Tech giant IBM recently launched a new “Global Entrepreneur” program to identify and support some of the most innovative new startups from around the world who are trying to “build a smarter planet” with technology. The results are, quietly frankly, eye-popping, and the startups that made it to IBM’s SmartCamp World Finals are terrific models for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere.
A startup called Streetline (www.streetlinenetworks.com) took top honors in the SmartCamp competition. Streetline uses sensors that help people find inexpensive parking fast while helping cities manage their parking resources more efficiently. Streetline was selected from more than 600 entries worldwide based on its outstanding technology and innovative business plan. As part of its Global Entrepreneur initiative, IBM SmartCamp brings together start-ups from around the world that are building new technologies to tackle pressing issues such as the environment, energy efficiency, traffic congestion and personal healthcare.
“Over 30 percent of traffic in cities is caused by drivers looking for parking. With our smart sensors, we can dramatically reduce the amount of drivers’ time looking for parking, and improve the efficiency of a city’s traffic and parking network,” says Zia Yusuf, president and CEO of Streetline. “Smarter Cities will change how people work and live. Parking sensors are only the first step.”
San Francisco-based Streetline was one of a dozen startups that were honored in the SmartCamp competition. These fledgling ventures are great role models for other entrepreneurs looking to develop innovative ideas. Check out their websites, marketing materials and other ways they are letting others know about the better mousetraps they’ve built.
• CareCloud (www.carecloud.com) modernizes the workflow in a medical practice to put physicians in touch with each other across multiple points of care, through a cloud computing technology-based solution. “We feel our solution helps revolutionize the way physicians collaborate and share critical healthcare information,” says Albert Santalo, president and CEO.
• Aquacue (www.aquacue.com) turns a standard water meter into a smart-meter within minutes to detect leaks, conserve water and reduce water bills.
• CitySourced (www.citysourced.com) an intuitive real-time mobile civic engagement platform that empowers people to identify civic issues like public safety and environmental issues and report them for quick resolution.
• iFind (www.ifindsystems.com) produces Wandering Shepherd Smart Tagging Ear Tag technology that provides real-time traceability and authentication of livestock.
• LindCom (www.lindcom.dk) measures the contents of tanks and silos and reports measurements via the Internet to optimize and streamline the distribution and production of commodities.
• Panoramic Power (www.panpwr.com) has developed inexpensive, cloud-based service for precise and granular monitoring of electrical power that enables energy savings, failure prediction, preventive maintenance and submetering.
• Predect (www.predect.se) is a unique online water protection solution, whose early warning system enables immediate action before infecting a population.
• Sproxil (www.sproxil.com) develops technology to fight counterfeit medicine in emerging countries, cell phone technology used at point of purchase to validate genuine drugs.
• TreeMetrics (www.treemetrics.com) has created 3D imaging technology that measures forests for optimum harvesting.
• VisioHost (visiohostservices.com) unites innovative technology with scientific and medical research by providing lifecycle solutions for the management and archiving of images.
• WorldSensing (wordsensing.com) offers industrial wireless sensing in smart structures, smart cities and smart oil fields.
Criteria for startups to participate in IBM’s Global Entrepreneur initiative are: the company must be privately-held; in business less than three years; and actively developing software aligned to IBM’s Smarter Planet focus areas. Winners receive mentoring and support from industry experts and VCs, and IBM will help the startup ready its technology on IBM software and hardware at IBM Innovation Centers.
IBM also plans to expand the program next year to emerging markets including Brazil, China, Mexico, Poland and Turkey. As part of this expansion, IBM plans to host SmartCamps throughout 2011 at new locations around the world including Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai, Mexico City, Warsaw and Istanbul. For more information on IBM Global Entrepreneur, visit www.ibm.com/isv/startup.
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Filed Under: StartupSmarts
About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.