IBM is calling for early-stage startups to apply for its fourth annual Australian SmartCamp mentoring event, to be held in Melbourne in September.
Moving to Melbourne for the first time after several years in Sydney, the event will see participants receive help and advice from a number of high-profile mentors. They will also have the opportunity to meet members of IBM’s global innovation ecosystem, including venture capitalists.
Four startups that are less than five years old and making less than US$1 million in revenue will be chosen to take part in the event, which is part of IBMs Global Entrepreneur Program, which aims to develop a strong ecosystem for emerging and early-stage innovative companies. The SmartCamp initiative in particular is designed to help participating startups scale quickly; past participants have raised more than a combined $115 million in venture capital and angel funding.
Following a pitching session, the winner of the Melbourne event will receive US$120,000 worth of IBM cloud credits, which include mentoring, technical support, and go-to-market assistance.
The winner will also be given the opportunity to advance to the semi finals of the LAUNCH Scale study and demo program, where they will hear tactical talks from the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn on scaling a company. From there, participants will have the chance to compete at the 2016 global LAUNCH Festival, where they will be in the running to win a place in the LAUNCH Incubator, which has an investment prize of $25,000.
Michael Stevens-Jones, global Entrepreneur and SmartCamp executive at IBM ANZ, said the decision to host the event in Melbourne was made as the city has a “great entrepreneurial spirit.”
“I encourage all Australian early stage start-ups to apply for SmartCamp and tap into IBM’s global networks, connecting with the people who can accelerate their business growth through technology development, capital and advice,” Stevens-Jones said.
Melbourne is one of 30 cities hosting an event this year, joining cities like Sao Paolo, Berlin, Amsterdam, Toronto, and Paris.
Previous winners of SmartCamp events include Temando, which won the 2013 event held in Sydney, and CropLogic.
Jane Hill, CropLogic CEO, said, “IBM SmartCamp made us more pitch-ready, and winning this competition has increased our profile with US venture capitalists.”
Startups interested in participating in the 2015 edition can register here.