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IBM to host New Zealand's first SmartCamp next month

This September IBM is hosting New Zealand’s first SmartCamp for Kiwi startups and early stage businesses.

Applications are open from now until September 3rd. Four companies will be invited to a full day event on September 17th, at the end of which they will pitch to a panel of industry experts.

IBM says participants will benefit from working with top-tier mentors from the local business, startup, and VC communities.

They will receive mentoring from industry experts and introductions to IBM’s global innovation ecosystem including venture capitalists.

The winner of the New Zealand SmartCamp will receive:

  • US$120,000 in IBM cloud credits (which includes mentoring, technical and go-to-market support),
  • The chance to advance to the semi finals and study and demo at LAUNCH Scale, and
  • The chance to compete at the 2016 global LAUNCH Festival (the world’s largest startup conference in San Francisco) and win the $25,000 LAUNCH Incubator investment prize.

Kiwi startups CropLogic and 9 Spokes have won previous regional SmartCamps held in Sydney but this is the first event to take place in New Zealand.

SmartCamp is part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program, which is designed to develop an early stage ecosystem to support emerging innovation-led companies as they become leading brands in their own right. This year, SmartCamps will take place in over 30 cities worldwide. 

“There is a great entrepreneurial spirit in this country and we are thrilled to be bringing SmartCamp to New Zealand for the first time,” says Phil Sheehan, IBM New Zealand cloud partner executive.

“The era of cloud opens up many new opportunities for New Zealand startups to go global, unhindered by physical distance from their customers.

“I encourage local startups to apply for SmartCamp and tap into IBM's global networks, connecting with the people who can accelerate their technology development, provide capital and advice,” he says.