October 14, 2016 | Written by: Ronan Dalton
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While there’s no one, definitive source of statistics for startup activity worldwide, a quick look online reveals facts such as:
Yet with the odds stacked against them, startup companies across industries continue to emerge, many of whom have grown to lead and even define industry sectors. Dare I quote the WhatsApp, Uber or AirBNB examples yet again? These disruptors have grown at a rapid pace, defining new business models built on technology platforms that support innovation, change and agility.
IBM offers startups IBM Global Entrepreneur as a means to explore IBM cloud platforms and tools to support their business as they grow. IBM Global Entrepreneur is a unique program designed to connect startups to the IBM global ecosystem of clients, partners, business leaders, and enterprise-grade technology.
How startups can get a boost
IBM Global Entrepreneur benefits include:
- Up to $120,000 in IBM Cloud credits for Bluemix
- An extensive, global network of solutions architects
- Go-to-market and mentor advice for entrepreneurs
Accompanying IBM Global Entrepreneur in 2016, IBM and LAUNCH are again hosting IBM SmartCamp. SmartCamp is a global pitch competition for early-stage startups. A global initiative, SmartCamp 2016 is already underway across a number of cities, with regional live-pitch competitions taking place. Finalists will attend the LAUNCH festival in 2017 with the winner landing a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator, which includes a $25,000 investment.
Across Europe, cities including London, Paris and Berlin are renowned for their vibrant startup scenes’ entrepreneur support and incubation programs. Ireland also has its startup hotspots across major cities such as Dublin, Cork and Galway.
At a recent event in Dublin, I had to the opportunity to address a number of new businesses at The Digital Hub, a cluster of early stage digital companies in Ireland. I shared IBM Global Entrepreneur details at a drop-in center located right outside The Hub’s coffee shop. I spoke with many of the residents about SoftLayer, Bluemix and IBM support for startup entities in Ireland.
One recently formed business I spoke with shared details of a solution focused on care of the elderly. The company delivers insights from data sourced in care homes, analyzed on the cloud and made available to care workers via mobile apps. Its business proposition is built on domain expertise, targeted user experiences and data analysis to provide better care for the elderly. While this business builds its solution, IBM Global Entrepreneur can support it, not only through access to cloud platforms, but also through access to expertise at IBM.
I also spoke with a fintech startup with a focus on corporate banking. The business provides a portal that allows clients to compare banking fees. Technology is the enabler for this business, but its focus is on client experience and the creation of new markets in corporate banking. IBM Global Entrepreneur wasn’t a program that this business had come across, which was something my visit helped to address with a number of the startups in attendance.
With a pocketful of business cards, I left a two-hour morning session at The Digital Hub enthusiastic that, despite the challenges, startups continue to invest in ideation and innovation, and that IBM support for these businesses matters.
Learn more about IBM Global Entrepreneur. Speak with a local Cloud Advisor. For more details on this article in particular, contact Ronan Dalton @daltonology.