Over the past several weeks, I have had the opportunity to be invited to several venture capital firms’ entrepreneurial events where they invite local entrepreneurs to network and share views and insights on the industry. In addition, some of the events featured guest speakers. For example, at the recent General Catalyst Entrepreneurial Forum, we got a chance to hear from David Bearshears who was the IMAX photographer that ascended to the summit of Mt. Everest carrying a very large and awkward IMAX camera.The pictures and experiences he shared with us were quite awe inspiring. In addition, we heard from Dr. Len Schlesinger who is the Chairman and COO of Limited Brands along with the President of Victoria Secrets. All told it was a great event. Finally, last night I attended the Charles River Ventures entrepreneurial event and again, there was some great networking going on with the local entrepreneurial community.
As I spend time at these events, I found myself frequently being asked, Why Is IBM here? After explaining that I have founded or co-founded several startups and that I was part of a recent acquisition by IBM, the response was typical "Wow, I can't imagine what it must be like working inside IBM". My typical response.....IBM has lots of entrepreneurs....I go on to say that I believe that entrepreneurs are not just founders and co-founders of startups, but that large companies like IBM have possibly thousands of entrepreneurs inventing new ideas on a daily basis. I go on to tell them that one of our key IBM values is "Innovation that matters- for our company and for the world". The response is usually an acknowledgement and quite a positive view on IBM. In my role at IBM, I see the entrepreneurial spirit alive and flourishing at IBM every day. Like others, I see entrepreneurs as those that are risk takers, leaders, have a desire to achieve, work really hard, creative, playful, inventive, and optimistic and are very goal oriented with focus on game changing activities that deliver value to the businesses stakeholders and their customers. IBM'rs are no exception. They even have created new entities. Think of this like having a startup inside a multibillion dollar company and I think you will understand where I"m coming from.
Entrepreneurial Spirit and IBM
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