ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Technologies that enable skin cancer detection on a mobile device, help commuters avoid traffic, and deliver better shopping experiences will be on display next week at the IBM (NYSE: IBM) SmartCamp Global Finals competition for entrepreneurs. These are just a few of the innovative solutions from startups that are working with IBM to improve the life of citizens around the globe.
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.
"The ingenuity and innovation from the startup community is key to addressing the complex challenges cities and citizens face," said Jim Corgel, general manager of entrepreneur programs at IBM. "These nine SmartCamp finalists represent the best new technologies from around the world. We will continue to work with them to help bring their solutions to market faster so that together, we can build a smarter planet."
Cities around the world are facing growing 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.
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:
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.
People can vote for their favorite finalist to determine the People's Vote Award winner for the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals. To view each of the finalist videos and to vote, visit: http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2012/01/ibmscf_main.html.
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 at http://on.fb.me/9S1Jp8, and on Twitter at #IBMSmartCamp.
Learn more about IBM SmartCamp and the finalists in a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zChnWYjTdL4&f.
More information about IBM SmartCamp Global Finals is available at http://www.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/36585.wss. 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.