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Proxpro, which uses GPS technology to create “predictive calendars” that can do everything from telling a user of events that could interfere with upcoming travel to improving the way you can connect with friends while traveling to helping fleet managers keep better tabs on their employees. Fellow participant Skymeter is making a device for tracking consumers’ travel and parking, in order to better implement a pay-per-use model for those areas. There was also SendSor, a maker of a tiny implant for constant monitoring of symptoms in ailments such as a cardiac disease and glaucoma. Its device could allow for the continual flow of data in clinical trials, as opposed to the static information researchers collect from separate check-ups with patients.
The SmartCamp event came amidst a flurry of other startup and investing events, including the MITX Technology Awards (where Sproxil was also honored), the unveiling of the 2010 TechStars class, and Angel Boot Camp. SmartCamp drew a slightly more developed set of entrepreneurs than the other contests, due to the high capital requirements of many of the companies, said program mentor and Southboro Capital managing director Mike Grandinetti (who’s also a TechStars mentor). Sproxil, which was founded last year, has already pulled in about $300,000 in revenue and is aiming for $1.5 million by the end of 2010.
IBM also looks to many of the companies it discovers in these events as future business partners and even acquisition targets, IBM’s Magid told me on a phone call before the event. “These are companies we wouldn’t have known about,” she said. “It’s highlighting the very innovative things that people are doing.”
According to Grandinetti, that’s one of the best benefits for companies who make it to SmartCamp. “If you’re adding value to IBM and filling a gap, access to that distribution channel is the Holy Grail,” he said.
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