SmartCamp is an exclusive event aimed at identifying early stage entrepreneurs who are developing business ventures that align with IBM’s Smarter Planet vision. Last week, in Cape Town, South Africa, IBM organized a one-day event for Smarter Planet startups to drive growth for their business through mentoring, visibility, and networking.
Kenya’s MoDe (Mobile Decisioning Africa) won the IBM’s inaugural SmartCamp competition in Africa. MoDe was one of the four finalist at the event in Cape Town, and will now head to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the regional finals.
MoDe provides micro- and nano-credit products to prepaid customers in six countries in Africa and has concluded more than 200-million transactions to date.
IBM vice-president of corporate strategy and general manager of enterprise initiatives Tom Rosamilia hopes MoDe will be able to obtain funding from venture capitalists through the SmartCamp programme.
IBM has held 20 SmartCamp events globally and venture capitalists have invested $65m into start-up companies that were part of IBM’s entrepreneurship programme.
Mr Rosamilia said the programme was not limited to mobile-related products only. He said the decision to expand the programme to Africa was made as IBM was impressed with the venture capital community in Cape Town.
“I would like to encourage governments to foster the venture capital community and take more interest in technology. This will improve the economic situation in the continent and lead to job creation,” he said.