IBM and Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) have launched a joint initiative that aims to build an ecosystem of start-ups and tech companies with an interest in developing cognitive-powered apps through the TAG.PASS for IBM Watson programme.
According to a media statement, TAG.PASS for IBM Watson is an accelerator programme that is jointly run by IBM and IIPL - a subsidiary of the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore - as part of its role in building a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem in Singapore for start-ups to flourish.
Under this partnership, IIPL will exclusively offer a customised three-month acceleration programme for companies building Watson applications as members of the IBM Watson Ecosystem. Start-ups will get the opportunity to leverage IIPL's start-up development know-how, and IBM's technical and business expertise to grow their business and solutions.
Besides providing co-working space at IIPL's BASH (Build Amazing Start-ups Here), the TAG.PASS for IBM Watson programme also offers start-up and tech companies education and mentoring.
IIPL will provide education including value proposition design, field interviews, problem solution validation and rapid prototyping to customer acquisition such as storyboarding, software/hardware development, growth hacking, marketing and branding and sales. On the other hand, IBM will provide consultation to the participants in the form of master classes or office hours.
Upon culmination of the programme, IIPL will host a Pitch Day wherein the participants will earn the chance to pitch to investors or companies for investments or opportunities.
As a start, the first cohort of start-ups and tech companies to enter the programme will emerge from the IBM Watson New Venture Challenge, a cognitive pitch competition targeting Asia Pacific-based start-ups and tech companies to share their ideas for new Watson-powered applications.
The six-week competition is currently ongoing and will culminate in a pitch competition between finalists on March 10 in Singapore for a place in the TAG.PASS for IBM Watson programme.
"Singapore's Smart Nation is a continuum requiring innovation to be part of everything we do. With so much talent and creativity here in Singapore and Asia Pacific, we believe our partnership with IBM to embed Watson cognitive computing technology will help start-ups accelerate how entrepreneurial organisations solve their industry's toughest challenges on a whole new level," said Dr Alex Lin, Head, Infocomm Investments.
"IBM's mission is to help companies become more competitive, leveraging cognitive computing capabilities. Through TAG.PASS for IBM Watson, we are helping start-ups and tech companies turn innovative ideas into real business solutions across retail, travel, healthcare, public sector, finance and more," added Tim Greisinger, Managing Director, IBM Singapore.
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