As a former IBMer, I’m always interested in the latest news on what Big Blue is working on. When the press release discusses ways to inspire innovation, I always make it a priority to read through it. Recently, one of my Google Alerts dug up a new article on a new global program to encourage entrepreneurship that IBM is launching…
IBM is getting into the accelerator space with IBM Smartcamp, part of the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program – they’re looking to provide mentoring to startups that have less than $1m in revenue and align with their “smarter planet” initiative. This is a global program that will be run in 7 cities, with one company selected from each city to travel to Dublin in November. (The list of companies selected in 2009 is on the program’s Ireland blog.)
While IBM isn’t providing funding at this time, the fact that they will connect the startups with mentors inside the company could be pivotal for the right venture. Further coverage here in the Boston Business Journal and in the NY Times.
It’s good to see Big Blue acknowledging that accelerators are an effective way of supporting innovation in focused areas of interest. With the profile that IBM is giving to this initiative and the applications that this should attract, I expect the program to be transformative for the startups selected to participate.
Apply via the SeedCamp site: http://smartcamp.seedcamp.com/