Angela Bates: How to apply & succeed with IBM’s Global Entrepreneurship Program

Girls in Tech met with Angela Bates, the leader of IBM Global Entrepreneur and Startup programmes for the UK and Ireland, to discuss entrepreneurship and tips to successfully apply to IBM Global Entrepreneur and Startup program.

Find out more about the program and meet Angela at Girls Night Out IBM networking event this Thursday October 2nd 2014. The event is organized by IBM in partnership with three major female London tech groups together: TLA London Tech Women, Stemettes and naturally Girls in Tech!

There has been a lot of talk about women leadership recently. What does it mean for you to be a “leader” in your work? 

In my role as leader of the IBM Global Entrepreneur programme, it’s about bringing people together to do new, innovative things. I connect entrepreneurs with investors, startup organisations, clients and other IBM’ers to help build their software solutions and grow their business in partnership with IBM. It’s also important to be visible, deliver on your promises, plan your career and manage your work-life balance.

What do you perceive being the common trait of success from the members in your programme? Can you describe the moment when, after entering the programme, they start maturing and taking off with their business? Is there a common pattern? 

There are a number of criteria I look for in a technology startup, but foremost is they need a really great team. A team that understands their customers and the problem they are trying to solve and how uniquely their solution fixes those problems.They also have partnering in their DNA and actively seek to build an ecosystem around them to keep them on track. We understand that a great team sometimes needs to pivot their business a few times before they become successful, so IBM Global Entrepreneur offers a 3-year technology partnership with tech startups. During this time we explore how integration of IBM technology into the startups’ solution might opens up additional revenue streams for us both.

If you had three good pieces of advice for girls starting a company what would it be? 

Be relentlessly curious and actively seek opportunities to build your ecosystem and take advice.

Embrace change as it allows you to grow the business and help your company stay competitive

Don’t be afraid to fail – successful businesses often pivot several times before making it big

What are your tips to apply successfully to the program?

To apply for the Global Entrepreneur progamme, your business needs to be privately held and less than five years old. It also needs to be actively engaged in or will develop a software-based product or service. Think about how your software solution aligns with IBM growth initiatives, such as cloud, big data, analytics, mobile, social, and security. You should also consider what you are looking for from a technology partnership with IBM.

What are things you have learnt in your career that you wished you had known earlier?

It doesn’t matter how good you in your field, without guidance, advice, or mentorship it’s impossible to reach the top!

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Meet Angela this Thursday 2nd of October at Shoreditch Village Hall for a night of female tech networking to learn more about opportunities for Girls in the London Tech Industry as well as with IBM. Your free ticket here.

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