IBM will be hosting a second edition of IBM Smartcamp Paris on August 31st. The event, which looks to gather together entrepreneurs, startupers, investors, and “IBM-ers,” is connected to the IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative, which began in March 2010. The half-day event is open to the general public via sign-up on their site, and is open to startups through a more rigorous sign-up process. Themed “Smarter Planet,” the event is the 1st step in the global Smart Camp competition, for whom the finals of last year’s edition took place in California for the first edition and saw startups from all over the world.
The event falls on the last day of IBM Forum Paris, a three day annual conference surrounding smart data, smart commerce, and, well, everything smart. The three startups selected for IBM Smartcamp will be treated to a private morning event, and the attending public will join in in the afternoon to hear a talk from Sylvie Spalmacin-Roma, IBM’s VP of their Smarter Cities program in France. The three selected startups will pitch, and the winning startup will head off to Berlin in November for IBM Smartcamp Europe.
IBM has been ramping up activity in Europe in the past few months. The first editions winners being from Kenya, Ireland, and San Francisco, it seems that IBM has caught on to the idea that startups come from all over the world. Back in May, head of IBM’s VC fund Deborah Magid came out to France to speak at the Nantes-based Web2Day conference. While Microsoft’s Bizspark program has long been a staple name associated to the startup scene in France and around the world, there’s no doubt that having another tech giant vieing for the attention of the innovative can only help the startups.