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Kiwi startup takes out IBM SmartCamp

Wellington-based IT startup Eight Wire has been named the 2015 winner of the IBM SmartCamp in Auckland, winning US$120,000 in expert advice and technology.

The data integration specialist was one of five IT startups from around New Zealand invited by IBM to participate in the competition.

Eight Wire automates the thousands of hours of work required to move data between databases, files and the cloud. IBM SmartCamp Auckland’s judges recognised Eight Wire as having a solution to meet the data integration challenges experienced by nearly all businesses.

This is the first SmartCamp event to be held in New Zealand as part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program, a series of worldwide events in which expert advisors – including venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, and technical specialists – mentor participating teams, who subsequently pitch their ideas to the a judging panel.

Previously, New Zealand companies participating in SmartCamp travelled to Sydney, winning in 2012 (CropLogic) and 2014 (9 Spokes).

As its prize, Eight Wire will receive three months’ mentoring and access to technology solutions from IBM, equivalent to US$120,000.

The startup will also have an opportunity to be selected to progress to the regional finals, the winner of which will be invited to IBM’s SmartCamp Global Finals in San Francisco in early 2016.

“As a startup selling to enterprise customers, having IBM’s brand behind us adds extra credibility,” says Jason Gleason, CEO, Eight Wire. “The connections and knowledge we gained today at IBM SmartCamp will help us to refine our strategy and increase our profile as we tackle international markets.”

IBM SmartCamps are designed to open up opportunities for startups to scale quickly, particularly by taking advantage of cloud-based technologies.

“As New Zealand’s entrepreneurs grow their businesses, IBM is committed to joining them on that journey, helping the best ideas and teams reach their full potential,” says Phil Sheehan, Cloud Partner Executive, IBM New Zealand. “The industry mentors and judges now look forward to following the progress of all five participants.”