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How IBM Cloud is building a rich ecosystem for developers and startups

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wpid-thumbnail-0afba20380d7197abcffeb07928d7b2e.jpegHappy New Year! As IBM Cloud charges into 2016, we are ready to build on the strong momentum we achieved within the cloud ecosystem and developer areas in 2015. But before we jump ahead, I want you to take a look what we managed to achieve last year.

In 2015, we established a new global ecosystem and developer hub on the West Coast, launched 12 new digital ecosystems in cities across nine countries, and signed thousands of new startups, developers and ISVs onto IBM Cloud. To date, IBM has engaged with more than 8,000 startups through entrepreneur initiatives, is registering an average of 19,000 new developers on Bluemix each week, and has partnered with 2,400 independent software vendors (ISVs) to help drive IBM Cloud revenue.

Hello San Francisco!

This year, we moved the IBM cloud ecosystem and developer headquarters from New York City to San Francisco, the world’s top startup ecosystem. San Francisco Bay Area is a hotbed for innovation, networking and fundraising activity for companies around the world. Moving our unit to San Francisco helps us reach even more of our key cloud ecosystem players, including businesses, startups, academic institutions and developers, to help them leverage the benefits of IBM Cloud.

The move also brings us closer to the IBM Bluemix Garage developer consultancy and newly established Watson West cognitive computing hub, both key drivers of innovation in cloud. We’re in good company!

IBM Global Entrepreneur Program

As I mention above, we’ve engaged with a milestone 8,000 startups worldwide through IBM’s startup initiative. Our cornerstone initiative, IBM Global Entrepreneur Program (IBM GEP), gives companies full go-to-market support, including access to an extensive roster of corporate clients, a network of 600 business and technical mentors, and up to $120,000 a year in IBM Cloud resources. To date, IBM has granted our GEP startups $250 million in cloud resources to help them develop, test and deploy solutions on IBM’s Bluemix development platform and SoftLayer infrastructure.

Just a few of the rockstar startups leveraging IBM Cloud include:

  • San Francisco-based Keen.io is helping customers like Adobe, the Financial Times, and John Deere with internal and customer-facing analytics
  • Atlanta-based Simple C uses cloud and cognitive systems to provide media-delivered therapies that target the behavioral symptoms of dementia and related cognitive disorders
  • Bangalore-based Stelae Technologies isturning unstructured data like technical documents into searchable, reusable and interoperable content
  • German-based Diabetizer is taking diabetic monitoring and tracking to the cloud
  • Israel IoT startup Tekoia created a smart universal remote for use with digital home automation and IoT devices, and
  • Brazil startup RankMyApp is using the cloud to help marketers select better keywords to help boost an app’s ranking and findability.

Worldwide Developer Initiatives

Developers, the king—and queen—makers of the business world, are the heartbeat of innovation within our ecosystem. At IBM, we partner with organizations, corporate clients and private partners to help developers hone their skills, network with peers and create innovative business solutions with IBM Cloud.

In 2015, we launched:

  • 300 hackathons around the world, and will partner with San Francisco-based developer community Koding to host the world’s largest virtual hackathon this month.
  • professional certifications for developers of cloud applications, allowing developers to showcase their understanding of the industry’s best practices in cloud application design on IBM Bluemix.
  • developerWorks Premium, a subscription model of our developerWorks community, in order to equip developers with member-only curated tools and resources for IBM Cloud.

All of these developer initiatives are helping drive more than 19,000 new Bluemix registrations per week.

Digital Cities

IBM partners with private and public organizations around the world to launch Digital Cities, which leverage localized online hubs that give communities a virtual space to connect with the region’s top developers, business partners, startups, resources and investors. Built on IBM Cloud, these hubs help spur innovation and excellence within local ecosystems, while offering both local and global perspectives on news stories, trends and technology.

IBM launched its first Digital City, New York City, in 2014. In its first year, the city’s online hub, Digital.NYC, had more than 6,890 registrations, 330,000 online sessions and 3,350 job postings. It also drew more than 200 new startups to the IBM GEP, where they found local cloud mentors and free global IBM Cloud resources.

Last year, IBM added 12 Digital Cities: Berlin, London, The Netherlands, Prague, Porto Alegre, India (central), Bangalore, Delhi, Boston, Ecuador and Singapore and Sao Paulo.

Business Partners

With the help of our business partners, we have achieved all of the above milestones. Today, there are more than 2,400 ISVs on IBM Cloud. Our business partners like Hootsuite, Majesco, Manhattan Associates, Esri and Spark Cognition help drive IBM Cloud revenue, support IBM GEP efforts, sponsor events like hackathons and drive collaboration in Digital Cities around the world. We are grateful for their partnership and look forward to continuing our great work together in 2016!

I am extremely thrilled at the possibilities IBM Cloud can bring to you this year with a rich ecosystem of unlimited resources that we have built for you. We wish you a very successful 2016!

Sandy Carter is IBM’s General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers.

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