Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘entrepreneurs’ Category

IBM Global SmartCamp Finals: Next Week In NYC

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IBM’s SmartCamp Global Finals are slated to be held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on February 7th.

The SmartCamp initiative was launched in 2010 with the goal of identifying early-stage entrepreneurs who are developing business ventures that would align with the IBM Smarter Planet vision, and give them the visibility, mentoring, and resources that only a large company like IBM can provide.

On the 7th, eight startups from around the world will compete in New York City for the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”

The IBM SmartCamp Global Finals will bring together leading venture capitalists, industry experts, press, analysts, entrepreneurial organizations and academics to network and celebrate entrepreneurship.

The Global Finals will feature eight startup finalists from around the world, from Kenya to France to Singapore. The eight finalists not only come from all walks of life, but they offer a broad range of innovative solutions that all have the potential to make the planet a whole lot smarter.

Finalist HistoIndex, a startup from Singapore, has an imaging solution which will allow for earlier detection and better treatment of fibrosis.

GetWay, a big data startup from Brazil, enables any industry to precisely monitor real-time sales data in retailers spread all over a territory.

And QuintessenceLabs, from Australia, has harnessed the properties of nature as described by quantum science to fortify the protection of data in-transit, at-rest and in-use.

You can be a part of the excitement on February 7th at the SmartCamp Global Finals, where you’ll have the opportunity to network with innovators, business leaders, and experts from around the world, hear the startup finalists’ presentations, and witness the naming of a new IBM Entrepreneur of the Year.

Go here to learn more and to register to attend the event. As an FYI, I had the great privilege of helping cover the event last year in San Francisco, and recorded a video with Scott Laningham (embedded in this blog post) where I summarized what I learned.

IBM SmartCamp Finalist Profile: Skin Scan — Putting Some Skin In The iPhone App Game

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Sometimes you look at a mobile app for your iPhone and your Android, and you wonder, how in the world did they come up with that?

Victor Anastasiu, CEO of IBM SmartCamp finalist Skin Scan, has been an active contributor to the startup incubation scene in Bucharest, Romania.

That’s what Victor Anastasiu, CEO of Skin Scan, and his associate Mircea Popa, did once while sitting in Anastasiu’s living room in Bucharest a year ago, where they were chatting and having a beer.

They were discussing potential business ideas, and the idea of applying fractal geometry to the problem of skin cancer came up.

Hey, it’s just conversation, right?

Anastasiu explains that though there wasn’t a huge culture of entrepreneurship in Bucharest, he was a co-founder of an incubator hubb there called “Bucharest Hubb,” despite there being little access to the international entrepreneurial scene.

As they brainstormed and started to build an application that uses a mathematical algorithm to calculate the fractal dimension of a mole and surrounding skin, then build a structural map that reveals the different growth patterns of the tissues involved, they knew they had to find a platform that could be effective.

The iPhone was the perfect diagnosis, as it was much more homogeneous than the Android, and the app was perfectly suited to use the iPhone camera.

If Skin Scan processes the map and sees the mole has any abnormal development, it will alert the user to a needed medical visit.

SkinScan’s accuracy rate is currently at 70%, matching up to the average dermatologists’ diagnosis and suggesting that IBM’s own Dr. “Watson” could soon face some diagnostic competition in the healthcare realm.

Written by turbotodd

February 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

IBM SmartCamp Finalist Profile: Bitcarrier — Giving Us Back Some Of Our Time

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Martin Mendez, CEO of Bitcarrier, the IBM SmartCamp Barcelona winner, has a vision he wants to share: To give us all back some of our time.

Cristina Galan, the chief financial officer for Bitcarrier, explains to the IBM SmartCamp finals audience gathered in San Francisco how Bitcarrier's traffic monitoring capabilities can help improve the quality of life and make for smarter cities.

His company, Bitcarrier, is the leading provider of real-time traffic information for smart cities, and the way it gathers such data is ingenious.

Rather than depending on the traditional looping or camera-instigated traffic monitoring, the company’s patented Bluetooth and Wi-Fi scanning technology provides very accurate and reliable traffic information in real-time.  In essence, it gathers “signals” from all those GPS and smartphone devices in our moving vehicles, anonymously, and uses that information to better understand traffic flows and patterns.

By collecting locations from an average of 48% of target vehicles in real time, BitCarrier has created the biggest database of citizens’ travel behavior.

This information can serve as the basis for decision-making regarding new infrastructure or mobility policies, such as the provisioning of public transportation.  It also has significant potential from private companies who are building services and applications they could provide to clients and cities.

To date, Bitcarrier’s vision is shared and used by cities such as Barcelona, Rio de Janiero, and Sao Paulo, as well as partners like Telvent-Schneider Electric.

IBM SmartCamp Global Finals, Day 2: Big IBM Insights

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Greetings from the City by the Bay.

It’s the second full day of the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals. I had a wonderful dinner last evening with some old friends at the Marine Memorial Club overlooking the city skyline, and this morning, woke up bright and early prepared for day 2 here at the Bently Reserve.

IBM VP Mike Riegel's motivational talk to the IBM SmartCamp entrepreneurs gathered in San Francisco this morning, explaining just WHY IBM invests in its global entrepreneur program.

After a nice continental breakfast and some early morning networking, IBM’s Deborah Magid handed the discussion over to IBM’s Mike Riegel, a vice president for ISV and Developer Relations.

Riegel, who started his career in government and later worked at a startup himself, explained to the audience of entrepreneurs, mentors, press, and bloggers what was behind IBM’s investment in the Global Entrepreneur Program, which launched in April 2010, and later the IBM Smart Camp competition.

First, Riegel explained, a significant portion of IBM’s revenue is derived through its relationship with Business Partners, which come in all shapes and sizes

Second, venture capital-backed companies essentially compose the next generation of IBM’s ecosystem.

Third, through its relationships with the VC and entrepreneurial community, IBM finds new innovation, invention, and entrepreneurialism, not to mention new strategic insights and the identification of new business models and technologies.  And, this past year, IBM has expanded its focus do this in markets around the globe, in particularly in emerging economies such as Brazil and India.

Fourth, and fact: VC-backed companies account for 1,500 of IBM’s Business Partners and over 30 acquisitions by IBM in the past 10 years.

So as IBM looks out at the market opportunity for some of its key investment areas — business analytics, cloud computing, smarter planet, smarter cities — well, you’re looking at several hundred billions of dollars of market opportunity, and the capital that will be invested to help provide those solutions will come from IBM, its business partners, and the new types of entrepreneurial businesses generated through the likes of the IBM Smart Camp and Global Entrepreneur program.

When IBM launched the program in April 2010, it opened its doors and resources to entrepreneurs looking to bring their next big idea to market.  But then it went one step forward launching the IBM Smart Camp finals, and winner Streetline, IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010, is a good case study of the potential these startups demonstrate.

Streetline was focused on “the art of the possible,” developing a very specific application that helped people find a parking space in major metropolitan areas.

In November 2010, Streetline won the first IBM SmartCamp competition.  Its VC mentorship began in December of that year, and by June 2011 Streetline had raised $15M in a “B” round of funding.

By August, it had integrated its solution with IBM’s Cognos software, and then completed an integrated IBM-Streetline solution.

It was announced to the market in September 2011, and the IBM sales force started selling the “Advanced Parking Solution” by IBM IBM-Streetline.

From IBM Smart Camp winner to IBM market solution in less than a full calendar year.

Written by turbotodd

February 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

IBM SmartCamp Global Finals…The Winner Is?

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Greetings from the Big Apple.

I haven’t disappeared to another planet.  Just another city.

And speaking of cities, we’ve got some serious competition going on for the “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year,” many of whom have been working on technologies that help improve the conditions and operations of cities around the globe, which are facing growing and substantial challenges.

According to the United Nations, the global population is expected to reach 9.3 billion by 2050, with most of the growth occurring in urban areas.

This rapid population increase requires new approaches to complex challenges cities face such as aging infrastructure, the need for better healthcare systems, traffic and overpopulation.

IBM is working with a new generation of entrepreneurs, helping to drive the creation and development of new ways to address these challenges with advanced technologies such as analytics, cloud computing and mobile computing.

SmartCamp Global Finals: Entrepreneurs In Action

Next week, I’m going to have the rare opportunity to see some of these finalists’ technologies at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals competition in San Francisco.

Technologies that enable skin cancer detection on a mobile device…help commuters avoid traffic…deliver better shopping experiences…all will be on display next week in the city by the bay.

Here’s some background, in case you missed my posts on this effort last year: IBM SmartCamps are designed to help entrepreneurs bring innovative new solutions to market quickly by providing mentoring and access to advanced technology and expertise.

The nine finalist startup companies will meet with IBM and the venture capital community from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 in San Francisco to vie to be named the IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.

The finalists, with solutions designed to solve problems facing cities, were selected from nearly a thousand startup companies that applied to IBM startup events in 2011.

As the world becomes more connected through trillions of sensors, the ability to transform data into insight that can better monitor, manage and predict potential issues and opportunities is critical. Each startup participating at the SmartCamp Global Finals has created software that is designed to analyze large volumes of data.

The finalists are:

  • 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 peoples 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).

Goin’ To California With An Entrepreneurial Achin’ In My Heart

Speakers at the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals will include California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, leading venture capitalists and investment bankers including Bill Reichert, Promod Haque, Guy Kawasaki, and John China, IBM Watson Solutions General Manager Manoj Saxena, and Gerard Mooney, general manager of IBM Smarter Cities.

Past winners from IBM SmartCamp competitions have captured the attention of the venture capital community with nearly $50 million in investments, and have expanded to new global markets.

For example, Streetline, which was named 2010 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year as the winner of the 2010 SmartCamp World Finals, received a $15 million round of venture capital funding, and built several new products including a smart parking analytics offering based on IBM Cognos platform.

The solution is a combination of Sensor and Software applications from Streetline and IBM that allows a city to reduce congestion by quickly matching citizens with vacant parking spots. CEO Zia Yusuf will share his experiences with this year’s SmartCamp finalists, along with other past SmartCamp winners.

Park, Watch, And Vote

People can vote for their favorite finalist to determine the People’s Vote Award winner for the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals.  Go here to view each of the finalist videos and to vote.

To watch the final presentations from the companies and hear from venture capitalists and entrepreneurs at the event visit www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

Live blogging of the event will be available at www.asmarterplanet.com.

Join the conversation on the event, entrepreneurs and technologies that make the planet work better at People for a Smarter Planet on Facebook and on Twitter at hashtag #IBMSmartCamp.

Written by turbotodd

January 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm

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