Deadline: Ongoing | Apply here
Early-stage startups
Prize: Up to $120K IBM Cloud credits
Duration: 12 months

The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program

Build, launch, and scale your business on IBM Cloud

It takes more than hard work and determination to transform an idea into an enterprise. By applying the technology, scale, and resources of IBM to your startup solution you can quickly bring your business to market fast alongside a global community of business experts, corporate executives, and industry leaders who are ready and waiting to support you along your startup journey. Join the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program and receive up to $120K IBM Cloud credits for platform or infrastructure as a service. That means you can start deploying your application quickly with Bluemix or start building your solution securely with SoftLayer.

IBM is launching a game-changing play with the new IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft cannot touch IBM in delivering the full range of value to the entrepreneur community.

Industry leading program benefits include:

  • Highest value cloud startup offering in market—Up to $120K USD of IBM Cloud services
  • Only vendor with a program to connect entrepreneurs and enterprise clients (1)
  • Extensive global network of local technical expertise at 43 Innovation Centers worldwide
  • A leading vendor to offer go-to-market and mentor advice to entrepreneurs

Program includes the following IBM Cloud Services:

  • SoftLayer
  • Bluemix including: Cloudant on Bluemix and Performance Management on Bluemix

Go-to-market support
IBM connects you with an extensive network of partners and clients to help you get ready for market. Attend major international events and conferences, gain access to potential funding opportunities, or compete in IBM SmartCamp, a global competition for rising startups to compete for the title of IBM Global Entrepreneur of the year while learning, growing and getting prepared to go-to-market along the way.

Business mentorship and service

Design your ideal mentorship experience. Connect with a global network of business experts. Choose to be part of IBM SmartCamp, network with other founders and startup teams in your local city, or tap into the comprehensive network of IBM research centers, distinguished engineers, and developers with experience in cutting-edge technology and services. If your business has additional needs, you can enjoy a range of service discounts for things like hotels, car rentals, and beyond.

Technical expertise
Consult in-person or virtually with technical experts who will guide you through applying IBM Cloud technology to your ideas and help you migrate from your existing infrastructure or platform. As a program member, you qualify for technical enablement, training, and support, whether your solution is related to Watson, Mobile, Internet of Things, or beyond. Connect with a local Cloud Advisor to gain direct live access to a technical professional.


This offering is targeted at early stage companies. IBM is offering up to $120K USD of cloud credits. Credit caps will be at $10,000 USD per month total for those eligible entrepreneurs with the criteria below who are working with an IBM approved VC, accelerator, or incubator. Other eligible entrepreneurs can receive up to $1,000 USD per month total.

  • Less than five years since first incorporation
  • Less than $1M USD in annual revenue
  • Not a previous program user
  • Cannot be a prior customer
  • Affiliation to IBM preferred community
  • IBM reserves the right to prioritize based on additional criteria

Note: To receive up to $120K USD in credits, startups must also be working with an IBM approved VC, accelerator, incubator, or community partner.


Startup organizations first need to submit an application for the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups. The application will be reviewed by IBM. Upon approval, the company’s submitter will receive an email notification from IBM with specific instructions on how to gain access to the program’s cloud services and benefits.

Get more details from the FAQs

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