IBM 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.
"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 startups 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, healthcare, and transportation. The new investment will be used to:
- Coach and mentor startup 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 works with more than 8 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 startups design, build, market and deliver new technologies and solutions.
Among the new American startups 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.
To help build startup 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. The events bring together students and professors with business, government, venture capital, and nonprofit leaders from the area to discuss the skills needed for leadership jobs in the 21st century.