivaled mentoring opportunities.

Similar to last year, some of our sponsors are also mentoring! Bindi Karia, for example, currently leads Silicon Valley Bank’s early stage efforts in Europe, will be on hand to offer her expertise and opinion to the startup participants.

Also returning from last year is Amit Pau of Entrepreneur Country! He has over 20 years expertise in the digital industry and has transformed multiple entrepreneurial companies, mentoring them from concept stage to scaling their operations for successful exits. His insights will be invaluable for the startups participating in SmartCamp.

Another exciting edition to this years mentoring panel is Peter Janes, the founder and CEO of Shopa, last year’s London SmartCamp winners. Being in the exact same situation a year ago, Peter brings a unique perspective and will, no doubt, be able to offer some very valuable advice to the startups.

These three are amongst a wide range of mentors with a high level of knowledge and expertise! This year’s event is definitely not one to miss, and the whole day promises to be a success! Register now to save your seat!

*Below is a list of mentors for the London SmartCamp event. Be sure to add these folks to your network! More names will be added over the coming weeks!

*Please note mentor names may change.

Barclays – Arian Lewis London & Partners – Pru Ashby
Cerillion – Guy O’Connor Push Technology – Lee Cottle
Clear Returns – Vicky Brock SEP – Martin Brennan
DN Capital – Lawrence Barclay Seven Hills – Nick Giles
Entrepreneur Country – Amit Pau Shopa – Peter Janes
 Hideout and Innovators Network – Douglas Bell Silicon Valley Bank – Bindi Karia
Kennet – Hillel Zidel  Taxal – Allan Behrens
KPMG – Tudor Aw
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Two new SmartCamp winners: Brushing teeth and fighting fires

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen two new SmartCamp winners emerge. One has a cloud and mobile-based solution for fighting forest fires. And the other? The other winning solution offers inspired tooth brushing, a dream come true for any parent.

Grushlogo_AlphaGrush, winner of SmartCamp Silicon Valley, transforms the chore of tooth brushing into a fun and interactive game. They’ve developed an advanced Bluetooth motion-sensing toothbrush, called the Grush Brush, coupled with interactive and instructive mobile games, to guide kids’ brushing and let parents track the results. The motion data is sent to Grush Apps in real-time. Grush Apps are interactive games that receive motion data from the Grush Brush and integrate it with a simulated image of the child’s teeth.

In addition, the Grush Cloud stores detailed brushing data of each user for tracking/monitoring. Detailed brushing statistical data can be provided to dentists to customize a treatment plan which could ultimately save in dental costs.

insight roboticsInsight Robotics, winner of SmartCamp China, uses thermal imaging sensors and advanced artificial intelligence vision technology to quickly locate a forest fire, giving first responders a jump at extinguishing the flames. So precise is their solution that is can spot fires as small as an area of 2m x 1m within 5km radius! Their solution can be used in a variety of ways for undeveloped terrain, including the monitoring of illegal logging and large city parks.

Preventing forest fires and more inspired tooth brushing. Now those are smarter planet solutions! Congratulations to Insight Robotics and Grush!

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2014 Business Tech Trends study hones in on 3 key characteristics

Last week, we released our 2014 Business Tech Trends study to the public. A replay of the webcast is available.

Image of term definitionsThe study focused on 3 key characteristics of pacesetting companies – those companies who continue to successfully stay ahead of their competitors using transformative technologies.

The study found that the 3 characteristics are rooted in a cultural shift that embraces today’s newest technologies. The 3 key characteristics are:

  1. Partnering is in their DNA.
  2. Analytics is their fuel.
  3. Integration is their breakaway move.

Partnering, as a tool for success, is not a new revelation. Partnering with companies who enhance our own product or service is a great way to increase business. What’s special about pacesetting companies is that they take partnering to another level, choosing to partner with non-traditional types. For example, pacesetting companies will partner with citizen developers as they would with their clients and professional developers. They also partner with academic-minded institutions and start-ups to tap into the latest trends.

Choosing to trust the data they collect with analytics solutions speaks more to a cultural shift that pacesetting companies are willing to embrace. Gone are the days where successful companies rely on instinct to determine their actions. Instead, they harness the power of analytics to shape their decisions.

Integration as the breakaway move is about using all the transformative technologies – cloud, analytics, mobile, social – in concert with one another. With total integration, pacesetting companies squeeze every bit of capability to their advantage. All their data gets massaged into actionable items, giving them a huge advantage over those who do not integrate.

So how is this of value to startups? The 3 key characteristics apply to startups! Pacesetting companies can be large and small! Many startups today embrace analytics and integrate all the technologies without even giving it a thought! They are natives in the land of transformative technologies. But partnering might not yet be in their DNA. Of the 3 characteristics, that’s more than likely the one area startups could improve.

Be sure to check out the replay  and download the study to learn more!


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2014 Business Tech Trends Study webcast: Learn the secrets of Pacesetters

Startups are always looking for advantages. Most of the time, they find out about advantages working with venture capitalists and incubators (including mentors!). And every now and then, startups learn a thing or two from large corporations.

How do companies gain advantages? What are the things they do that set them apart from everyone else? What are their secrets?

We have the answers, and we’re inviting you to find out!

On August 21st, we’ll reveal the findings of key characteristics of Pacesetters – successful companies who use cloud, analytics, mobile and social to outperform their competitors – during a webcast you do not want to miss!

In addition, we’ll turn this information into actions and ideas that will help you approach the market more effectively.

For more information, listen to Sandy Carter’s brief video about the webcast.

Register now for this great opportunity!

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