Thinking Tech

IBM puts entrepreneurship in its cloud

Posting in Energy

All that they're asking is that start-ups be privately held, in business less than three years, and focused on something linked to IBM's SmarterPlanet initiative

IBM wants to get its own research to market. IBM wants to grab new customers when they are just entrepreneurs. IBM wants to bring new business to its cloud.

The Global Entrepreneurship Initiative the company is launching today does all three.

  1. Entrepreneurs can access IBM development tools directly through its cloud.
  2. IBM is putting its science and development experts, and project managers, online to help.
  3. IBM is launching a series of training and mentoring workshops dubbed SmartCamp at over 40 IBM offices to build go-to-market plans.
  4. IBM is building a new entrepreneur network on its developerWorks system to link start-ups with the 8 million programmers already using its system.

This is not just an American initiative. It is actually being launched in Bangalore, at a venture capital forum with 300 people in attendance.

That's not all. IBM has been working with 22 different trade groups in six different countries to launch the initiative. These include TiE in the U.S., the Irish Software Association and a group called GarageGeeks in Israel.

Norwest Venture Partners is working with IBM on the financing end. Promod Hoque called it "an on ramp" for its early stage start-ups, noting it would give energy companies access to smart grid technology.

"The credibility that comes from having your technology vetted by IBM can open doors with enterprise clients that you may not have previously had access to before," he added.

For those who want to join the program all they're asking is that a start-up be privately held, in business less than three years, and focused on something linked to IBM's SmarterPlanet initiative, which looks for innovative solutions to intractable problems.

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Dana Blankenhorn

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Dana Blankenhorn has written for the Chicago Tribune, Advertising Age's "NetMarketing" supplement and founded the Interactive Age Daily for CMP Media. He holds degrees from Rice and Northwestern universities. He is based in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure