The IBM SmartCamp competition for tech-entrepreneurs from Africa will commence from 1 July to 9 October 2014. The competition will held in Nairobi, Lagos and Cape Town, with the finals being held in Johannesburg. Additional events have been planned for Cairo on 8 September and Casablanca on 16 September.
The winner of the competition will claim a position in the regional finals of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year by successfully pitching their unique technology business idea to a panel of industry experts.
Clayton Booysen, Ecosystem Development Leader for IBM, stated that: “IBM SmartCamps are one aspect of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur initiative, designed to stimulate innovation and build skills for startups from around the world that are building new technologies to tackle some of the world’s really pressing issues.”
In Africa, the IBM SmartCamps are conducted within the Tech4Africa conference and participants present their innovative businesses aligned with IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy to an accomplished panel of judges. This year IBM is the Entrepreneur Partner to Tech4Africa 2014, and the SmartCamp events scheduled are intended to draw maximum awareness and interest for Africa’s budding innovations.
Events are scheduled as follows:
1 Jul 2014 – Nairobi
15 Jul 2014 – Lagos
28 Aug 2014 – Cape Town
8 & 9 Oct Finals – Johannesburg
IBM has engaged with more than 1,500 startups to bring new technologies to market. In that time, IBM has accepted more than 1,000 startups into the Global Entrepreneur Programme. In Africa, the IBM Global Entrepreneurial Initiative has been gaining significant momentum and the programme currently enjoys more than 50 partners in development in the three years since it was launched.
“We are focused on build relationships with quality startups, helping them accelerate their go to market quickly and cost effectively, and ensuring a sustainable and profitable business model. Companies like MoDE, MySmartFarm and GoMetro are the hallmark of the intent of the programme.” concluded Booysen.
Startups who participate in IBM’s Global Entrepreneur initiative receive access to free software, as well as a team of dedicated project managers to assist in product development through the global network of 40 IBM Innovation Centers.
More information on SmartCamp can be found at www.ibmsmartcamp.com