Nine startups competed for the title of 2011 IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year, at the three day IBM SmartCamp Global Finals in Silicon Valley, with Ireland-based Profitero emerging victorious on Thursday.

Almost 1,000 companies applied to participate in IBM SmartCamp events throughout 2011, with the stated aim of developing solutions for problems faced in modern cities. These could include overpopulation and its accompanying problems such as overburdened healthcare systems and traffic, as well as aging infrastructure.

The competing startups, each of which have won a regional SmartCamp, were:

  • Bitcarrier, SmartCamp Barcelona: a real-time traffic management information service centred around wireless networks.
  • Context Based 4casting (C-B4), SmartCamp Israel: a pattern-based, predictive analytics software provider able to detect anomalies in supply chains and other large operational datasets. 
  • ConnectM, Smartcamp Bangalore: a business intelligence platform based on domain specific analytics, for use in the telecom, utilities, construction and transportation markets.
  • IDXP, SmartCamp Rio de Janeiro: an analytics platform for brick and mortar retailers, tracking behaviour within shops through sensors on shopping trolleys that track customers’ routes.
  • Localyctics, SmartCamp New York: an analytics service designed for mobile devices that enables users to customise and improve their mobile applications from point of acquisition to in-app purchases.
  • Palmap, SmartCamp Shanghai: a service for mobile devices that provides users with maps for large indoor venues such as airports or shopping centres.
  • Profitero, SmartCamp London: a pricing intelligence service for retailers and manufacturers that tracks pricing, stock availability and shipment costs from online sellers.
  • SecureWaters, SmartCamp Austin: the developer of an electro/mechanical monitoring and alarm system that detects toxins in drinking water supplies.
  • SkinScan, SmartCamp Istanbul: a mobile application that uses fractal dimension to check the nature and development of moles on a user’s skin for signs of skin cancer.

The event featured investors and other figures from the venture capital industry, as well as press, analysts and academics, and speakers include Manoj Saxena, general manager of IBM Watson Solutions and Gerard Mooney, general manager of IBM Smarter Cities.

Jim Corgel, general manager of entrepreneur programs at IBM, said: "The ingenuity and innovation from the startup community is key to addressing the complex challenges cities and citizens face. These nine SmartCamp finalists represent the best new technologies from around the world. We will continue to work with them to help bring their solutions to market faster so that together, we can build a smarter planet." 

Past winners of the Global Finals have raised almost $50m in venture funding, with 2010’s winner, smart parking startup Streetline, securing $15m in a series B round last year.

Additional reporting by Toby Lewis