Today marks the official opening of our first ever Bluemix Garage, a place where developers, product managers and designers from the smallest startups to the largest companies can congregate, network and collaborate to build the cloud applications that will change how we live, work and interact with technology.
For the past few months, we’ve been working on pulling in our best resources, consultants and technologies to build out our Bluemix Garage, which is located in Galvanize, a launch pad for San Francisco’s thriving startup community.
This Garage, which we’re aiming to replicate around the world, forms a new model of partnership and collaboration within local tech communities that brings together all levels of stakeholders within an ecosystem, allowing them to work together – on top of the most advanced technologies – to build and create.
This new partnership model is built on four pillars to help maximize the innovation and success of a region’s tech scene:
- Bringing Cloud and Technology to the Heart of Innovation: Because our Garage sits within Galvanize, we’re bringing cloud and advanced tools to where developers, startups and entrepreneurs live and work – rather than waiting for them to come to us. This allows us to reach an entire new segment of companies, who may not have thought about building their business on the power of IBM’s cloud, or incorporating advanced technology into their app that can give it a tremendous competitive advantage.
- Enabling Developers with Access to Competitive Tools: Our Garage, combined with the innovations happening simultaneously within Galvanize, offers developers the opportunity to build on top of the most advanced technology today, such as Watson, IBM’s revolutionary cognitive computing technology that can analyze and learn from tremendous volumes of data, as well as Cloudant’s flexible, data-crunching tools which allow developers to connect their apps into data from various Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as sensors, wearable technology, smart phones and more.
- Helping Enterprises Learn to Work like a Startup: Just as how we’re bringing enterprise tools to startups, we’re doing the exact same thing in the opposite direction by helping enterprises learn to adopt the lean and agile principles for which startups are famous. Historically, enterprises have been easily disrupted by startup technologies which are developed, brought to market, and adopted by users at rapid speeds – often making it hard for larger organizations to catch up. However, working side-by-side with startups helps enterprise developers master techniques such as DevOps, cross-team collaboration and more – allowing them to bring an accelerated pace of development back to their companies.
- Building a Broad and Collaborative Community: It’s no secret that the San Francisco and Silicon Valley communities are chock-full of incubators, networking groups and innovation hubs. In fact, one of our own Garage consultants, Glen Tona, lives in one of them: Silicon Valley’s Rainbow Mansion. At the Garage, however, we believe that fueling even greater success in this region will require a new approach to these communities. By encouraging partnership between large tech firms, such as IBM, and organically-grown local hubs like Galvanize, which draw developers and entrepreneurs in all industries from health and fitness to retail to transportation, we can help to level the competitive playing field for startups and enterprises alike, helping them to access the tools and resources they need to compete fairly with each other.
We’re thrilled to see what innovations – from both startups and enterprises alike – will be launched with the help of Galanize and our Garage. We’ve already started projects such as a prototype financial advising app, a wealth assessment app pilot, and building a new healthcare portal.
But our work doesn’t stop here. As we continue to build, expand and strengthen the opportunities in our San Francisco Garage, we’re also working to bring Garages to other tech communities and innovation hotspots around the globe – replicating this type of partnership to help catalyze local startup growth in different regions.
Stay tuned….a Bluemix Garage could soon be opening up in a city near you.