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IBM launches its own cloud credit program for startups

By Max Burkhalter
November 12, 2014

IBM has finally arrived at the cloud credit party. Google recently launched its own cloud credit program, which offers $100,000 worth of cloud services to start ups willing to grow on its cloud services, according to Gigaom. IBM has since upped the ante with a $120,000 offer and access to the tech giant's extensive network of connections. Amazon and Microsoft host competing programs as well, offering $15,000 and $60,000 respectively. The four-way contest for developer attention reflects how essential cloud services have become to IT. Startups benefit most from the competition, and now have the opportunity to expand their company with a healthy financial boost from IBM.

Trading services for street cred
One of the major factors defining IBM's cloud credit strategy, specifically the $120,000 worth of cloud services on the table, is Big Blue's interest in building relationships with communities of up-and-coming tech innovators, said Data Center Knowledge. IBM's influence with this younger market is relatively non-existent, and offering the most robust services package on the market is an easy way for the company to draw the attention of young entrepreneurs. Creating success stories on its platform is also an extremely important long-term goal for IBM, as the strength of the companies running Big Blue's services will ultimately determine the platform's life cycle.

IBM stacks the deck for startups
Not a company to leave matters of business up to chance, IBM has taken a vested interest in making sure its startups are successful in the long term. Access to IBM's extensive cloud services will certainly help startups bound over the traditional pitfalls that hold new companies back. For example, startups whose members are divided geographically between multiple states can often find difficulty collaborating on projects or quickly sharing information. Shared access to IBM's cloud infrastructure supplemented by a remote console server would ensure that all members of the company had rapid access to each other's information.

IBM has also promised that all startup companies are provided mentorship opportunities. Fresh companies can falter for lack of connections and know-how, so IBM plans to bring selected startups to networking dinners where they will meet industry experts that could help their business grow. Big Blue plans to provide business training for participating startups as well.

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