Part 3: Looking for Grants? Funding? Mentors? A Global Backing from the Largest Company? A Global Network and Market Access? Then IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Programme is best for you. IBM announced the launch of the inaugural IBM SmartCamp Kickstart ASEAN programme last month. Facilitated by IBM, the exclusive event is designed to identify early stage entrepreneurs who are developing business ventures that align with IBM Smarter Planet vision. SmartCamp KickStart events are part of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program. Find out more on how you can be a part of this movement as we chat with IBM’s ISV and Developer’s team on how they can support your next startup aspirations.
1) As one of the world’s most iconic IT brand, what advice would you have for entrepreneurs in the technology field inMalaysiato innovate a winning technological product? Any traits that they must know to create a product that IBM would potentially invest in?
IBM’s 2015 strategic roadmap focuses on Cloud Computing, Business Analytics and making the planet smarter through our Smarter Planet agenda. Any technology that are intelligent, interconnected and instrumented which will make the way we operate smarter, would be a great technology that will make a difference to the world.
2) As one of the organizers for the IBM SmartCamp, based on your experience of judging entries by entrepreneurs – Which qualities are most important to determine the success of a startup? – Would it be Best Products OR Best Team? And why?
In my opinion, it would be the Best Team – we have seen companies with great ideas and great products but when coupled with a strong and visionary management team, the ideas/products could be driven to a direction that would otherwise not occur to one with a weak team. That is the reason that the SmartCamp brings together a group of mentors and venture capitalist to provide a different perspective and to show the companies the importance of having a great team.
3) IBM has been such an innovative company where you provide Cloud Computing solutions to assist SMEs and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses digitally. What are some of your key products that you would recommend entrepreneurs to get and why?
Entrepreneurs need technology to help them leapfrog their idea further. They should not worry about the technology and should focus on their solution. Technology is IBM’s expertise. Solution is theirs. I would suggest our core runtime technologies to power their idea and these runtime technology are also available in the IBM cloud, providing a low cost of entry and ability to reach out to a wider market.
4) As the Head for the IBM SmartCamp programme, what would be your advice to people out there who want to succeed as entrepreneurs in today’s highly competitive world?
Having a strong partner that not only be able to give you the technology but have the industry expertise (eg: banking, government, telecommunications, etc) to help you succeed in the market, is important. Many entrepreneurs look at the vendor as a technology provider but forget that to survive, they also need mentoring/advice from people who have experience in the industry. They also need to have the strong network of contacts that the IBM ecosystem is able to provide, and they also need to have market access.
5) Lastly, which industry would you think is an emerging industry that most Malaysian-based entrepreneurs should tackle in order to seize their next startup success?
Besides the standard Banking and Insurance, and Financial Services sector – which form significant pillars of the IT industry – we are seeing growth of opportunities and markets in the Utilities, Telco and Natural Resources (oil and gas) sectors.
End of Part 3 – This Concludes the IBM’s Global Entrepreneurs Programme campaign with Entrepreneurs.my
For more info on GEP, please visit www.ibm.com/isv/startup
### Special thanks to IBM Malaysia for collaborating with Entrepreneurs.my to provide an in-depth interview with the leadership team behind the Global Entrepreneurs Programme in our joint efforts to help Entrepreneurs Grow ###
### Special thanks to Mr. Long Fong Yee, Manager, ISV and Developer Relations, for IBM Malaysia ###
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