Aiming to seed IT markets in the developing world, IBM Corp has announcing a pair of initiatives designed to mentor software developers while coordinating investment strategies with several venture firms.
One of the new programs, IBM’s Virtual Mentoring Initiative, expands on developer workshops and training programs that are already delivered at 25 company centers around the world. For the developing world, IBM is extending the program from in-person to on line.
Among the primary targets for the programs are India and China, where IDC estimates the number of developers is growing at roughly 25% annual rates. Brazil and Russia are also prime targets for the program.
Since 1995, IBM has invested over $250m in efforts that have helped thousands of third party software vendors enable over 14,000 applications on IBM platforms. And in the past year, these programs drew roughly 400 developers daily in emerging markets.
Software developers they can get interactive access with IBM architects which are modeled after what we’ve been teaching at the innovation centers, said IBM’s Mark Hanny, vice president of developer relations for ISV Alliances.
Today, IBM offers roughly 40 workshops providing developers with guidelines on how to build solutions that are based on open industry standards such as Linux, Java, RFID, data compression and other areas.
These workshops range from a couple hours to a few days in length. To reach developers and vendors in harder to reach locales, IBM is adapting many of these offerings to an online interactive basis.
Additionally, IBM is forming a new Venture Capital Advisory Council to extend activity already performed by the company’s Menlo Park venture arm in Silicon Valley.