Entrepreneur Programme gains traction with funding and opportunity for tech entrepreneurs
IBM South Africa today announced its second annual Tech Start Up Smart Camp under IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program . The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program is a $150 million investment fund and program intended to build entrepreneurs and new business opportunities. Aimed at start-ups that are privately held, have been in business for five years or less and are actively engaged in developing a software based product or service, it helps qualifying early stage entrepreneurs capture emerging business opportunities at speed.
Clayton Booysen, ISV and Developer Relations Lead for IBM South Africa says the response to the programme which was introduced in South Africa last year has been very positive, with more than 20 African start-ups already accepted onto the programme.
The programme highlight – the SmartCamp – judges the best start-up company in different cities around the globe, rewarding the winners with mentoring, services, access to industry experts and deeper partnership opportunities from IBM, venture capital firms and industry partners.
In just three years, the SmartCamp program is having tremendous success. Past Smart Camp participants have received more than $115 million in Venture Capital and Angel funding following their work with IBM.
The 2013 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year – Kenyan based – Mobile Decisioning (MoDe) – entered the programme as a provider of nano-credit for pre-paid mobile phone users across Africa and in just 12 months has quickly scaled to leverage more than 30 global business opportunities. The benefit of IBM monitoring and partnership with IBM’s partners has provided business and technical exposure across three continents and sets the stage for MoDe to become a global company itself.
The Smart Camp event, in partnership with Tech4Africa , is being held in Johannesburg on 9 and 10 October 2013. It will bring together the finalist entrepreneurs together with investors and experienced mentors who want to build a Smarter Planet.
“Adding fuel to these companies spark of innovation means we help these startup companies bring technologies that tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues – such as healthcare, water management and efficient energy resources – to market faster. At the same time we strengthen our ability in new technology areas such as cloud, mobile and big data analytics,” adds Booysen.
There are no fees to join the IBM Global Entrepreneur program, and a start-up can remain in the program for up to three years to meet the requirements. For more information on registering for the programme visit: : www.ibm.com/isv/startup
Learn more about the upcoming IBM SmartCamp in Johannesburg, South Africa – 9-10 Oct 2013 http://t.co/pvyHvY8TAa #IBM
To read more on Smart Camp please see the Smart Camp blog : http://ibmsmartcamp.com/