The Power of the Entrepreneur and the Ecosystem! IBM Entrepreneur WEEK!

Once upon a time, Silicon Valley was the only place in the world where entrepreneurship seemed to happen through spontaneous combustion. So cities and countries all over tried to copy it–with only modest success.

Well, something strange is happening in the early years of the 21st century. Startup fever is on the move, both within the United States and globally.

The spirit of global entrepreneurship will be on display Feb. 6 in San Francisco, where the IBM SmartCamp program will present its fourth annual Entrepreneur of the Year award. The contestants, boiled down from 1200 applicants, qualified for the finals via a series of regional contests last year. They hail from Brazil,  Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Australia and Malaysia—as well as a couple of unlikely spots in the United States, Camden, N.J., and Fresno, Calif.

To watch a live stream video of the day’s activities, visit here starting at 9 a.m. US Pacific Time.  To participate in a peoples’ choice vote, click here.

This year, IBM SmartCamps are being held as part of IBM’s inaugural Global Entrepreneur Week. All week IBM has been celebrating the great work startups do through a series of events around the globe offering startups and entrepreneurs the tools and expertise needed to innovate, transform and grow using key technologies such as cloud, big data analytics, mobile and cognitive computing.

This globalization of entrepreneurship has been building for a number of years, but now it’s so obvious it hits you upside the head. A signal of the shift came last year when MoDe, a mobile phone top-off payment service founded in Kenya, won the IBM SmartCamp Finals in New York City.

Sure, Silicon Valley and now San Fran are still an incredible engine of innovation and entrepreneurship. But, there are plenty of other tech boomtowns now.  According to data from the CrunchBase directory, New York City created 1,438 startups in the past five years; San Francisco, 1,448; London, 1,075;  and cities including Berlin, Bangalore, Istanbul, Moscow and New Delhi are revving their own startup engines.

Here's an example of Entrepreneur Day in Tel Aviv! 

While Nairobi, Kenya, only registers in a small way on the directory, dozens of startups like MoDe have emerged there in the past few years—many of them aided by tech startup incubators and entrepreneurship hubs.

One of the IBM SmartCamp finalists, Reengen, which makes an energy-use dashboard for the owners and occupants of buildings, got a helping hand from Girisim Fabrikasi, a tech startup accelerator in its hometown of Istanbul, Turkey.

While incubators are helpful, there are other vital ingredients in a healthy startup ecosystem—among them venture capital, the cooperation of governments and universities, and, often, a stimulating urban culture and support from already established businesses.

It doesn’t hurt that the barriers to entry are collapsing. Startups are aided by the availability of open source software, inexpensive cloud computing services and government tax breaks. In addition, development platforms like Google’s Android and Apple’s IOS power the app economy.

IBM is deeply committed to supporting startups in bringing new technology and customer solutions to market through mentorship, partnership, matchmaking and free access to IBM technology. Most recently, IBM has entered the platform space, with its Watson Developers’ Cloud, which is designed to enable startups to build applications on top of IBM Watson—the technology that beat two grand-champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!

To help get startups up and running on the developers’ cloud, IBM is offering support to the entrepreneur and venture communities through workshops and seminars on topics such as development skills, as well as networking opportunities. IBM has also dedicating a $100 million investment to support the seeding and growth of  startups and businesses building apps in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud.

It’s amazing what a startup can do when it gets a helping hand from bigger companies. Streetline, a San Francisco-based firm that won the Entrepreneur of the Year award two years ago, subsequently became an IBM business partner. It now ranks as the largest smart parking solutions provider in the world.  It has recorded more than 170 million parking events in the US, Germany and the UK.
Another example is Sproxil, which provides a consumer verification service through mobile devices. Since participating in IBM’s Global Entrepreneur program, Sproxil has expanded to 10 industries to help consumers protect themselves from fake or stolen goods and helps brand owners maintain supply chain oversight. Sproxil was also named the best HealthCare startup up by Fast Company for 2013 and the #7 in the overall top startup category.

Who’s next for explosive growth? This year’s SmartCamp finalists include Temando, of Australia; TMC, of Malaysia; Shopa, of the United Kingdom; Reengen, of Turkey; Nova Lumos, of the Middle East; Geekie, of Brazil, and Coriell and OnFarm, of the United States.  Fix on those names for a minute. For one or more of them, this could be the start of something big.


Entrepreneur Coffee Break- Welcome to IBM Entrepreneur Week

Happy Monday!   This Monday begins our IBM Entrepreneur Coffee Break- Welcome to IBM Entrepreneur Week!!

 


At IBM Entrepreneur Week: 30 minutes you don’t want to miss! Eric Ries will ROCK it!

I am so excited!  Did you hear?

Eric Ries @ericries, Lean Startup guru, will be a keynote speaker for the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals—happening during IBM Entrepreneur Week #IBMEW, February 3-7! Eric will talk about his new approach to business, called The Lean Startup, which maximizes a startup’s potential by using their resources more effectively. But that’s all I’m going to share here. Listen from Eric himself in the video below!

Register now for IBM Global SmartCamp Finals to hear from Eric in person at The Bently in San Francisco or watch via LiveStream. And don’t forget to take part in the other fabulous activities taking place during IBM Entrepreneur Week.

Check them out here!


A VC Speaks out to Entrepreneurs: What's most important!

In the spirit of our upcoming IBM Entrepreneur Week -- here is our Interview with Connie Wright, Principal Commonwealth Pacific Ventures.  She dishes with us on keys for entrepreneurs!

 


Women Entrepreneur Day Sponsored by IBM!!! Feb 3 An Infographic

Women-led businesses receive only 13% of VC deals, and that’s up 20% YTY, according to Pitchbook, a venture-capital research firm. This is good momentum! And for me, this is means 2014 will continue to be a breakout year for women in technology too.

I’m also thrilled to help spark this breakout by hosting IBM Global Entrepreneur Week, February 3-7th. I’m honored to be the first woman to host this premier event.   Register to join us!

http://vshow.on24.com/vshow/EntrepreneurWeek/registration/5787#

This one-of-a-kind event will feature virtual and in-person opportunities to learn from and network with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, academic leaders, IBM executives and IBM Business Partners. There’s no better place to connect with other female entrepreneurs and find out what it takes to build and maintain a successful startup … and there’s no better time to register!

Spread the word with all of your fellow female entrepreneurs using the promo below on all of your social networks. Then join us on February 3 during our Online Bash at 10:30 AM EST to hear from leading women on how to survive this competitive marketplace.

I hope to virtually see you there!  Register NOW!

http://vshow.on24.com/vshow/EntrepreneurWeek/registration/5787#

Woman Entrepreneurs


Entrepreneurs! Join us for IBM Entrepreneur Week Feb 3-9!

I consider myself an Intrapreneur at IBM!   Yes, and IBM has hundreds and thousands of entrepreneurs who joined our ranks through numerous acquisitions!

We'd love for you to join us at our IBM Entrepreneur Week Feb 3-9 for a mix of great virtual and in person events!

This week will be global!!!

entrepreneur week posters

Intrapreneurs and Entrepreneurs are great friends!!!

  • Entrepreneurs provide the spark. Intrapreneurs keep the flame going.
  • Entrepreneurs are found anywhere their vision takes them. Intrapreneurs work within the confines of an organization.
  • Entrepreneurs face many hurdles, and are sometimes ridiculed and riddled with setbacks. Intrapreneurs may sometimes have to deal with conflict within the organization.
  • Entrepreneurs may find it difficult to get resources. Intrapreneurs have their resources readily available to them.
  • Entrepreneurs may lose everything when they fail. Intrapreneurs still have a paycheck to look forward to (at least for now) if they fail.
  • Entrepreneurs know the business on a macro scale. Intrapreneurs are highly skilled and specialized.