With a future set to be populated by smart phones, smart meters, smart homes and smart grids, what other “smarts” are on the way?...

With a future set to be populated by smart phones, smart meters, smart homes and smart grids, what other “smarts” are on the way?

How about smart camp? That’s where five data analytics startups will be heading next week as part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur SmartCamp competition in New York City.

The five finalists have all developed software to help people and organizations better manage energy consumption, monitor environmental hazards, understand mobile device usage patterns and track brand sentiment. They hope to ride the “Big Data” wave emerging from all the other smart technologies rolling onto the marketplace. All those meters, sensors, phones and other devices generate massive amounts of data that can lead to actionable insights … with the right analytical tools to mine the information. And businesses know they’ll be needing those tools to stay ahead of the competition.

Some 83 percent of mid-market CIOs identify analytics as their top-priority investment area, according to an IBM survey.

The analytics startups heading to SmartCamp will meet with IBM and the venture capital community to explore the potential of their various software innovations.

“Startups face tremendous challenges in a global market, especially as they compete against much large companies going after the data analytics opportunity,” said Jim Corgel, general manager of developer relations for IBM. “IBM can convert these companies from startups to speedups by providing coaching and connections to IBM clients and partners. We help these startups get to market faster and at the same time, we provide IBM clients with the hottest new technologies.”

The companies heading to SmartCamp New York include:

  • EnvEve: A wireless sensor network and tailored analytics solution that gives organizations real time information on the environment and physical infrastructures. For example, using sensors and analytics, the solution can help city officials understand the likelihood of a mudslide, the level of toxins in a river, the nitrates in farmland soil or the road conditions of a highway.
  • Envirolytics: A combination of analytics software and mobile devices that puts homeowners in control of their energy usage. Using basic measurements, camera and video functions as well as applications for tests such as light intensity on mobile devices, homeowners can capture the data for a home energy audit without the need for sensors in the home. Based on this input and criteria such as geographic location, local weather patterns and home type, the Envirolytics software analyzes current home energy performance and recommends more energy efficient products and services.
  • Localytics: A real-time analytics service that helps the makers of mobile phone and tablet applications better understand their clients. By analyzing data on user preferences and tendencies such as the amount of time spent in an application, errors and crashes, businesses can build more successful mobile applications.
  • MediaFunnel: A social media firewall and dashboard that helps organizations analyze and monitor brand sentiment, protect their brand, and engage with their customers, prospects or members in real time. It ensures that no brand-damaging statements are going out to the public, and monitors social media and the web for conversations that need immediate attention, alerting the team so they can jump into the conversation right away.
  • Examville: A global web-based educational content and services platform that enables collaboration for students, educators and content providers, including publishers. The service leverages the collective knowledge of many with collaborative learning tools, peer review, recommendations and educator inputs into a single comprehensive platform where users can customize their learning experiences.

The five finalists were selected from more than 200 startup companies that are creating new technologies in critical areas such as healthcare, energy and environment, and other services to improve the life of citizens around the globe. IBM’s SmartCamps are designed to find the best startups in different cities around the globe, rewarding the winners with mentoring, services, access to industry experts and deeper partnership opportunities from IBM, venture capital firms and industry partners.

Winning startups will be invited to the next SmartCamp World Finals for a chance to claim the title of “IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.”


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