Cloud Foundry/Bluemix Ecosystem – 11th January 2017

The Ecosystem Partner Meet Ups at IBM South Bank exist to promote networking between likeminded companies that have connections to Cloud Foundry and Bluemix. They enable sharing of skills and insight and help companies learn how to better overcome business challenges, drive customer solutions and increase revenue opportunity.

The Software House Catalogue has been created to be a central hub of information about ecosystem partners who have the potential to offer greater insight into certain parts of IBM software that they are working with, such as Watson and IoT. Companies listed on the website must offer an application that either runs on or is deployable to Bluemix. The idea for the website resulted from these series of meetups and the appearance of demand to have a point of contact to gain information on how to develop on Bluemix.

Vikram Shah of AviSpace opened a discussion on what the attendees thought would be the best way for a developer to use Bluemix for their startup; should they build their software on Bluemix and use the software throughout their entire development process, or should they build their software elsewhere and then deploy what they have onto Bluemix. This led to students from Imperial College London and University College London expressed an interest in finding out more about how a developer would go about taking an idea and taking through the stages from concept to deployment in the market.

Market research is one of the key first stages when you have an idea that you want to try and develop. This research will tell you whether there is a gap in the market that your idea could fill, whether there is a need for it and whether there will be any current competition. The following key stages involve obtaining intellectual property, branding and creating a business plan.

One aspect of starting up a company that most startups take is to become part of an accelerator program. These programs are designed to provide extra resources and advice from individuals in the field to boost a startup and give it wider exposure to the community and potential funding.

One of the most important things is having a well-functioning team put together to bring an idea to life from a concept. This is done by finding a team of likeminded individuals who have a passion about a certain industry and who want to solve current issues in that industry. One of the easiest ways to find your team is through meetups, developer forums and hackathons.

A Hackathon is a sprint-type event that encourages computer programmers, graphic designers, interface designers, project manager and other software developers to come together and work on an idea based around a current issue within a specific industry, such as healthcare. Hackathons can be beneficial to startups as it gives them and their idea exposure to the developer community. It also gives them an opportunity to find likeminded developers that they would want to work with on a project in the future.

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