Ask Jason Calacanis Your Startup Question – #TwitterChat 8/20 – 11 am PST

On track to apply for a SmartCamp in your city? Why not hone your entrepreneurial skillset in advance by tuning in this Thursday for a live Tweet session with internet entrepreneur, Jason Calacanis of LAUNCH Incubator.

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All you have to do is tune into Twitter this Thursday August 20th from 11 am to 12 pm Pacific Standard Time and Tweet questions using the hashtag #IBMSmartCamp while mentioning @Jason.

Ask that burning question about how to perfect your pitch or differentiate your startup amongst others Thursday, then apply for a SmartCamp in your city: http://www.smartcamp2015.com/.

Don’t forget to spread the word, here’s a Tweet to help you get started:

. is hosting a  w/  8/20 11am PST. Tweet questions w/@jason and & watch–> 

Click here to reach Twitter: www.twitter.com.

See you there!

IBM SmartCamp Chicago Application Deadline Passed: Join the Pitch Competition Audience!

This week was the application deadline for the Chicago SmartCamp happening August 25th and we were happy to see a variety of healthcare startups apply in partnership with our friends at Technori, a startup showcase where nearly 500 tech enthusiasts gather each month to watch as five of Chicago’s most innovative startups present their solutions.

Didn’t make the cut as an applicant? You can still be a part of the demo event audience happening on August 25th at 6:00 pm.

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Click here to join the audience. Come early to grab your seat for the pitch competition at The Chase Auditorium at 10 South Dearborn Street Chicago, Illinois 60603.

If you’re interested in applying for SmartCamps in one of the other thirty city options, click here to see the full location listings and application deadlines.

Why you want to demo and pitch at LAUNCH Festival

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You might’ve heard that this year’s SmartCamp events are being powered by LAUNCH. Why did we decide to do this? Because we attended LAUNCH Festival last year and were blown away by the opportunities for founders to demo, learn, and launch. We wanted to give those same opportunities to our SmartCamp participants and Global Entrepreneur members, so that’s what we’re going to do!
This year, ten SmartCamp semi-finalists from around the world will be given the opportunity to demo at both LAUNCH Festival and LAUNCH Scale! (What’s LAUNCH Scale? We will tell you about it next week).
Here are the top 3 reasons why you want to attend LAUNCH Festival:
1.    Demo – Angel investor Jason Calacanis was tired of seeing conferences where startups had to pay thousands of dollars to demo, so he made a conference where demoing was free. The catch? Jason and his team curate the demo pit by extending invitations only to the smartest and most innovative companies they find. Getting to demo at LAUNCH Festival is quite an honor – and also a good opportunity to meet potential investors.

2.    Learn – In 2015 some of the speakers were: Andrew Mason, Jeff Weiner, Marc Benioff, Naval Ravikant, Peter Thiel, and Yancey Strickler. So when you’re not in the demo pit securing your next round of investment or finding your next big client, you can learn from the folks that made Silicon Valley what it is.

3.    Launch – This is really what LAUNCH Festival is all about. Throughout the event startups get on stage and do a live demo to compete for various prizes. Past winners include Mint, Yammer, DropBox, Stack OverFlow and FitBit. Not a bad group of alumni.
While all ten of the SmartCamp semi-finalists get to demo at Festival, three finalists also get to demo live on stage for the final leg of their journey through IBM SmartCamp. There are no losers here – of course one of those companies will land a spot in the LAUNCH Incubator and a $25K investment from Jason Calacanis.

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Christine Boyle, founder Valor Water, developed tools to fix our broken water system & recoup losses

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Jason Calacanis talking water system improvement and plugging SmartCamps 2015 last week on “This Week in Startups.” Thank you Jason!

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There’s A New Way to Startup – IBM meets Reality TV

What happens when IBM meets Social Entrepreneurship meets Reality TV? We’re about to find out! On April 26th, 2015, the first episode of an IBM original web series called “A New Way to Startup” will be released here.

What’s this all about?

Ten social entrepreneurs were picked to pitch their startups at SXSW last month and now five of them are moving forward and moving in together for a week in Austin, TX to participate in a series of daily challenges using IBM technology like Watson Analytics and IBM Verse.

Who are the social entrepreneurs?

The entrepreneurs include:

Aaron Horowitz from Sproutel, who is building the “Sesame Street of healthcare.” Horowitz was inspired by his experience dealing with a terminal illness as a child to create a new way of teaching kids about chronic illnesses like Type 1 diabetes;

John Guydon from LassyProject, whose mission is to find lost children faster by giving parents the ability to notify a community about a missing child within seconds;

Jordan from Owlet, who created a baby monitor in the form of a sock that infants wear to protect their heartrate and oxygen levels;

Lauren Foster, from Stretch Recipes, whose mission is to help people eat better and save more money through “an app that lets you choose your budget, pick your meals and automatically get coupons;”

Stephen Garten, from Charity Charge, who created a credit card rewards website that’s partnering with banks to help cardholders contribute their points to their charity of choice.

Hear all ten pitches and meet the five finalists here. And be sure to watch the series because viewers will be in charge of voting for the winning social enterprise!

Good luck to all the entrepreneurs!

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4 Reasons Why Hybrid Cloud is Becoming the New Normal

To understand why every cloud in the future will be a hybrid cloud, you must realize that cloud is a key enabler of business model transformation. To remain competitive and relevant, every business must transform and adapt.

Let’s examine four major reasons that support the assertion that hybrid clouds will be the standard.

The majority of businesses have some type of existing IT infrastructure, which makes it unrealistic to move all services to the cloud.

As much as service providers would like, few businesses will be able to completely eliminate their IT infrastructure and rely solely on the cloud. Many businesses sign long-term leases for data center space and purchase capital assets for their IT infrastructure that are depreciated over several years. Most businesses simply aren’t positioned to move all legacy applications to the cloud.

While many providers define a hybrid cloud as the utilization of private and public clouds, IBM opens up the idea that traditional IT can be paired and integrated with external or even internal clouds. This means that you don’t need to move all of your traditional IT infrastructure to a private cloud before you can use a hybrid cloud approach.

Businesses can no longer afford to build out dedicated infrastructures that have been designed to support peak capacity needs.

The typical IT infrastructure must be designed and built for peak utilization. These processes typically take between three and 12 months, given the lead time to deploy and achieve steady state.

The average utilization of physical servers tends to be no more than 12 to 18 percent. Businesses have begun to virtualize their physical servers to potentially increase this utilization rate into the 30 to 40 percent range, if the virtualized servers are in a resource pool.

One way to increase utilization is to create a private cloud. This cloud would essentially be a group of virtualized servers in resource pools with self-service portals that allow new server workloads to easily be created, modified and deleted. This would expand the ability of a business to use the private cloud across lines of business with different peak needs, and can help drive utilization up to approximately 50 percent.

To drive physical servers up near 80 percent usually requires multi-tenant public clouds with a mix of businesses that have varying peak demand time periods. Many consider this to be an oversubscription of servers for individual customers, but this model can be successful since customers will have peak needs at different times.

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Customer expectations continue to shift.

Gone for many are the days of finding a product or service and sticking with it over time. The Internet affords customers the ability to quickly compare prices, availability and reviews of similar products and services. In addition, social media influences purchasing decisions, raising the demand of low sales products and services and often taking local demand to global levels. This drives variability to individual business demand, and non-cloud IT infrastructures simply cannot be adjusted quickly enough to avoid lost sales and lost business opportunities, as customers will simply move on to the next provider.

Regulations often force some data to remain on client premises.

While business demands may shift from local to global, there are often local regulations that force some business data to remain local. Typical examples are the European Union Data Protection Directive, as well as any governmental regulations for finance, banking, healthcare or insurance. Keeping this data local while utilizing a cloud for global expansion of the business can be a great solution to these issues.

Join in the conversation and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or by reaching out to us on Twitter @DavidWeck and @AJirau.

This post was co-authored by Ariel Jirau

About David Weck

David is an Architect leading the Global Delivery Planning of Cloud Managed Services within IBM’s Cloud Service Division. CMS provides options for Public on IBM premise and Private on Cient premise Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). He creates and interlocks the delivery model, the cost model, and guides new releases of CMS into production. David can be reached on Twitter @DavidWeck.

Coffee Break: Jason McGee, IBM Cloud CTO explains why this is the year of the hybrid cloud!

Originally posted on Social Media to Social Business:

Cloud is transforming entire industries around us! I recently caught up with Jason McGee, IBM Fellow and IBM Cloud CTO, who explains how cloud changes the way apps are being built and why this is the year of the hybrid cloud.

We’ll be discussing more of these topics at IBM InterConnect this week!

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