Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

IBM SmartCamp Global Finals, Day 2: Big IBM Insights

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Greetings from the City by the Bay.

It’s the second full day of the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals. I had a wonderful dinner last evening with some old friends at the Marine Memorial Club overlooking the city skyline, and this morning, woke up bright and early prepared for day 2 here at the Bently Reserve.

IBM VP Mike Riegel's motivational talk to the IBM SmartCamp entrepreneurs gathered in San Francisco this morning, explaining just WHY IBM invests in its global entrepreneur program.

After a nice continental breakfast and some early morning networking, IBM’s Deborah Magid handed the discussion over to IBM’s Mike Riegel, a vice president for ISV and Developer Relations.

Riegel, who started his career in government and later worked at a startup himself, explained to the audience of entrepreneurs, mentors, press, and bloggers what was behind IBM’s investment in the Global Entrepreneur Program, which launched in April 2010, and later the IBM Smart Camp competition.

First, Riegel explained, a significant portion of IBM’s revenue is derived through its relationship with Business Partners, which come in all shapes and sizes

Second, venture capital-backed companies essentially compose the next generation of IBM’s ecosystem.

Third, through its relationships with the VC and entrepreneurial community, IBM finds new innovation, invention, and entrepreneurialism, not to mention new strategic insights and the identification of new business models and technologies.  And, this past year, IBM has expanded its focus do this in markets around the globe, in particularly in emerging economies such as Brazil and India.

Fourth, and fact: VC-backed companies account for 1,500 of IBM’s Business Partners and over 30 acquisitions by IBM in the past 10 years.

So as IBM looks out at the market opportunity for some of its key investment areas — business analytics, cloud computing, smarter planet, smarter cities — well, you’re looking at several hundred billions of dollars of market opportunity, and the capital that will be invested to help provide those solutions will come from IBM, its business partners, and the new types of entrepreneurial businesses generated through the likes of the IBM Smart Camp and Global Entrepreneur program.

When IBM launched the program in April 2010, it opened its doors and resources to entrepreneurs looking to bring their next big idea to market.  But then it went one step forward launching the IBM Smart Camp finals, and winner Streetline, IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010, is a good case study of the potential these startups demonstrate.

Streetline was focused on “the art of the possible,” developing a very specific application that helped people find a parking space in major metropolitan areas.

In November 2010, Streetline won the first IBM SmartCamp competition.  Its VC mentorship began in December of that year, and by June 2011 Streetline had raised $15M in a “B” round of funding.

By August, it had integrated its solution with IBM’s Cognos software, and then completed an integrated IBM-Streetline solution.

It was announced to the market in September 2011, and the IBM sales force started selling the “Advanced Parking Solution” by IBM IBM-Streetline.

From IBM Smart Camp winner to IBM market solution in less than a full calendar year.

Written by turbotodd

February 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

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