With IBM’s struggle to impress Wall Street, IBM is shifting their cloud strategy with more emphasis on attracting startups into it’s SoftLayer cloud. The latest news coming out of the Armonk, NY based company mentions that Big Blue will put up to $10,000 per month in free credits into selected startups SoftLayer accounts.
In addition to this generous offering, IBM will also provide free access to enterprise applications and the BlueMix development platform. Startups will receive support in the form of mentoring as well as free SoftLayer support. Selected startups could get the opportunity to meet with some of IBM’s clients, which could prove to be lucrative if the next big thing in cloud is built on top of SoftLayer.
Sandy Carter, IBM’s General Manager of Ecosystem Development, is credited with proposing the program for IBM. Carter mentioned, “Our mantra is speed and our mission is to grow out our cloud business.” Carter continued commenting by saying, “There’s so much potential in the global economy for entrepreneurs.”
Carter may have a point considering how well connected IBM is in the international business market. Carter pitched the idea to the powers that be at IBM and the proposition was met with excitement and enthusiasm. IBM has a few general rules and guidelines that startups must meet before being accepted in the program. Startups can not be more than 5 years old and the startups must have received previous funding either from an angel investor, a venture capital firm or a small business accelerator. Startups may also qualify for investments from IBM’s venture capital group once accepted into the program.
The Wall Street Journal reports that two companies have already been accepted into this program. Ustream.tv, on of the web’s top resources in streaming video and GRID mobile have received funding and mentorship from IBM. Many more startups are expected to follow.