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This is big. IBM South Africa today confirmed that its Global Entrepreneur Program will for the first time, be extended to entrepreneurs in South Africa.
Startups that are privately held, have been in business for five years or less and are actively engaged in developing a software based product or service, are being called on to sign up for this global initiative.
“The Global Entrepreneur Programme is focused on helping early stage entrepreneurs to capture emerging business opportunities, especially in fast growing industries such as energy, utilities, healthcare and telecommunications. We are looking to convert startups to speed-ups by providing coaching and connections to IBM clients and partners. We want to help these startups to get to market faster and at the same time, provide IBM clients with the hottest new technologies,” says Clayton Booysen, ISV and Developer Relations Lead for IBM South Africa.
South Africa is one of 10 additional markets, including Brazil, China, Mexico, Turkey, Spain and Germany, to join the Global Entrepreneur Program and will host SmartCamps in October 2012.
In addition to fostering technological advances, IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program supplements the company’s Venture Capital Group, by encouraging important strategic relationships with VCs and the startup community. Since its inception in 2000, IBM’s Venture Capital Group has worked to build strategic relationships with top-tier VCs, focusing on growth markets and emerging technologies important to IBM and its clients.
Concludes Booysen: “We have a deep commitment to the entrepreneurial community; one that we believe is being stepped up in South Africa and Africa, through our inclusion in this year’s initiative.”
The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, established in 2010 provides coaching and connections to IBM clients and partners. IBM says that the programme has helped launch more than 500 new businesses in key areas such as green energy, healthcare and transportation.
For more information check out IBM SmartCamp. There will be an event hosted in Cape Town on 25 October.