IBM's Global Entrepreneur Initiative for start-ups

by CXOtoday Staff    Mar 31, 2010

IBM has started a Global Entrepreneur Initiative in India to help start-up entrepreneurs capture emerging business opportunities in the fast-growing industries such as telecommunications, information technology and green technologies. The funding for the start-ups will be done through venture capitalists.

As most start-ups struggle to bring new ideas to market, IBM new initiative will provide start-ups with no-charge access to industry-specific technologies in a cloud computing environment. Under this program, IBM will provide start-ups access to its research community as well as sales, marketing and technical skills.

James Corgel, GM ISV & developer relations software group at IBM said, "Through this initiative, start-ups can for the first time have access to IBM’s software portfolio through a cloud computing environment, including IBM industry frameworks to accelerate software development besides work side-by-side scientists and technology experts from IBM Research to develop new technologies and also take advantage of IBMs vast customer base to market their products."

IBM will invest more than $6 billion per year in research with more than 3,000 people in eight labs around the world. With more than 4,914 new patents in 2009 alone, IBM has experience bringing innovative technologies to market.

Promod Haque, managing partner, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) said, A large number of venture capital investments in the technology industry will be targeted at entrepreneurs in the US, China, Israel, UK, and India this year. Start-ups need scalable architecture for their ventures and to make these investments count, start-ups must have the right skills in place to bring new technologies to market more quickly."

IBM is uniquely positioned to help start-ups because of the depth of resources, expertise, and experience with the most institutions, governments, and businesses around the world. With its Smarter Planet strategy and years of investments in research, IBM is skilled in building product and services offerings for businesses based on new ideas. IBM industry frameworks, for example, are software platforms targeted to industry specific market opportunities such as smarter water, smarter buildings and smarter healthcare.

Claudia Fan Munce, vice president of corporate strategy and managing director of the IBM Venture Capital Group explaining why IBM is opening its resources more widely to start-ups said, Businesses around the world are increasingly applying new technologies to address industry-specific needs, and technology start-ups 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."

 Regarding IPs, Munce said the IP will be owned by the entrepreneurs and IBM will only collaborate with them.

IBM announced the initiative to 300 venture capital, business, government and academic leaders at an IBM venture capital forum in Bangalore. 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 association includes TiE, and Indian Angel Network in India.