IBM Entrepreneur Week: Big Blue's Own Innovation Olympics

SPONSORED CONTENT: In early February, entrepreneurs, VCs and IBM execs will gather at a series of worldwide events culminating in the SmartCamp Global Finals in San Francisco.


IBM is kicking off a five-day event on Feb. 3, 2014, that spans more than 40 countries and will bring together entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, company executives and academic leaders in a series of virtual and in-person gatherings. IBM Entrepreneur Week honors innovation and the tech startups that are laying the groundwork for a smarter planet.

IBM invites innovators to take part (registration is free). And the agenda is packed with opportunities to connect with fellow entrepreneurs, network with venture capitalists and industry luminaries, and explore how IBM's global reach, deep well of IT resources and leading-edge know-how can help turn a startup's back of the napkin idea into a reality.

San Francisco, a hotbed of tech startup activity, will host one of the Entrepreneur Week's biggest events, the IBM SmartCamp Finals. At the Bentley Reserve on the afternoon of Thursday, Feb. 6, the eight finalists, including Coriell Life Sciences and OnFarm, will vie for the People's Choice Award and the big prize, IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year.

Entrepreneur Insights takes place at Le Meridien earlier that day. Participants are encouraged to share their "war stories" in interactive sessions. Successful entrepreneurs will explore the latest trends and spill their strategies for overcoming challenges to make their mark in the business world.

Not everyone can make it to San Francisco, so IBM is going global for Entrepreneur Week.

Entrepreneur Week starts off with an Online Bash on Monday, Feb. 3. Featuring breakout sessions, roundtables and speakers, the event will also include a virtual coffee break where entrepreneurs and IBM executives can network. Attendees will learn about some of today's most pressing issues facing startups, including: Growing your business in a social world; women entrepreneurs; and academic excellence.

Day 2 is IBM Global Entrepreneur Day. Taking place on Tuesday, Feb. 4, in cities all over the world from Austin, Texas, to Shanghai, Entrepreneur Day gives entrepreneurs in-person face time with IBM executives and business partners, VCs, local accelerators and leading academics. See the full listing of IBM Innovation Centers and register for an event in a city near you!

On Feb. 5, Mentor Me Wednesday, venture capitalists, business leaders and academic leaders provide business coaching in virtual sessions designed to help startup hopefuls leverage the hard-earned experience of industry veterans and draw inspiration from their successes. Entrepreneur Week wraps up on Friday, Feb. 7, with IBM Entrepreneur THINK Friday, an interactive webcast discussing startup growth strategies and a recap of the week's highlights.

Whether in-person or online, IBM is encouraging entrepreneurs to join in. Registration is free for all the week's activities and events.

Additional Links

Learn about the IBM Global Entrepreneur program. Get the criteria to join and the benefits available to your startup.

Subscribe to the blog to hear successes from startups in the IBM program, get tips from our global network of mentors and stay informed on upcoming events.

Follow IBM's entrepreneur programs on Twitter at @IBMSmartCamp and @IBMGE

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...