IBM has announced the launch of the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups, which will help startups and entrepreneurs harness the power of IBM Cloud, as well as deeply connect and embed them into IBM's vast global network of enterprise clients, consultants, Innovation Centers and more to rapidly build innovations, scale quickly and accelerate growth.

According to more than 300 global venture capitalists, private equity and growth equity investors this year, they've largely been investing in tech companies, especially cloud and mobile (source: 2014 Global Venture Capital Confidence Survey). As these areas continue to heat up, IBM is committing to providing startups with the tools they need to build and capitalize on the next generation of apps for the cloud.

"The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups provides a comprehensive and strong network of resources to drive collaborative cloud innovation," said Promod Haque, senior managing partner, Norwest Ventures. "By enabling access to IBM's broad and fast-growing enterprise cloud portfolio and 3rd-party cloud services built around open APIs, startups can now more easily build and monetize their solutions. More importantly, by providing a global path to the enterprise, this program can help accelerate the rate at which cloud startups can get to market and scale."

Through the global program, qualifying startups will receive up to $120,000 worth of credits to put towards IBM Cloud usage, giving them the instant infrastructure needed to quickly launch their businesses and focus resources on coding, building, scaling and bringing innovations to market. The program will also offer startups invaluable and in-depth connections into IBM's enterprise client base, many of whom consistently look to the startup community for new approaches to industry challenges.

Entrepreneurs will be given access to the entire IBM Cloud portfolio built on cloud infrastructure from SoftLayer, an IBM company. This portfolio includes Bluemix, IBM's cloud platform for app development with more than 75 runtimes and services, all of which will help startups to capture and leverage rising volumes of Big Data from growing mobile and social networks, IoT devices and more. Bluemix includes a broad range of services to develop innovative apps for the cloud, including:

  • Integration with Twitter to capture global social data insights with analytics
  • Aspera's high-speed data transfer tools
  • App health and performance monitoring services
  • Cloudant's flexible, high-performing Database-as-a-Service

"As we begin our process to select our newest class of startups, which we will help to accelerate and grow, programs such as IBM's are critical in helping to create a strong and steady flow of promising innovators," said Gabriella Draney, cofounder and CEO of Tech Wildcatters, a mentor-driven, seed fund and tech accelerator for young B2B companies. "Equipped with the cloud power and business connections they need, we're thrilled to be working with IBM to help some of the best early-stage ideas transform industries and markets."

Via face-to-face events and CIO and entrepreneur meet-ups, IBM will provide young, emerging tech companies with the exposure, connections and partnerships which are critical in the early stages of growth. As they develop products and scale, entrepreneurs will also be provided with technical support and consulting through IBM's physical, global network of more than 40 Innovation Centers, new incubator space in NYC's Silicon Alley, and Bluemix Garage in San Francisco's Galvanize startup hub, all of which also host local tech community events and meet-ups.

"IBM is the only large tech firm offering face-to-face, in-person connections to enterprises and mentoring that is so critical for early stage companies," said Robin Hrassnigg, CEO of Diabetizer, a European-based startup and IBM partner recently recognized by the World Health Organization for its innovative healthcare app. "As our company continues to scale our app, which uses cognitive computing and cloud to help diabetics manage their treatment with flexibility and accuracy, we will increasingly look to these types of in-depth connections to bring our approach to Big Data to different industries."


Startups Turning to IBM for Cloud Innovation

As one of the most transformative technologies of the decade, cloud is reshaping how organizations use Big Data, mobile and more to develop everything from interactive mobile apps to biomedical devices. By 2016, over a quarter of all apps – around 48 million – will be available in the cloud, and 85 percent of new software today is built for the cloud (sources: Global Technology Outlook and IDC).

"The IBM Bluemix offering is the industry's first major step toward connecting the startup community to the power of the cloud," said Brad Hunstable, CEO and founder of Ustream, a San Francisco-based startup now providing video streaming services to more than 80 million users. "Through Bluemix, Ustream aims to help developers easily incorporate powerful video streaming features into their applications. We are excited to be working with IBM, and can't wait to begin building innovations with the new tech leaders that will emerge from this IBM Cloud offering."

Grid Mobile, a NYC-based mobile software and communications venture based in the Grand Central Tech accelerator, is another startup teaming up with IBM for the technology tools and connections it needs to grow. Leveraging IBM's resources for entrepreneurs, Grid Mobile's founders plan to transform mobile service via a secure, integrated mobile-first communications platform.

"As the breadth of services, capabilities and partners using the IBM Cloud continues to grow, making our cloud more accessible to early-stage startups around the world is critical to accelerating innovation in a tremendous rage of industries – from healthcare to banking and everything in between," said Sandy Carter, General Manager of Ecosystem Development at IBM. "What the tech industry can do with Big Data, analytics and cognitive computing via the cloud is limitless, and helping push these ideas to the forefront of what larger enterprises are thinking and demanding for their customers will help solve some of the largest challenges facing businesses today."


This article was originally posted “New IBM Entrepreneur Program Accelerates Collaborative Innovation In The Cloud” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.