WASHINGTON and ARMONK, N.Y., Jan. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it will invest $150 million in 2011 to fund programs that promote entrepreneurs and new business opportunities in the United States. The announcement was made as part of the White House-led Startup America campaign launched today.
"The investment will help us greatly expand the work we're doing to build business skills and provide market opportunities for the most innovative new companies in the country," said James Corgel, General Manager, IBM Developer and Academic Relations. "These start-ups are tackling some of the country's most pressing challenges and opportunities."
Since launching its Global Entrepreneur initiative last year, IBM has helped launch more than 500 new businesses in key areas such as green energy, health care and transportation. The new investment will be used to:
- Coach and mentor start-up businesses throughout the United States;
- Expand education, build skills and mentorship programs in collaboration with the academic and venture capital communities;
- Provide skills and business opportunities to the growing community of software developers who collaborate on emerging technologies.
IBM has been in the business of building skills for 100 years. Today, IBM works with more than eight million developers and nearly 6,000 universities in programs to help develop new technologies and prepare students and developers with the skills to succeed in a global market. Additionally, there are five IBM Innovations Centers in the United States where IBM provides access to technology, education and hands-on assistance to help business partners and start-ups design, build, market and deliver new technologies and solutions.
The new investment will be used to bring these diverse communities together, encouraging collaboration and innovation around new solutions to issues such as smarter health care, energy and transportation. For example, next week, the IBM Innovation Center in the Boston area is hosting "Connecting Companies with Capital." The event will bring together health care and life sciences start-up companies with local venture capitalists. The goal of the event is to connect local entrepreneurs looking to raise capital with potential sources of funding. Participants will also have access to panel discussions from leading experts in the field of health care and life sciences. The program is just one of many planned in 2011.
"IBM has a unique business model when it comes to working with VCs and entrepreneurs," said Promod Haque, Managing Partner, Norwest Venture Partners (NVP). "We have worked closely with IBM for more than a decade to identify trends, partnerships and potential new businesses. This new investment will greatly accelerate our ongoing collaboration with IBM as we are both deeply committed to fostering innovation in the U.S."
Among the new American start-ups working with IBM are:
- Streetline: A San Francisco-based company that uses the latest sensor technology to help citizens find inexpensive parking quickly, while helping cities to manage their parking resources more efficiently.
- Sproxil: A Boston-based company that identifies counterfeit medicine in emerging countries using cell phone technology at point of purchase to validate genuine drugs.
- CareCloud: A Florida-based cloud computing software and services company that streamlines the financial, administrative and clinical functions of a medical practice.
IBM is also leading a series of forums that bring together civic, academic, business and entrepreneurial leaders to discuss the key challenges facing our cities and communities. For example, this Tuesday, February 1, in Austin, Texas, IBM and the Austin Chamber of Commerce will reconvene a group at the IBM Innovation Center there, which now meets quarterly. Additional events are planned in 2011.
To help build start-up communities and harness the innovation of academic communities, IBM is also launching its 2011 Skills Tour that will visit 15 college and university communities in 10 states over the next 100 days. Each event brings together students and professors with business, government, venture capital and non-profit leaders from the area to discuss the skills needed for leadership jobs in the 21st century.
As part of the Startup America program, IBM will collaborate with other participants as the company works to expand its 100,000-member partner community. More information about the Startup America Partnership is available at www.startupamericapartnership.org.
For more information on IBM's Global Entrepreneur initiative, visit www.ibm.com/isv/startup.