Win a Beacon Award for Being the Best New Application on IBM Cloud From an Entrepreneur

The Beacon Awards are IBM’s most prestigious Business Partner awards recognizing innovation and technical excellence. Winning a Beacon Award not only puts your firm in the spotlight, but on a path to greater opportunity.  This year, there are more than twenty-four awards recognizing achievement across a wide-range of solution areas, including: Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security. We are excited that for the first time, this year, we have an award developed specifically to recognize our innovative cloud startups, The Best New Application on IBM Cloud from an Entrepreneur.

To Be Considered for this Award, Follow These Steps:
1.  Make sure you are a member of IBM PartnerWorld, if you are not already a member, it is free to join, click here.

2.  Submit your nomination form for your chosen award, click here.   

3.  Submit a client reference to go with your award.
  You will have the opportunity to submit your reference when accessing the Beacon Award nomination page.

Click here to learn more about these four steps to success.

Winners will be recognized at the PartnerWorld Leadership Conference (PWLC) in Orlando, February 15-18, 2016 and will receive (1) complimentary registration and hotel accommodations. Winning firms will also receive a number of other key benefits, including: press release support, broad promotion at PWLC, promotion on the PartnerWorld website, a Beacon Award mark and a custom video.

If you have any questions about the nomination process you can email:, who is assigned to help our IBM startups, or, for overall program questions.

The deadline to submit nominations for the 2016 Beacon Awards is Friday, November 20, 2015 @ 5:00 p.m. EST.  I would encourage you to take the time to submit a nomination for your most innovative solution of 2015

Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your most innovative solution to IBM Senior Leadership, as well as our channel Ecosystem.  

Useful Links

Zaahah: Engaging Family and Community in Education Through a New Kind of Social Network

James Sisneros, founder of Zaahah, is ready to help schools manage life after the bell. His uniform social networking platform called Zaahah supports community engagement through a K-12 social networking platform designed to help build community, manage extracurricular activities and enable safe online discovery.


“I am excited about partnering with IBM through the Global Entrepreneur Program because IBM is such a powerful brand. Together we can improve education through parent and student involvement,” said James.

James developed Zaahah to fill a need in the education system. Schools currently need a way to connect and benefit all stakeholders in education.

Zaahah is great for student, parent and alumni involvement. It’s designed to help schools manage extracurricular activities, share non-academic information with parents, alumni and the community and create a school-wide platform for engagement and involvement.

Zaahah allows an incoming freshman to meet his classmates before he even begins his first day of high school. He can then interact with them throughout his high school career and his group becomes an alumni group upon graduation. Throughout high school he can safely explore interests and connect with other student who share that interest.

Zaahah allows users to create clubs for any type of school or student activity, whether sports, interests, or leadership. It blocks adult – student interaction and is considered one of the safest social networks for kids. Zaahah is free for schools and education associations. In fact, James has plans for Zaahah to generate revenue for schools.

Zaahah is currently being used by in Pennsylvania, Florida and California.

Follow the Zaahah story, visit:

Event Recap: 360Fashion and Technology Innovation Awards

Exploring cloud technology trends through the lens of fashion, we were happy to join forces with The 360Fashion Network to co-host an evening of innovation at The Metreon in San Francisco on Tuesday night.


In an evening of entrepreneurial innovation, The 360Fashion & Tech “Startup Runway & Innovation Awards” featured wearable technology products, fashion startups, and international apparel designers, representing the intersection of fashion and technology.

While demoing products and viewing presentations, attendees, startups, early adopters and product users intermingled to continue the conversation around IBM Cloud and Bluemix software.

Just in case you were unable to attend this revolutionary event, take a look at some video footage and photos of our key event speakers and industry influencers and continue to follow the event conversation on Twitter at the hashtag #IBM360F.

Photo Album

Sandy Carter:


Howard Rheingold:


App the Table:


Findability and Fashion:

Limuahii Couture:

Show Don’t Tell:

A big thank you to the event sponsors Micron Technology and Loeb & Loeb!



And to The 360Fashion Network as well as all other participants!


Tech Trends: Fashion Meets Technology Gearing up for 360Fashion and Tech Innovation Awards

Today at IBM, we’re gearing up for The 360Fashion and Technology Awards in San Francisco: The world’s most talented technology startups and guest speakers are coming together to look at technology trends through the lens of fashion. While the event is sold out, we’re excited to announce a new way for you to engage with the fashion and technology conversation from wherever you are.

Graphic #1

To continue the conversation around fashion and technology, take part in this one-day challenge facilitated by Ta-Dah, a new social media app where you can connect, challenge, compete and be entered to win a set of Beats by Dre headphones.
Graphic #2
Interested in participating? Follow these simple instructions:
1. Download the Ta-Dah app at
2. Upload a video that is up to 30 seconds in length
3. Share and gather votes for a chance to win a pair of Beats by Dre Headphones
4. A winner will be selected at 12 am PST November 4, 2015 and will be notified by email from Ta-Dah
The Ta-Dah app is a great example of an innovative solution running on IBM Cloud. This challenge is open to all.
Join in the excitement of tonight’s event and follow the 360Fashion and Tech story on Twitter @IBMGE #IBM360F #IBMGE.
Good luck!

The Best Way to Get Market Traction by Thomas Kehler, Chief Scientist Crowdsmart

Traction! Every startup wants it. Every investor requires it, but it is sometimes incredibly elusive. The best way to get traction is to become a great listener. Apply the Lean Startup notion of simple, fast experiments that test behavior not intention. Find ways to quickly test the promise you are making to customers. When I say quickly I mean hours or days.


Once you have a test, listen with keen attention. Focus on measurement. Ask your prospective customer, “Would you buy this?” Then record the reasons why or why not. For those who say no, ask them “Is there anything I could do to make this of interest to you?” Once you have an engaged customer, re-engage them by demonstrating you have heard them. Invite them to be part of your “inner-circle” of advisors and find out ways to create incentives for them.


As a startup your goal should be to determine if you have a product worth recommending. If you don’t know about the Net Promoter Score find out about it. Look it up on line or better yet join us for the webinar Wednesday October 21st at 12 pm EST:

How to Avoid a Cultural Implosion as You Scale Your Startup – By Guest Contributor, Bill Nussey

Earlier this week, I had a chance to speak at one of Silicon Valley’s larger startup events, LAUNCH Scale.

Start ups can fail for many reasons. Lack of funding. Insufficient market opportunity. Poor product fit. But the most tragic source of failure occurs when a company survives all these challenges only to implode due to entirely internal reasons like scaling their operations and technology.

My speech focused on the most tragic, least talked about and all-too common source of implosions: scaling culture.


Some of the topics I covered included:

  •  The three stages of start up growth: Family (<25 people), Tribe (25-125 people) and Town (125+ people)
  • Common reasons why startups can culturally implode: Too much stuff, generalist to specialist, Dunbar’s number.
  • Survival tips on avoiding a cultural implosion: Avoid the Right Leaders at the Wrong Time , Set Three Goals Per Person , Keep Placing Small Strategic Bets and Embrace a Mission

I was really amazed at all the people I talked with later in the day whose stories reflected these challenges. Some had happy endings. Some did not. Quite a few were happening live. Thanks to IBM, the LAUNCH team and all the great startup leaders I met for the opportunity to share my experiences.

You can see the presentation in Slideshare here or download it in PDF format here . I’ve also created a second version that has all my speaker notes (click here).

LAUNCH Scale is a joint effort between Jason Calacanis’s LAUNCH event series, IBM’s Global Entrepreneur program and IBM’s SmartCamps.

This blog post was originally posted on Bill Nussey’s blog Please click here to view the original blog post.

IBM SmartCamp 2015 Semi-Finalists Weigh In on SmartCamp


That’s a wrap. The IBM SmartCamp semi-finalists spent the early part of this week at LAUNCH Scale in San Francisco learning from some of the biggest names in technology, while gaining the knowledge needed to refine their solutions in preparation for LAUNCH Festival in March. At the end of LAUNCH Festival, one of the semi-finalists will walk away with a place in well-known investor, Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH Incubator with a 25K investment.




While live streaming on Periscope, we got the chance to hear about all ten of the semi-finalists experiences at LAUNCH Scale this week, and how the IBM SmartCamp program has brought their startups to where they are today. Take a look at these videos to learn more about the semi-finalists’ SmartCamp experiences.

  1. BitSensor:
  2. Lime Company:
  3. Gridcomm:
  4. Eight Wire Data:
  5. Congo:
  6. Capptu:
  7. Bquate:
  8. Connectio/Visualtis:
  9. Yosko: Prefers not to release video
  10. The Car Force:

Continue to follow the IBM SmartCamp story on Twitter:!