IBM Launches Global Entrepreneur Initiative

IBM extends its knowledge and tech expertise to startups around the world, offering access to IBM technology professionals and services in a cloud computing environment.

Technology giant IBM March 31 announced an initiative to open its resources to startup companies in an effort to "help this next generation of entrepreneurs capture emerging business opportunities in fast-growing industries such as energy and utilities, health care, telecommunications and government. ... The IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative provides startups with no-charge access to industry-specific technologies in a cloud computing environment. Under the new program, IBM will provide access to its research community as well as sales, marketing and technical skills."
IBM said that the new initiative is the first opportunity for startups to: "access IBM's software portfolio through a cloud computing environment, including IBM industry frameworks to accelerate software development; work [with] scientists and technology experts from IBM Research to develop new technologies; take advantage of dedicated IBM project managers to assist in product development; attend new IBM SmartCamp mentoring and networking workshops with VC firms, government leaders, academics and industry experts at the global network of 40 IBM Innovation Centers to build business and go-to-market plans; [and] tap a new social networking community on IBM DeveloperWorks to connect with other entrepreneurs and more than 8 million IT professionals from around the world."

The announcement continued:

""IBM announced the initiative to 300 venture capital, business, government and academic leaders at an IBM venture capital forum in Bangalore, India. IBM's Claudia Fan Munce, vice president of corporate strategy and managing director of the IBM Venture Capital Group [... said,] "Businesses around the world are increasingly applying new technologies to address industry-specific needs, and technology startups are looking for new ways to capitalize on this trend.[...] IBM's goal is to help entrepreneurs gain the skills they need to bring new ideas to market faster using IBM technology to accelerate industry transformation and fuel innovation."As part of this program, IBM is collaborating with 19 global industry and technology associations to identify and connect local start-ups to the initiative through IBM SmartCamps and forums at IBM Innovation Centers throughout 2010. The associations include: SD Forum, TIE Silicon Valley, Mass Tech Leadership Council, TIE Austin and MassInno in the United States. [...]The criteria for start-ups to participate in the IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative are: 1) the company must be privately held; 2) in business less than three years; and 3) actively developing software aligned to IBM's Smarter Planet focus areas.""

"A large number of venture capital investments in the technology industry will be targeted at entrepreneurs in the U.S., China, Israel, UK, Germany, France and India this year," said Promod Haque, managing partner for investment group Norwest Venture Partners. "To make these investments count, startups must have the right skills in place to bring new technologies to market more quickly. Venture capitalists, businesses, government and academia must all collaborate to ensure today's entrepreneurs are prepared to succeed."