This week in Silicon Valley, I have the pleasure of hosting the 2012 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year Championship that brings together more than fifty venture capital firms and the nine best startups focused on Smarter Planet solutions from around the world. Over the past twelve months, we have run IBM SmartCamp competitions in the major markets and growth markets to identify local startups focused on our key growth initiatives – including Smarter Planet, Smarter Commerce, Business Analytics, and key industry plays such as healthcare and Smarter Cities.
In just eighteen months, the Global Entrepreneur Program has attracted over one thousand startups to work with IBM, and over 200 of them are in the process of embedding or leveraging IBM technologies with their solutions. The nine finalists competing this week for the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year” are all focused on business analytics with four focused on Smarter Cities, three on Smarter Commerce, and others on mobile, healthcare, and Smarter Water. Many of these startups are establishing new business models focused on the intersection of key technology and industry opportunities.
This year’s finalists include:
- BitCarrier: BitCarrier’s traffic management solutions analyze real-time traffic information, providing current travel times, estimations on congestion rates, and accident alerts (winner, SmartCamp Barcelona).
- C-B4 Context Based 4Casting: CB4 has created a context-based system for identifying and analyzing hidden data patterns in large-scale data warehouses. The system is particularly suited to the retail trade and customer relations management (winner, SmartCamp Tel Aviv).
- ConnectM: ConnectM’s machine-to-machine technology uses advanced analytics to collect information from disparate systems to provide business intelligence. The solutions are developed specifically for the telecommunications, utilities, and transportation industries (winner, SmartCamp Bangalore).
- IDXP: IDXP’s consumer behavior solution installs sensors in stores and shopping carts to help retailers understand consumer behavior (winner, SmartCamp Rio de Janeiro).
- Localytics: Localytics’ real-time analytics service provides makers of mobile phone and tablet applications with a better understanding of people’s mobile application preferences and tendencies (winner, SmartCamp New York City).
- Palmap: Palmap’s mapping solution provides mobile users with instant information for indoor activities such as navigating airports and shopping malls (winner, SmartCamp Shanghai).
- Profitero: Profitero helps online retailers maximize profits via competitor analytics (winner, SmartCamp London).
- SecureWaters: SecureWaters’ patented technology continuously monitors, detects, and identifies toxins in surface water. An early warning alarm system alerts clients to potential issues (winner, SmartCamp Austin).
- SkinScan: SkinScan’s mobile application enables users to scan the moles on their bodies to measure skin cancer threat levels. They also offer a cloud infrastructure for medical histories of patients and doctors (winner, SmartCamp Istanbul).
You can follow the event this week at asmarterplanet.com. Tune in to hear from the finalist and see the winner be announced at livestream.com/ibmsoftware on Thursday, February 2. And finally, you can vote for your favorite startup through our People’s Vote Award.
It’s been a fun week so far- and today at 6:15pm PST – we’ll be announcing the Global Champion!