IBM has announced Melbourne start-up, Localz, as the winner of its SmartCamp Australia 2015 competition.
This is the fourth SmartCamp event held in Australia, in which expert advisors – including venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, industry leaders as well as IBM technical and industry experts – mentor the five participating start-ups, who subsequently pitch their ideas to a judging panel.
SmartCamp is part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program, an initiative that helps emerging companies to harness the power of IBM Cloud, as well as connect them into IBM’s vast global network of clients, consultants, innovation centres, and developers.
Localz was one of five Australian start-ups invited by IBM to participate in this year’s SmartCamp. The program aims to identify early stage start-ups that are developing business ventures that bring different points of view and new ideas around Cloud, Big Data and analytics, mobile and social.
According to IBM, Localz nabbed the award for its software that connects the digital and physical worlds for enterprise, using the latest micro-location technology to enhance customer’s in-store experience, improve asset and inventory tracking and provide frictionless mobile payments, at scale.
One of the key differentiators of the solution is that it works across different technologies like iBeacons, Bluetoth Low Energy, GPS and QR Codes.
As the winning team, Localz will receive up to $US120,000 in IBM Cloud credits, mentoring, technical and go-to-market support from the companty. It will also have the chance to advance to the LAUNCH Scale semi-finals in October and to compete at the 2016 global LAUNCH festival and win the $US25,000 LAUNCH Incubator investment prize.
The other 2015 IBM SmartCamp Australia finalists included: Bugwolf, a SaaS offering that enables software testers to rapidly assess applications, websites and products; CryptoPhoto, a security platform that prevents phishing and key-logger attacks through photo validation instead of passwords; Level35, which develops and supports the Cloud-based project portfolio management (PPM) application, OneView PPM; and Moroku, a software company that operates at the intersection of mobile, gaming and social to create engaging banking and payment experiences that promote customer learning and brand loyalty.
Localz business development director, Jason Were, said winning the award is a further reinforcement of the company’s proposition and the customer experiences its technology delivers.
"We are delighted to have won IBM's 2015 Smartcamp. The event was an impressive showcase of innovative local technology, and a great opportunity for feedback and validation from leaders in the industry,” Were said.
IBM A/NZ global entrepreneur and SmartCamp executive, Michael Stevens-Jones, said the company is seeing an increase in the enterprise looking for start-ups to bring fresh and innovative solutions.
“Programs like SmartCamp enable start-ups to gain more exposure in the business landscape and to generate solid networks.
“IBM remains committed to investing its talent and technology to empower the next generation of companies and start-ups: through the Global Entrepreneur Program, we are working with more than 5000 start-ups around the world. We look forward to seeing what they all accomplish in the future,” he said.