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IBM SmartCamp Austin Winners Showcase Regional Innovation

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AUSTIN, TX, May 19, 2011. IBM SmartCamp Austin was held May 17 and 18 in partnership with the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Technology Incubator, part of University of Texas. IBM SmartCamp is part of IBM's Global Entrepreneur initiative, and was designed to mentor start-up companies with innovative technologies, and connect them to venture capitalists, academia, and other industry leaders to speed their time to market.

"The enthusiasm from our sponsors, finalists and mentors involved with this event is a great testament to the work The Austin Chamber of Commerce has put in over the years to build this vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurism. IBM has a lot to offer this startup community and SmartCamp was one of many ways we plan to continue to stay engaged here in Austin." Dr. Jani Byrne, Director of Strategic Ventures, IBM Venture Capital Group

The record 150 start-up applicant companies were narrowed down to five finalists that are creating new technologies in critical areas such as healthcare, energy, water management, and services that improve the lives of people throughout the world. The event included a keynote and Q&A with Startup America CEO Scott Case. Applicants received on-site mentoring and were judged by experts, while a People’s Vote allowed live stream viewers to pick their favorite startup.

Award categories included the overall winner of IBM SmartCamp Austin, the Austin Chamber of Commerce Award, the Fulbright Legal Services Award and the People’s Vote Award. In addition, the Austin Technology Incubator awarded all five finalists strategic consulting services and office space for the remainder of 2011. Judge Bob Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet and professor of innovation at University of Texas Austin, gave all finalists a Mentorship Award of support and mentoring with him through the rest of the year.

"All the finalists and applicants are winners because they are pushing forward with their visions, their passions,” Metcalf said. “They are taking the chance to take the innovation plunge to the level of action. That courage is what differentiates winners from the rest."  Dr. Bob Betcalfe, Inventor of Ethernet & Professor of Innovation at The University of Texas at Austin

2011 IBM SmartCamp Austin Winners:

  • SecureWaters was named winner of IBM SmartCamp Austin, and will attend the SmartCamp World Finals at the end of the year. SecureWaters commercializes patented technology that monitors, detects and identifies toxins in surface water. The company sells a smarter, real-time early warning electronic monitor and alarm system, the AquaSentinel, which automatically and continuously tests for toxins in source surface waters.
  • Tactical Information Systems won the Austin Chamber of Commerce Award. Tactical has developed a platform for low-cost, easy to use, biometric matching of fingerprints, palm prints, iris and face images in the cloud. Their first product, WanderID, is a service aimed at caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease or cognitive disorders such as autism that leaves a person unable to reliably speak in case of an emergency.
  • StormPulse won the Fulbright Legal Services Award of $3,500 in legal services from international law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP. StormPulse provides comprehensible, on-demand weather intelligence for better decision making regarding the impact of weather on personnel, assets, and supply chains for customers in industries including energy and utilities, transportation, defense, healthcare, and manufacturing.
  • Waldo Health won the online People’s Vote Award and has developed and launched a unique tablet-based patient monitoring service that delivers a smarter, more powerful solution for the growing field of home telehealth. Designed for individuals with chronic disease, Waldo is the home health companion that connects patients to clinicians.
  • SmartCamp finalist DxUpClose is developing a smarter bacterial diagnostic system that uses electronic sensors to quickly screen for a specific bacterial infection, counts bacteria and performs a rapid antimicrobial sensitivity test. The results of the screening and treatment recommendations are then sent to the healthcare worker’s smartphone within sixty minutes.

“The Chamber was honored to have Austin chosen by IBM as one of the nine global cities to host an IBM SmartCamp competition. The group of regional mentors who participated showcased some of Austin’s greatest regional entities and talent. The University of Texas at Austin, Fulbright & Jaworski and over 10 Austin Chamber member companies deserve special thanks for the awards and prizes presented to the five finalist companies. It was a great competition and, as always, we thank IBM for all they contribute to the greater Austin region,” said Senior Vice President for Global Technology Strategies at the Chamber, Susan Davenport.