Boost for Kiwi entrepreneurs as IBM hosts NZ’s first SmartCamp

Applications are now open to startups and early stage businesses.

IBM is calling for entrepreneurs to participate in its first New Zealand SmartCamp, to be held in Auckland on September 17.

According to the tech giant, SmartCamp participants 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) as well as the chance to advance to the semi finals and study and demo at LAUNCH Scale.

Furthermore, the winner will have 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.

“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, Cloud Partner Executive, IBM New Zealand.

“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.”

SmartCamp is part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program, designed to develop an early stage ecosystem to support emerging innovation-led companies on their journey to become leading brands in their own right.

This year, SmartCamps will take place in over 30 cities worldwide.

Applications close on September 3 - four companies will be invited to a full day event and at the end of which they will pitch to a panel of industry experts with participants expected to benefit from working with top-tier mentors from the local business, startup, and VC communities.

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