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Entrepreneurs and Startups
December 17th, 2014
15:59
 

Nader Iskander

Nader Iskander

By Steve Hamm, IBM Writer

Nader Iskander, the founder and CEO of EME International, in Cairo, Egypt, isn’t afraid to make a bold bet on a big idea. Way back in 2004, he created a company to develop innovative enterprise mobility solutions across the region. Today, mobile is taking off in Egypt.

And now Iskander is expanding to what he believes will be the next big thing in the region: cloud computing. . “We like to be innovators; first movers,” says Iskander. “There’s huge potential in the cloud to improve our customers’ productivity and profitability.” Already, EME has made a major sale of cloud-based software–to a major Egyptian automobile company.

EME International was among the first 20 Egyptian software makers to complete a cloud computing development program designed by Egypt’s Information Technology Industry Development Agency and IBM.

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November 12th, 2014
9:00
 

SP Cog Coll 2014One of the most intriguing elements of the new era of cognitive computing is the development of brain-inspired technologies. Those are technologies that mimic the functioning of the neurons, axons and synapses in the mammal brain with the goal of interpreting the physical world and processing sensory data: sight, sound, touch and smell. Today’s IBM Research Cognitive Systems Colloquium at IBM Research – Almaden is focusing on this realm of the cognitive computing world. Please come back for frequent reports and updates, and join the conversation at #cognitivecomputing. Continue Reading »

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November 11th, 2014
9:00
 

SP Cognitive Computing ImageBy Jeffrey Welser

One of the most intriguing research projects at the Almaden lab over the past decade has been the development of a neurosynaptic microchip modeled on the workings of the brain. Funded since 2008 by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s SyNAPSE initiative, a team at Almaden led by Dharmendra S. Modha created not only a radically new chip architecture but a new approach to creating software applications.

Tomorrow, their work begins the transition from a science research project to a technology that’s on its way into the commercial marketplace. Continue Reading »

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Glen Tona, IBM Software Developer and resident of Silicon Valley’s Rainbow Mansion

Glen Tona, IBM Software Developer and resident of Silicon Valley’s Rainbow Mansion

By Glen Tona

It’s undeniable that cloud is one of the most transformative technologies of the decade. From permeating our daily lives via social media to everyday use in business, the cloud is becoming an increasingly essential technology for driving creativity and collaboration, and is capable of altering the very fabric of society.

As the cloud market grows, it’s crucial to make it even more accessible and comprehensive for startups. Though almost all startups today are using the cloud in some capacity, as an industry, we can do more to open it up more broadly, and doing so will serve to level the competitive playing field for burgeoning companies and innovators globally.

Below are three ways we can help startups use cloud to its maximum potential: Continue Reading »

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October 23rd, 2014
9:00
 

SP Garage 1 2014By Steve Robinson 

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. Continue Reading »

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Terry Jones, Executive Chairman, WayBlazer

Terry Jones, Executive Chairman, WayBlazer

By Terry Jones

My first job when I got out of college in 1971 was as a receptionist at a travel agency in Chicago. In those days, believe it or not, we used telegrams to make international reservations.

It’s amazing to think how far travel has come since then—and the role that information technology has played in those changes.

Today, the travel industry is primed for yet another revolution. This time, cognitive computing is the agent of change, and my company, WayBlazer, is one of the industry pioneers.

WayBlazer taps into the power of IBM’s Watson to help Web sites create travel experiences that fit the interests and budgets of individual consumers. It’s a step towards a time in the future when, I believe, computers will serve as truly personal travel advisors—enabling people to do everything from arranging the perfect vacation to making last minute-changes with the minimum of fuss.

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Toby Lewis, Editor, Global Corporate Venturing

Toby Lewis, Editor, Global Corporate Venturing

By Toby Lewis

IBM made a hugely exciting move in the world of venture capital a few months ago when it committed $100 million in a bid to boost its new IBM Watson Group business unit, which provides cloud services using Watson cognitive computing technology. The goal is to use targeted venture funding to help establish a sprawling ecosystem of companies that build web services and mobile apps on top of the Watson platform.

The strategy is a pioneering move within the field of corporate venturing. Typically corporations invest venture money in companies that are aligned with their technology and strategy. Sometimes they end up buying the companies they invest in. But IBM is pushing the model further than others by using its investments to help establish a new business ecosystem for a particular business unit.

For this reason, Global Corporate Venturing, the only media publication exclusively dedicated to tracking how corporates are investing in venture capital, gave IBM our Fundraising of the Year Award.

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FangBy Steve Hamm
IBM Writer

Fang, a cute plush toy who is much smarter than your average (stuffed) bear, is not something that IBM Watson Group had on its drawing boards. But the creative geniuses at a New York City startup, Majestyk Apps, dreamed up this novel way of using the power of Watson to delight and teach children.

Majestyk was one of three winners of the IBM Watson Mobile Developer Challenge, who were announced today. The others were GenieMD, of Pleasanton, Calif., a maker of mobile personal healthcare apps; and Red Ant, of London, England, a a provider of mobile technology for the retailing industry. Continue Reading »

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Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group

Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group

By Michael Rhodin

When IBM’s Watson arrived on the scene three years ago, it did one thing really well: Answer written questions very quickly on a wide range of topics. It amazed all of us with its understanding of language and its ability to sort through vast amounts of data in seconds. But that was just the beginning.

Today, IBM Watson is on a path to augment and scale human expertise on a variety of dimensions. As a software geek, I’m really excited about this. We’re architecting a technology development system, called the Watson Platform, which will be like a library for cognitive technologies. Scientists within IBM Research and engineers in the Watson Group are building discrete cognitive components that can be pulled off the virtual shelf by developers at IBM, by entrepreneurs and by corporate developers–and used in any number of applications. Continue Reading »

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Claudia Fan Munce, Managing Director, IBM Venture Capital Group

Claudia Fan Munce,
Managing Director, IBM Venture Capital Group

By Claudia Fan Munce

IBM has long had a keen interest in tech startups. For nearly two decades, behind the scenes, we forged relationships with venture capitalists to learn about their portfolio companies with an eye to acquiring some of the best of them when the time was right. That strategy served us well. Over the past decade, we have acquired more than 120 companies for a total of more than $34 billion dollars in critically strategic areas such as cloud computing, digital marketing and data analytics.

But oh how our world is changing.

Today, IBM is emerging as a major player in the startup economy. We continue to pursue our acquisition strategy, but now we’re doing much more. We have begun to invest directly in startups, we offer cloud services for thousands of born-on-the-Web companies, and we’re working with startups to help them build services powered by Watson, the cognitive computing system that shook up the world by beating two former grand-champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!. Continue Reading »

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