There are a variety of ways to support and assist start-up firms, with venture money being the most common solution. IBM has another idea: it’s offering free access to its consultants and experts as well as IBM software to get their applications going. Of course, there is a string attached. Datamation explains what that is.
IBM is launching something it calls the IBM Global Entrepreneur initiative this week, a program that’s essentially a quid pro quo arrangement by which software startups get free access to its software and technologists and Big Blue gets first crack at infusing the next generation of applications with its core WebSphere middleware platform.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) clearly understands that if it really wants to make its Smarter Planet marketing strategy take flight, it’s going to need its software to be the cornerstone for ambitious developers working on applications designed to address big-picture issues like health care, energy efficiency and transportation.
This is especially true in developing countries such as China and India, where competitors such as SAP (NYSE: SAP), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) have joined IBM in investing billions of dollars to establish strategic development hubs and provide seed money for fledgling software developers that might otherwise struggle finding startup capital and supporting hardware and software.
It’s no accident that IBM unveiled the initiative Wednesday to 300 venture capital, business, government and academic leaders at its venture capital forum in Bangalore, India.