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IBM Announces Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups

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If you’ve been toying with the idea of joining the cloud bandwagon, there couldn’t have been a better time than this to do so. As a step towards making cloud technology more viable and accessible than ever before, IBM has announced the launch of the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups. This is exciting, because it’ll allow startups and midsize businesses to embrace cloud technology and integrate it into the business operations, will also help them tap into IBM’s global network of clients, consultants, and innovation centers . This means businesses can gain cloud benefits—things like scalable and flexible infrastructure, hottest innovations, next-gen cloud apps and much more – combined with the ability to make important connections within the industries they serve (and or want to serve).

As a part of this announcement, an influencer roundtable will be held today (Monday, 11/10) at 2:30 EST, hosted by Sandy Carter of IBM and Brad Hunstable of Ustream, which will feature a discussion on the issue of the ecosystem of collaboration as a whole, as well as the benefits of cloud for startups, and a host of cloud applications and tools that entrepreneurs might want to take a look at. You can view the roundtable discussion live by following it here:

Clearly, IBM is bringing to the table complete cloud solutions for young and early stage companies. This program could positively aid startup innovations and transform the way early-stage companies operate today. While most young companies are financially challenged to materialize their big ideas, they find it immensely difficult to find investors. If everything goes as planned, perhaps this program will help solve this problem by bringing startups and entrepreneurs face-to-face with investors and venture capitalists.

Through this program, IBM will offer up to $120,000 worth of IBM Cloud usage credits to qualifying startups as a move to fund innovations and to spark interesting collaborations between the startups and its own entrepreneurial community. Of late, IBM has been playing a proactive role in supporting innovation among new companies. In fact, this program is latest among its string of recent initiatives in this direction. For instance, last year IBM partnered with the City of New York to launch digital.NYC, a cloud-based resource for the NYC tech community, and also teamed up with Galvanize, a startup hub based in San Francisco, to create its first-ever BlueMix Garage – a collaborative space of developers to innovate new cloud applications.

This program will give enterprises a full-blown access to IBM’s cloud portfolio, which includes tools to evaluate social data leveraging IBM’s new Twitter partnership, Aspera’s high speed data transfer services, and Cloudant’s flexible Database-as-a-Service (DaaS). Not only this, startups will get up close and personal with IBM’s vast entrepreneurial client base through IBM-facilitated networking dinners, CIO and entrepreneur meetings, and other events across the globe. And, this personal networking is probably the best opportunity for startups and the entrepreneurial community to make those vital connections that often change the course of their fate.

As for the required tech support for the program, IBM will offer consulting and support through its global innovation centers, its new incubator space in Silicon Alley and its growing network of Bluemix Garages.

If there’s a maxim for today’s businesses, it most certainly is – the present and the future of successful business operation lies in leveraging the power of cloud. And, if this program turns out to be successful, IBM can proudly call itself the driving force behind this maxim.

Have startups found their holy grail in this IBM-led program? We’ll have to wait and watch. What do you think?

photo credit: Skley via photopin cc

This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

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