Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - 17 Sep 2015: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced Melbourne start-up Localz as the winner of IBM SmartCamp Australia 2015, a global competition that brings together entrepreneurs, investors and experienced mentors.
Localz provides 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 (iBeacons, Bluetoth Low Energy, GPS or even QR Codes).
As the winning team, Localz will receive up to US$120,000 in IBM cloud credits, mentoring, technical and go-to-market support from IBM. Localz 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 $25,000 LAUNCH Incubator investment prize.
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 startups who are developing business ventures that bring different points of view and new ideas around Cloud, Big Data and Analytics, Mobile and Social.
"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. For us, it is further reinforcement of our proposition and the awesome customer experiences our technology delivers", said Jason Were, Business Development Director for Localz.
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 startups, 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. As an example, the 2013 IBM SmartCamp Sydney winner Temando, has vastly expanded its business into global markets. In April this year, the company secured a $50M Series B Investment from Neopost .SA to support clients and partners in APAC and further consolidate its global expansion.
“We are seeing an increase in the enterprise looking for startups to bring fresh and innovative solutions. Programs like SmartCamp enable startups to gain more exposure in the business landscape and to generate solid networks”, said Michael Stevens-Jones, Global Entrepreneur and SmartCamp Executive, IBM Australia and New Zealand.
“IBM remains committed to investing its talent and technology to empower the next generation of companies and startups: through the Global Entrepreneur Program, we are working with more than 5,000 startups around the world. We are grateful for the time and energy invested by our five participants and look forward to seeing what they all accomplish in the future”.
The other 2015 IBM SmartCamp Australia finalists included:
Bugwolf, a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that enables software testers to rapidly assess applications, websites and products in the way customers use them. The platform enables clients to reduce test cycles from weeks to days, lowering the total cost by up to 50%, and accelerating test coverage.
CryptoPhoto, a security platform that prevents phishing and key-logger attacks through photo validation instead of passwords. The solution provides full mutual-authentication (in web and mobile device) and is easy to use and deploy.
Level35, develops and supports the cloud-based project portfolio management (PPM) application, OneView PPM. This platform has an intuitive layout and rich feature set to equip organisations with the ability to better manage project outcomes.
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. Moroku is on a mission to close the gap between financial literacy and retirement planning through the gamification of banking.
Source: Press release