Tag Archives: Smarter Planet

Startups compete to be the 2012 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year!

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!

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Creativity?- Who Should You Hire?

As I work around the world with colleges and universities on how they can change their curriculum to both be more engaging to students and better develop them to be successful in the next decade – I’m frequently asked by students and parents what majors should be selected to give the best job opportunities.

Usually my answer goes like this “You should study what you are most interested in and along the way ensure you try to minor or get experience in some area that will be a good means to find a job. ”

At IBM we’ve been talking for two years now about the need to develop “T-shaped” students – students who are deep in an area of expertise, but also have broad skills in a range of areas.  A good example would be someone deep in engineering who has also taken some computer science and business courses, or someone deep in energy science who has some experience in public policy and IT networking.   Why?  Because the most challenging problems we face in building a Smarter Planet require solutions that are focused at the intersection of these fields –

  • SmartGrid deployments require the intersection of energy skills, IT skills, public policy around pricing and privacy, etc.
  • Smarter Healthcare requires a mix of analytics, business management, healthcare policy, and deep usage of technology to integrate medical records across systems and providers.
  • Smarter Cities projects bring together leaders in transportation, civic affairs, healthcare, safety and security, energy and even smarter water and waste management.  Each of these areas require experts to deploy new ways of integrating these systems to improve the quality of life in places like Rio, Sao Paolo, Mexico City, Shanghai and even New York City.

IBM has been looking across many of our Smarter Planet projects all around the globe, and one of the distinguishing factors that sets the most successful projects apart from others is the degree of creative leadership that is in place on the project.  That’s right – creative leadership might be the trump factor.

Why?   I think it’ s because these projects require a strong vision of “what’s truly possible” in the face of so many obstacles.  Getting a network of city agencies, along with public and private leaders and stakeholders, to work together without being limited by the long list of obstacles and constraints takes strong creative leadership.

And how best to find this type of creative leadership?  New research that was published by Tony Golsby-Smith in Harvard Business Review says that companies and institutions should hire students from the Humanities.

As a graduate of Saint Anselm College – a liberal arts school known for it’s great work in the Humanities – I couldn’t agree more!

Be sure to check out the article – it outlines four of the key reasons that humanities graduates are great at solving very complex problems.

Bangalore Smartcamp A Big Success

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the week in Bangalore and hosted our first IBM Global Entrepreneur Smartcamp of 2011.   The event was a tremendous success with over 200+ startups applying to attend the event to benefit from the intense mentoring and business plan competition.   Prior to the actual day of the event – five companies were selected to attend and be mentored by our a great team of 26 experts from our venture capital, academic, ISV and other key ecosystem partners.  The five companies chosen to attend were:

  • Adiro Systems Private Ltd — builds sensor-based enterprise mobility solutions including automatic identification and data collection for manufacturing industry.
  • ConnectM – creates machine to machine technology for domain specific analytics and business intelligence for Telecom, Utilities, and Transportation industries
  • Indrion Technologies India Pvt Ltd – an intelligent automation provider based on embedded sensor and actuator network technology.
  • Infobotique Services (P) Limited – creates solutions for compliance and risk management for Oil and Natural Gas industry.
  • Quantama Mobile Solutions Pvt. Ltd – allows you to find places of interest, promotions and events nearby.

The five finalists presented their plans and after much discussion and dialogue with the mentors and judges, ConnectM was chosen as the winner for its Smarter Energy Concept.

ConnectM will now compete in the SmartCamp World Finals with winners of SmartCamps from other countries, for the honor of IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year 2011!

I’d like to especially thank our distinguished group of judges and mentors who spent the full day with our five finalists.  We appreciate your willingness to be a part of the event and help mentor these five companies as they strive to create solutions to build a Smarter Planet!

·	Darren Bibby, Vice President, IDC
·	Venkat Raju, Country Head & MD, ACI WorldWide
·	Ravindranath.P, Executive Director, TiE
·	Shalini Pillay, Partner, Performance & Technology, KPMG
·	Dr. Ponani Gopalakrishnan, VP, India Software Labs, IBM
·	Madhusudan Atre, President, Applied Materials India P Ltd
·	Samir Kumar, Managing Director, Inventus Advisory Services
·	Laura Parkin, CEO & Co-founder, NEN
·	Prof. Sekhar Babu, Chairperson, Amirta Institute of Management
·	Jeby Cherian, Director, Strategy, IBM India South Asia
·	Prof. Sadagopan, Director, IIIT Bangalore
·	Uma Reddy, CEO, HiTech Magnetics
·	Rahul Chowdhri , VP, Helion Advisors P Ltd
·	Ashish Sinha, Founder Pluggedin
·	Capt. V.Sivakumar, Associate Director - IT, Metlife India
·	Vish Narayan, IBM Distinguished Engineer & CTO, IBM Industry Solutions
·	Ajay Hattangdi, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank India Finance
·	Ramasubramaian, CMD, BioPure
·	Priya Chetty Rajagopal, VP & Client Partner, Stanton Chase International
·	RamPrasad Moudgalya, Telecom/Wireless Intrapreneur
·	Ankur Gulati, Analyst, DFJ
·	Mauricio Sucasas, Director, IBM ISV & DR, Growth Market Units
·	Mohan Kumar, Executive Director, Norwest Venture Partners
·	Girish Venkatachaliah, Director, Information Management and BA, IBM
·	V. Ravichandar, Chairman, Feedback Consulting
·	Vidhya Shrivatsava, Head- South, India Angel Network

Sudhir Sethi, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, IDG Ventures, along with Ajay Hattangdi, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Bank India Finance and I were on the panel of judges for the IBM SmartCamp Contest held in Bangalore on 27th of April 2011.

That's me on the left with Murali Ramalingam, MD, ConnectM, Praveen Chandrashekhar, VP IBM Indi, Sriram Chidambaram, Head – Sales, ConnectM and Mauricio Sucasas, Director, IBM ISV & DR, Growth Market Units






IBM & Sky IT deliver SmarterRetail solution for Bernard Chaus giving consolidated view of what’s selling and why

Imagine if you could spot marketplace trends and understand customer preferences as they were happening?
Bernard Chaus Inc. significantly boosts sales, reduces costs and gains business agility with real-time visibility into sales.

What was the situation?
Despite being a seasoned leader in the fashion industry, Bernard Chaus had little knowledge of which, where and how much of its products had sold until four to five weeks into a season. By then, it was almost too late to take corrective action. Without more timely and accurate insight into sales, management struggled to react quickly and make informed decisions. As a result, the company was often forced to absorb mark-downs, forfeit prime real estate on selling floors and lose sales.

What makes it smarter?
In the fast-paced fashion industry, companies that know exactly which of their products have sold gain insight into marketplace trends and customer preferences—a true competitive advantage. Bernard Chaus not only gained real-time visibility into its sales but also saved 20 percent to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses with its new business intelligence (BI) solution. Now the company has a current, accurate and comprehensive view into which products have sold by date, chain, store, size, brand, color, demographic and geography. Management can react more quickly to trends, capitalize on market opportunities and make better decisions about production and inventory, leading to improved operations and decreased costs.

By using SKYPAD, a unique Cloud Computing solution from Sky IT Group and IBM,  Bernard Chaus, Inc. has achieved the impossible – the ability to track which clothing items are selling – and which are not – at the retailer level on a day-to-day basis. This unique insight is achieved by merging information from retail outlets around the world augmented by Chaus Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data. Chaus can quickly make predictive decisions to help customers drive sales, cut markdowns and realize cost savings.

What were the real business results?

  • Dramatically improved sell-through (actual items sold), saving up to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses
  • Improved ability to react more quickly to sales trends, customer preferences and marketplace opportunities
  • Increased efficiencies and collaboration across the sales, design, merchandising and production departments with a single, integrated view of data

See the full story here

What if you could spot marketplace trends and understand customer preferences as they were happening?
Bernard Chaus Inc. significantly boosts sales, reduces costs and gains business agility with real-time visibility into sales. 

What was the situation?
Despite being a seasoned leader in the fashion industry, Bernard Chaus had little knowledge of which, where and how much of its products had sold until four to five weeks into a season. By then, it was almost too late to take corrective action. Without more timely and accurate insight into sales, management struggled to react quickly and make informed decisions. As a result, the company was often forced to absorb mark-downs, forfeit prime real estate on selling floors and lose sales.

What makes it smarter?
In the fast-paced fashion industry, companies that know exactly which of their products have sold gain insight into marketplace trends and customer preferences—a true competitive advantage. Bernard Chaus not only gained real-time visibility into its sales but also saved 20 percent to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses with its new business intelligence (BI) solution. Now the company has a current, accurate and comprehensive view into which products have sold by date, chain, store, size, brand, color, demographic and geography. Management can react more quickly to trends, capitalize on market opportunities and make better decisions about production and inventory, leading to improved operations and decreased costs.

What were the real business results?
Dramatically improved sell-through (actual items sold), saving up to 30 percent in costs related to returns, lost sales and mark-down expenses
Improved ability to react more quickly to sales trends, customer preferences and marketplace opportunities
Increased efficiencies and collaboration across the sales, design, merchandising and production departments with a single, integrated view of data

See the full story here:
http://www-01.ibm.com/software/success/cssdb.nsf/CS/SCHA-8EY3L6?OpenDocument&Site=corp&cty=en_us

Memphis Police: Using Analytics to Fight Crime Before it Happens! A Solution from IBM and ESRI

The #1 question I am asked whenever I’m traveling for IBM is this – we love the Smarter Planet strategy from IBM, so can you give us some more examples of clients and partners that are getting smarter?

So going forward I’m going to make a much stronger effort to publish here on my blog the many, many examples I see every day all around the world.

Today’s is from the USA – good ole Memphis, TN – the country music capital of the world!

Memphis Police: Using Analytics to Fight Crime Before it Happens!

A Solution from IBM and ESRI

By following crime trends, Memphis Police can address, and event prevent, new ones.

What if you could better protect the public by stopping crime before it happens?
The Memphis Police Department gains unprecedented insight into where unlawful activity is most likely to occur, gaining a strategic advantage and transforming it ability to catch and convict criminals.

What was the situation?
In the city Memphis, violent crime was increasing at a rate of 2.5 percent, citizens were growing concerned and the police department faced frozen or shrinking budgets. Not only were resources stretched thin, but officers also spent hours in the office searching for crime-related information buried in spreadsheets and paper files. Without a more innovative way to increase the overall effectiveness of the department, officials struggled to predict, track, and respond swiftly to unfolding crime, and optimize limited resources and funds.

What makes it smarter?
If you are criminal, Memphis is not the place to be. This forward-thinking police department dramatically decreased criminal activity and increased conviction rates when it implemented an analytics solution with predictive modeling capabilities provided by IBM and our partner ESRI.  Now the department has unparalleled insight and visibility into criminal activity and crime trends as they are happening. Police have gained a huge advantage; specifically, the ability to identify and predict future crime hot spots. As such, the department can change tactics and redirect patrol resources as needed, to prevent crimes before they happen and catch more criminals in the act. For example, by identifying an increase in burglaries in a particular neighborhood, the department can—on short notice—dispatch officers to that area, on a particular day, at specific times. The solution also helps the department identify factors that may contribute to future crimes, such as abandoned housing.

What are the real business results?

  • Reduced serious crime by 30 percent
  • Reduced violent crime by 15 percent
  • Increased conviction rates fourfold, from 16 percent to nearly 70 percent
  • Realized 863 percent return on investment paid back in 2.7 months, with an average annual benefit of USD7,205,501

See the full story here

IBM Global Entrepreneur Schedule for 2011 – and Five Keys to Success

Just a bit ago we unveiled the schedule for the IBM Global Entrepreneur program events in 2011 – and you can find all the details here.  It’s going to be an exciting year ahead – with the program launching in more countries this year, and Smartcamps coming to nine cities!   Our competitions will span the globe – encompassing five continents – with the kickoff in India and the final event in Rio.  Be sure to check out the schedule and apply to the program!

As we work with hundreds of start up partners around the globe – it’s fascinating to look at what makes them successful as companies, and as entrepreneurs.    This week I read an interesting perspective titled “Should You Be An Entrepreneur” that looked closely at the types of entrepreneurs and what makes them successful.   It’s a fascinating quick read that you should check out.  The five keys to being successful – ability to change, ability to delegate, understanding the market they serve, managing cashflow, and imagination.

5 Hot New Companies – Stockholm SmartCamp Finalists

As you may know from my previous posts – as part of our Smarter Planet strategy we launched the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program to help fuel the growth of early stage startups who are inventing new business models and solutions related to Smarter Planet.

The Global Entrepreneur Program includes the IBM Smart Camp program, which provides a business plan competition to give these entrepreneurs visibility to IBM and Venture Capital executives, gives them mentoring by senior industry executives, and potentially access to capital from our VC partners to fuel their growth.

To run these smart camps we are partnering with an impressive list of organisations including Seedcamp, SDFORUM, Kauffman Fellows, TechStars, Enterprise Ireland, Stockholm Innovation Group (STING), Massachusetts Tech Leadership Council and Dublin City Council among others. This list is growing rapidly and you can find the complete list of our partners on our SmartCamp blog.

Our next event is this week in Stockholm – and we just announced the five finalists –

  • Predect making water safe
  • Yubico simplifying security for everyone
  • Info24 connecting machines to deliver smart planet solutions
  • VC Fire helping to reduce impact of fires
  • Qlucore next generation intuitive bioinformatics

Be sure to check out these cool new companies – they are great examples of new innovation that is helping to create a Smarter Planet!