Posts Tagged ‘Claudia Fan Munce’

IBM Bets on Brazilian Innovation

August 19, 2009

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.

Come See Me Speak at Stanford Next Friday

March 22, 2009

A quick speaking update: I have been invited to moderate a panel at the Stanford Global Technology Symposium on Friday March 27. The event will be held at the Arrillaga Alumi Center on the Stanford campus. This year’s theme couldn’t be more timely “Entrepreneurship and Investment in a Turbulent Economy.”

T. Boone Pickens, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson are giving keynote addresses or fireside chats.

We’ve got a great panel. The topic is corporate venture capital and we’ve lined up top executives from IBM (Claudia Fan Munce), Microsoft (Dan’l Lewin) and Google (David Lawee) to participate. My panel is from 3pm – 4pm.

Please come and say hello. I may be selling books afterwards.

New Video of My Stanford Talk on the Birth of America’s Entrepreneurial Economy

March 14, 2009

Stanford just posted videos from the talk I gave for its Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Series back in February.

The school created three short videos from my talk on the birth of venture capital and America’s entrepreneurial economy, which runs 56 minutes in its entirety. One video focuses on the birth of the industry: another is on the industry’s first home run (Digital Equipment Corp.); and the last asks and (hopefully) answers the question: why did Silicon Valley take over leadership of the tech world in the 1970s?

Click here to see the videos. The Stanford ecorner also has hundreds of other great videos from pioneers and current leaders in Silicon Valley. So it’s worth checking out even if you don’t want to see my stuff.

Speaking update: Looks like I am heading back to lovely Palo Alto. I just got invited to moderate a panel at Stanford’s Global Technology Symposium on Friday March 27. I am moderating the panel on corporate venture capital with executives from IBM (Claudia Fan Munce), Microsoft (Dan’l Lewin) and Google (David Lawee).

How IBM’s Venture Capital Group Can Help Your Startup

January 25, 2008

The other day I had a chance to meet Claudia Fan Munce, managing director of IBM’s VC group since March 2004.  Born in Taiwan and raised in Brasil, Munce is a double threat with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University and an MBA from Stanford.


While many VC arms of corporations invest directly in startups, Munce has fashioned a totally different strategy for Big Blue. IBM does not actually invest money in companies. Rather, Munce helps IBM form strategic relationships with hundreds of startups that can help the company deliver technologies that solve customer problems.  “The measurement we had was never financial return,” she says. “We take that strategic aspect and feed it back to the company.”

Since its formation in 2000, IBM has gone from working with 20 VC-backed startups to more than 1,300 today. Her group helps these young companies navigate the labyrynthian bureaucracy of Big Blue, connecting them with various business units, and offering them managerial advice and support. Munce and her team will help entrepreneurs with marketing, connect them with customers and sometimes fund joint development projects. “We invest very heavily in building these partnerships,” says Munce.

And every now and then, those relationships end up with IBM acquiring the company. Over the last few years, Munce says that IBM has scooped up 18 companies that have worked with the VC group, including Corio, Bowstreet, AlphaBlox, Trigo and most recently, AptSoft.

Currently, Munce says IBM is really focused on forging relationships with startups focused on blade servers, virtualization software and green technology. “The utility industry has always been a big customer of IBM,” says Munce. “And IBM has so many data centers around the world. The power management side is very important. Governments are asking IBM to come up with a solutiion to deliver power in a more efficient way.”

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