A few days ago, I posted some of Ron Shmelzer's observations bemoaning the decline of enterprise software startups. Where did they all go?
It seems some of the big guys also are concerned about the lack of startups in the current economic climate. IBM, for one, has just announced it is opening up its clouds and resources to help startups get past the lanch phases. IBM says its "IBM Global Entrepreneur" initiative provides start-ups with no-charge access to industry-specific technologies in a cloud computing environment. Under the new program, IBM will provide access to its Research community as well as sales, marketing and technical skills.
Perhaps fear of a dry spell in entrepreneurial initiatives is what spurred Intel Corporation to recently announce that it is partnering with 24 VC firms and commit more than $3 billion in funding for startups over the next three years.
IBM said its program offers access to IBM's software portfolio through a cloud computing environment, including IBM industry frameworks to accelerate software development; as well as opportunities to work side-by-side scientists and technology experts from IBM Research to develop new technologies. IBM also is offering a new social networking community on IBM developerWorks to connect with other entrepreneurs and more than eight million IT professionals from around the world.
It's clear the big vendors only understand all too well that having innovation dry up in the market will only hurt their own businesses in the long run. Rigor mortis can set in pretty quickly to a company that becomes too insulated.