MySmartFarm, a Cape Town-based company, won IBM’s South Africa SmartCamp with a cloud-based analytics solution that promises to empower the agriculture industries, according to a report in BizTechAfrica.
Rewards for winning include support and mentorship from IBM and exposure to venture capitalists.
IBM SmartCamp events are designed to spark innovation and help startup companies bring to market technologies that tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues, the report said. Events are staged in more than 20 different locations around the world, bringing together investors, mentors and entrepreneurs.
Judges included Paul Brunet, IBM; Brett Commaille, AngelHub; Raluca Pauna, Institute of Inventors & Innovators; and Anton Potgieter, Huge Group Ltd.
IBM announced the winner at the Tech4Africa conference. MySmartFarm will represent Africa in the regional finals of IBM SmartCamp in Istanbul, Turkey Oct. 30.
MySmartFarm developed what is described as the first-ever consolidation of high-tech agricultural services. “Our cloud-based solution will mine agricultural data like weather, soil moisture, satellite data and more. Essentially, we have designed a system that collates and collects all the data that a farmer needs and then not only illustrates it appealingly, but also processes it to generate intelligence,” said MySmartFarm founder and CEO Wolfgang von Loeper.
Finalists of IBM SmartCamp demonstrated the kind of great technology innovation Africa is becoming renowned for, said Clayton Booysen, ecosystem development lead for IBM South Africa. “MySmartFarm’s solution is sophisticated yet simple, addresses a unique need in the market and is infinitely scalable, which demonstrates the global aspirations we’d like to encourage in our partner start-ups,” he said. “What’s more exciting is that their business model and future plans are solid and will definitely attract positive attention from the investment community to help accelerate their commercial aspirations.”
MySmartFarm’s success at IBM SmartCamp Africa was partly due to its ability to find a solution that provides value, said Gareth Knight, Founder of Tech4Africa. “There are many problems people face in emerging markets, and they all need elegant solutions. And despite the misconceptions that abound, there is no shortage of investors or money, only shortages of good people, and scalable and executable opportunities.”