IBM Bets on Brazilian Innovation

IBM Bets on Brazilian Innovation
Big Blue’s new initiative to stimulate development of Brazil’s nascent tech industry is the latest sign of the country’s rising power

By Spencer E. Ante

Over the last few years, China and India have emerged as the twin hot spots of emerging tech innovation. Now IBM (IBM) is betting that one of the next big technology stars will be Brazil.

In the latest sign of Brazil’s rising power, Big Blue is announcing on Aug. 18 a new initiative to stimulate the development of the country’s technology sector. To kick off the effort, IBM is hosting its first-ever forum for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs in São Paulo along with FINEP, the Brazilian government agency that finances technology development. The daylong event will bring together more than 100 investors and dozens of new companies looking for investment and business advice.

IBM is also launching a Portuguese version of its developerWorks Web site, which provides free programs and online teaching guides that help programmers build skills in the Java programming language, the Linux operating system, and IBM products such as Lotus. To host the event, IBM has dispatched Claudia Fan Munce, managing director of IBM Venture Capital Group, and Steve Mills, senior vice-president and group executive of IBM’s $20 billion Software Group, a clear sign of the growing importance of Brazil to the IBM portfolio.

“We have been watching Brazil for a while,” says Munce, who grew up in Brazil. “The time is right.”

Check out the rest of my BusinessWeek story here.

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2 Responses to “IBM Bets on Brazilian Innovation”

  1. Bob Ackerman Says:

    Great piece Spencer. While we are all looking west to India and China – we sometimes forget to look south. Brazil has a dynamic and rapidly growing economy with emerging entrepreneurial class. And the opportunities are not limited to Brazil – we have a semiconductor development team doing world class work in Argentina. While we are making it harder for entrepreneurs to succeed in the U.S. – the growth markets in the global economy are throwing open their doors and putting out the Welcome mat..

    • Spencer Ante Says:

      Thanks Bob. One tidbit I did not mention in the story is that over the last few months Brazil just opened up its first chip design and fabrication plant. Something to watch for sure. It is a government funded company that is publicly traded, I was told.

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