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Startups to Compete for Analytics Market Opportunity at IBM SmartCamp

ARMONK, N.Y.June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new generation of startups is entering the market with software designed to analyze large volumes of data, IBM (NYSE: IBM) said today. The company is coaching a new group of entrepreneurs who will compete next week in the New York City IBM Global Entrepreneur SmartCamp competition. The five finalists have developed software that helps people and businesses better manage energy consumption, monitor environmental hazards, understand mobile device usage patterns and track brand sentiment.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO )

Today, 83 percent of midmarket CIOs surveyed by IBM have identified analytics, the ability to extract actionable insights from "Big Data" as their top-priority investment area. Software that uses Watson-like analytics to interpret and apply big data represents a unique opportunity for the entrepreneur community. IBM's Watson, the machine that bested Jeopardy! quiz show champs, represents the most advanced analytics technology available.

Five startups whose technology and business model capitalizes on this trend will meet with IBM and the venture capital community at the New York competition June 28 and 29. By pushing the boundaries of what is possible with analytics, cloud and mobile computing, these entrepreneurs are creating new business opportunities and driving economic growth.

"Startups face tremendous challenges in a global market, especially as they compete against much large companies going after the data analytics opportunity," said Jim Corgel, general manager, Developer Relations, IBM. "IBM can convert these companies from startups to speedups by providing coaching and connections to IBM clients and partners. We help these startups get to market faster and at the same time, we provide IBM clients with the hottest new technologies."

The finalists at SmartCamp New York include:

  • EnvEve: A wireless sensor network and tailored analytics solution that gives organizations real time information on the environment and physical infrastructures. For example, using sensors and analytics, the solution can help city officials understand the likelihood of a mudslide, the level of toxins in a river, the nitrates in farmland soil or the road conditions of a highway.  
  • Envirolytics: A combination of analytics software and mobile devices that puts homeowners in control of their energy usage. Using basic measurements, camera and video functions as well as applications for tests such as light intensity on mobile devices, homeowners can capture the data for a home energy audit without the need for sensors in the home. Based on this input and criteria such as geographic location, local weather patterns and home type, the Envirolytics software analyzes current home energy performance and recommends more energy efficient products and services.  
  • Localytics: A real-time analytics service that helps the makers of mobile phone and tablet applications better understand their clients. By analyzing data on user preferences and tendencies such as the amount of time spent in an application, errors and crashes, businesses can build more successful mobile applications.
  • MediaFunnel: A social media firewall and dashboard that helps organizations analyze and monitor brand sentiment, protect their brand, and engage with their customers, prospects or members in real-time. It ensures that no brand-damaging statements are going out to the public, and monitors social media and the web for conversations that need immediate attention, alerting the team so they can jump into the conversation right away.
  • Examville: A global web-based educational content and services platform that enables collaboration for students, educators and content providers, including publishers. The service leverages the collective knowledge of many with collaborative learning tools, peer review, recommendations and educator inputs into a single comprehensive platform where users can customize their learning experiences.

IBM SmartCamps bring together innovative entrepreneurs with venture capitalists, academics and other industry leaders to provide coaching and critical industry support and advice. These events are part of IBM's commitment to the Obama administration StartUp America initiative.

Small and medium sized companies have long been the engines driving economic growth. They are responsible for nearly 65 percent of the global GDP – representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing over 90 percent of the world's workforce. This group of entrepreneurial companies faces stiff competition, not only in their local markets, but also with larger enterprises across an increasingly global marketplace. (Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation). The IBM SmartCamps are designed to provide these entrepreneurs with the mentoring and insight needed to continue to drive growth and innovation in their markets.

SmartCamp New York is part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative, which is designed to bring new technologies to market faster that tackle some of the world's most pressing issues. The five finalists were selected from more than 200 startup companies that are creating new technologies in critical areas such as healthcare, energy and environment, and other services that improve the life of citizens around the globe.

IBM SmartCamps judge the best start-up company in different cities around the globe, rewarding the winners with mentoring, services, access to industry experts, and deeper partnership opportunities from IBM, venture capital firms and industry partners. The winner will also be invited to the next SmartCamp World Finals to square off against other SmartCamp winners from around the globe to claim the title of "IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year."

Vote for Your Favorite SmartCamp New York Finalist with the IBM SmartCamp People's Vote Award

Help us pick the IBM SmartCamp Online People's Vote Award winner. Each of the final five startups has created a one-minute video pitch that you will be able to watch on the Smarter Planet blog at ASmarterPlanet.com. After watching the pitch videos and watching the companies live on LiveStream, you will be able to vote for your favorite. Voting begins June 23 atwww.asmarterplanet.com.  

The event will be webcast at www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware. There will also be live blogging on ASmarterPlanet.com onJune 28 at http://bit.ly/kFS3Kn and on June 29 at http://bit.ly/iYPQ39. In addition, you can follow the action on People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/9S1Jp8, and on Twitter at #IBMSmartCamp.

For more information about the IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/isv/startup. For more information on the IBM Venture Capital Group, please visit http://www.ibm.com/venturecapitalgroup.

Media Contact
Tim Willeford
IBM Media Relations
(978) 413-4041
twilleford@us.ibm.com

 

SOURCE IBM

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Comment by Vincent Granville on June 27, 2011 at 10:50am

I think it's still a good idea to look for VC funding, especially if you have a bit of free time or are ready for a big change in your life. You can minimize the risks of being turned down by preparing your business plan, choosing the right partners and vendors to work with you, selecting the right VCs, making sure you have the right degree (e.g. CS degree from CMU will help) etc. Even if eventually turned down, it's a great opportunity for networking, and learning to sell your concept. It will teach you how to sell your product / services to clients.

 

We raised $6 million back in 2006, and developed great technology and statistical IP. It was a fun working for our start-up until we sold. Now I am on my second start-up - I doubt I will raise money again, but it's also a lot of fun, without external funding.

Comment by Jean-Paul Rasson on June 26, 2011 at 10:43pm
Isn't trying to get VC funding a dinosaur strategy - where you will lose hundreds of hours of time and 99.99% of the time you will eventually get turned down? Isn't using big competitive advantages the way to go - even illegal advantages (where you could be sued for unfair competition - though it's hard to imagine Goliath successfully suing a smart David). By illegal advantages, I mean strategies / businesses that you can implement outside US, maybe in China, where it wouldn't be illegal, despite the fact that if implemented in US, it would definitely be illegal. Examples include deploying IP outside US.

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