New Zealand startup 9 Spokes has been announced today as the winner of IBM SmartCamp Australia and New Zealand 2014.
In a nutshell, 9 Spokes’ platform draws data from a variety of online business software and SaaS (Software as a Service) tools – like Kounta, MYOB, Shopify, StaffBuddy, and SmartPayroll – and displays it on a single dashboard in real time. The purpose of the platform is to provide business insights that startups and SMEs can then use to scale their businesses.
The judging panel at IBM SmartCamp recognised 9 Spokes as having “a mature go-to-market strategy and clearly articulated unique selling proposition” according to IBM’s media release. Competing with 9 Spokes was three other IT startups DMSq, Ecocentric Energy and TapIt.
As IBM SmartCamp winners, 9 Spokes’ team will receive three months’ mentoring and access to technology solutions from IBM. The startup will also progress to the regional finals which will be held in Hangzhou, China in November this year. The winner of the regional finals will be invited to IBM’s SmartCamp Global Finals and a chance to be named IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.
“The intensity and depth of knowledge available at IBM SmartCamp has really shown us what to focus on in the next few years,” said Brendan Roberts, Chief Marketing Officer, 9 Spokes, in a media release.
“Our objective is to launch in Australia and New Zealand, but then quickly extend scale to global markets, and having IBM’s deep industry expertise and technology at our backs offers us an incredible chance to make this happen.”
This is the third SmartCamp event to be held in Australia and New Zealand as part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program, in which industry experts such as VCs, and tech specialists mentor participating teams.
Last year’s winner of IMB SmartCamp was Australian e-shipping software startup Temando. All previous IBM SmartCamp participants globally – which includes more than 1,600 startups in areas ranging from green energy to smart health care – have together secured more than USD$160million in VC and angel funding.
“As Australia and New Zealand’s entrepreneurial ecosystems continue to flourish and take the lead in numerous global industries, IBM remains committed to fostering startups whose goals directly impact the betterment of communities and cities the world over,” said Michael Stevens-Jones, Global Entrepreneur and SmartCamp Executive, IBM Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re convinced by investing our talent and technology in these audacious initiatives, we can help these startups transform the way people live and do business. We’re incredibly grateful for the time and energy invested by our four participants and look forward to seeing what they all accomplish in the future.”