Vacant Boards wins IBM SmartCamps tech startups contest

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BY EMEKA AGINAM

After six talented tech start-ups had pitched recently in Lagos during Nigeria’s edition of IBM’s SmartCamps, Vacant Boards, a Lagos-based tech startup, that provides an online platform that intermediates information exchange between customers and advertising agencies emerged the winner.

SmartCapms is part of IBM’s global entrepreneur initiative designed to stimulate innovation and build skills for a Smarter Planet.

It would be recalled that no fewer than six talented tech startups including Gidi Farm, Asuqu, Mobile OES, 500 Shops, IQube and Vacant Boards had showcased their various of innovative applications that could help transform the way citizens conduct commercial, agronomical, academic and marketing communications activities.

IBM SmartCamps offers a variety of ways for entrepreneurs to grow their business, get access to leading experts and technology, and ultimately get their products to market faster.

SmartCamps judge the best startups around the globe, rewarding the winners with mentoring, services, access to industry experts and deeper partnership opportunities from IBM, industry partners and venture capital firms.

Already, SmartCamp events have been scheduled for Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg from July through October.

The panel of judges at the IBM SmartCamp in Lagos observed their difficult in choosing the winning firm but settled for Vacant Board following the solution’s huge potential for scalability and growth, with commercial viability beyond Nigeria’s shores.

Later this year Vacant Board’s idea will be pitched alongside other winners from IBM SmartCamp contests in Kenya and South Africa.

This year’s winner in Africa will claim a position in the regional finals of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the year competition, pitching their unique technology business idea to a panel of industry experts.

About one thousand tech startups that earlier applied, only six were shortlisted after which one tech startups will go for the regional context. Whoever that wins in the regional level will go for global context to be held end of the current financial year.

Speaking during their presentations at the IBM Client & Innovation Centre in Lagos, Adeola Allison, the IBM Ecosystem Development Manager for IBM smartCamps said that the tech startups are expected to use their to change the planet for a better place.

According to her, IBM can help startups to use technology leverage on IBM technology to change the world

The IBM Global Entrepreneurial Programme has gained more than 50 partners since being launched four years ago, proving that Africa’s start-up ecosystem is flourishing.SmartCamp events are scheduled for Nairobi, Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg from July through October 2014.

This year’s winner in Africa will claim a position in the regional finals of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year competition, pitching their unique technology business idea to a panel of industry experts.

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