Kenya's MoDe Named IBM Global Entrepreneur Of The Year

Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:00am EST

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ARMONK, N.Y., Feb. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE:  IBM) today announced
that  MoDe  was named the IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year. Based in 
Nairobi, Kenya, MoDe provides instant nano-credit for pre-paid mobile phone
users across the African continent.  


Nearly 80 percent of mobile phone users in growth markets do not have access to
traditional banking loans and credit. MoDe's innovative payment services ensure
that people have access to mobile airtime when needed, while helping
telecommunications companies increase efficiency and build brand loyalty.

"Being named the IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year is a tremendous honor and
will accelerate our ability to create new markets," said Julian Kyula, CEO and
co-founder, MoDe. "The access to clients and potential investors that we have
had through the SmartCamp program would have taken our company 10 years to
achieve on our own, with IBM it took less than six months."

IBM SmartCamps  connect startups with seasoned and successful venture
capitalists, investors, and innovative business leaders, giving them the tools
and insight needed to excel in their often nascent markets. Past participants
have partnered with IBM to deliver new solutions to clients and have expanded
into new markets. In addition, past participants have gone on to generate more
than  $90 million  in investments from the venture community. Learn more about
previous SmartCamp participants in this video series:

"Every day we are working with startups around the world to grow markets in big
data, cloud and mobile computing," said  Jim Corgel, general manager of IBM's
entrepreneur programs.  "We are thrilled to expand our relationship with MoDe as
we bring new mobile solutions to our clients around the world."  

After qualifying in one of the more than 20 local SmartCamp events around the
world, eight finalists from seven countries were selected for the Global Finals
event. The finalists pitched their businesses to an audience of venture
capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, academics and leaders in business and
technology. After two days of mentoring and networking, a panel of judges
selected MoDe on the strength of its product innovation, growing client base and
alignment with IBM's Smarter Planet initiative.

IBM's SmartCamps are a significant component of the company's  Global
Entrepreneur Program, which offers a variety of ways for entrepreneurs to grow
their business, get access to leading experts and technology, and ultimately
market their products faster. The program operates with the goal of uncovering,
fully developing, and commercializing innovations which create new business
opportunities in industries and regions around the globe.  

View program highlights, interviews and presentations from the venture
capitalists and entrepreneurs on LiveStream:  .

To learn more about the Smart Camp finals and the other startups from around the
globe that participated in the event, visit the IBM SmartCamp blog:  or join the conversation on Twitter with

More information about IBM SmartCamp Global Finals is available at

For more information about the IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative, visit

Note to Editors: A Photo from the event and  New York City  Mayor  Michael
Bloomberg's presentation are available via the Associated Press Photo Network
and on Feature Photo Service at

Media Contact
Melissa Turesky
IBM Media Relations


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