IBM today launched its Global Initiative for start-ups to help them capture emerging business opportunities in fast-growing industries like energy and utilities, health care, telecommunications and government.

Announcing the launch of the initiative here, James M. Corgel, General Manager, IBM ISV and Developer relations said the initiative provides start-ups with no-charge access to industry-specific technologies in cloud computing environment.

Under the program,IBM would provide access to its research community as well as sales, marketing and technical skills.

With its Smarter Planet strategy and investment of over USD 6 billion in research, IBM is skilled in building product and service offerings for businesses based on new ideas, he said.

Pramod Haque, Managing Partner,Norwest Venture Products,one of IBM’s VC partners through whom the start-up are to be identified said “a large number of venture capital investments in technology industry will be targeted at entrepreneurs in U.S., China, Israel, U K, Germany, France and India“.

Under the new initiative, start-ups for the first time can access IBM’s software portfolio through a cloud computing environment, including IBM industry frameworks to accelerate software development; work with scientists and technology experts from IBM Research to develop new technologies, Mr. Corgel said.

The program will also enable start—ups take advantage of dedicated IBM project managers to assist in product development, attend new IBM SmartCamp mentoring and networking workshops with VC firms, government leaders, academics and industry experts at the global network of 40 IBM Innovation Centers to build business and go—to—mark, Mr. Corgel said.

“The initiative will also help start—ups a new social networking community on IBM develoWorks to connect with other entrepreneurs and over eight million IT professionals from around the world”, he said.

IBM will announce the initiative 300 VCs, start—ups and business, government and academic leaders at a forum here tomorrow.

IBM’s Claudia Fan Munce, Vice—President,Corporate Strategy and Managing Director,IBM Venture Capital Group said “business around the world are increasingly applying new technologies to address industry—specific needs. This would help entrepreneurs gain skills they need to bring new ideas to market faster using IBM technology to acclerate industry transformation“.

As part of this program, IBM is collaborating with 19 global industry and technology associations to identify and connect local start—ups to the initiative throughout 2010.

“We are looking at 100 start—ups from India by the end of this year for the program”, Ms. Claudia said.

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