Computer giant IBM has picked SkyFoundry and StreetLight Data as the winners of SmartCamp Boston, a competition for innovative start-up companies. The two companies will go on to compete with the winners of SmartCamp events held in Europe, Latin America and Asia to determine a global winner.
Many of the companies that emerge from the contest will be able to secure venture capital funding to take their products to market.
SkyFoundry's software can analyse vast amounts of unstructured data from smart devices to detect patterns, reveal faults and to highlight opportunities for operational improvement. The company's SkySpark analytics platform is intended to help facility and infrastructure owners better understand the state of their systems, identifying opportunities for costs savings.
StreetLight Data, meanwhile, applies analytics to transportation and behavioural data to help retailers make smarter business decisions. Using the company's technology, retailers can determine the ideal location for storefronts and improve sales by adjusting inventory and marketing campaigns. The technology is intended to provide traditional retailers with the same kind of insight that e-commerce retailers can easily gather from observing their customers' activity on their website.
IBM believes that the companies are particularly promising as their technology is intended to analyse and interpret large volumes of data derived from sensors or third parties.
The two winners emerged from two days of presentations and mentoring for start-up technology companies in IBM's third SmartCamp programme. The event, held in Boston, Massachusetts, included not just senior IBM executives and technologists, but also judges from the wider technology industry, academia, venture capital and entrepreneurs.
The judges selected the winners based on the strength of their technology, business plans, and alignment with IBM's Smarter Planet strategy, claimed IBM.