IBM SmartCamp Makes Its Debut in New York, Attracts Startups From Across the Atlantic

[Updated 6/30/11. See below] Eager entrepreneurs armed with ideas they believe can improve our way of life gathered on Tuesday for the first ever New York edition of the IBM Global Entrepreneur SmartCamp. The competition, which came to Boston last June, brings select groups of startups together with mentors from the investor community. Deborah Magid, director of software strategy with IBM Venture Capital Group, says the objective is to help new innovators hone their plans and foster a fresh crop of companies that IBM may collaborate with.

“What they are working on are outcome-based ideas for changing our corporate and personal lives,” Magid says. SmartCamp, held nine times a year around the world, works in tandem with IBM’s Smart Planet initiative by developing technology to tackle big problems like environmental issues and infrastructure management.

Five finalists are chosen for each SmartCamp and, following their presentations, meet with venture capitalists who help steer their ideas to survive in a competitive market. The New York finals began at Baruch College and will conclude tonight at the SUNY Levin Institute. The startups will be judged and one winner will be chosen to receive 12 weeks of mentoring, Magid says. The winner from each SmartCamp city goes on to compete in the global finals slated for first quarter 2012.

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