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When your startup reaches a certain phase in its life cycle and you’re ready to grow, it’s time to look at your options for getting there quickly. Making connections, refining your solution, ensuring you have great branding, pivoting in a new direction, finding customers and accessing capital are all areas that should be at the top of your to-do list at any stage.

As an entrepreneur you already know what’s important, especially when it comes to your long list of to-dos. But there are ways you can do one-stop shopping for all of your priorities. And we’re in the business of sharing what we have built with you to make that process easier.

Meet the IBM SmartCamp pitch competition powered by LAUNCH! Whether you are in Boston, Mexico City, Tokyo or one of over 20 other major cities, you can now apply to pitch your startup and start checking off your to-dos in a shorter time frame. By participating, you will receive a day of mentoring from experts in your region, networking and pitch practice where you will compete to be one of ten semi-finalists who will earn their way as VIPs to San Francisco for LAUNCH Festival, one of San Francisco’s biggest startup conferences.

As a VIP at LAUNCH Festival you will experience two days of demoing your solution to investors and potential clients, mentorship from industry leading startup experts, learning from Silicon Valley leaders, and networking amongst founders from across the globe. Three finalists will win a spot to pitch onstage in the SmartCamp Global Finals and an interview with Jason Calacanis on his podcast, This Week in Startups. One winner will land a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator, which includes a $25,000 USD investment.


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Now that’s a lot of information.  So here’s a quick recap:

  1. Compete in a local SmartCamp
    Six applicants in each city will be invited to participate in a half-day startup boot camp followed by a live pitch competition.
  2. Announcement of 10 Global Semi-Finalists
    Ten semi-finalists are selected from the group of city winners by a committee of judges, put together by IBM and LAUNCH. Semi-finalists will be notified by December 31, 2016.
  3. SmartCamp Global Finals at LAUNCH Festival
    Ten semi-finalists are invited as VIPs to one of San Francisco’s biggest startup conference, LAUNCH Festival for two days of exhibiting in a SmartCamp pavilion, mentorship, learning from top founders, and networking.
  4. Pitch at SmartCamp
    Three finalists will win a spot to pitch on stage in the SmartCamp Global Finals and an interview with Jason Calacanis on his podcast, This Week in Startups.
  5. Win it all!
    One winner will land a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator, which includes a $25,000 USD investment on a capped convertible note from the LAUNCH Fund.

10 semi finalists and jason-Edits

Last year’s SmartCamp semi-finalists with Jason Calacanis

And if you’re still interested in learning more about IBM SmartCamp, you can read about last year’s winner The Car Force and the two other finalists, gridComm and Bquate Music hailing from Austin, Singapore, and Mexico City.

Just to give you a few fun facts about these three startups, Bquate Music saw two times growth in less than a month after being part of SmartCamp. gridComm recently went public on the Australian stock exchange and The Car Force has revolutionized car ownership and maintenance in the auto industry.

We hope to see you at one of our SmartCamp competitions. Full details here: IBM SmartCamp

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