IBM Midwest Key Enterprise, Startup and Academic Leaders August 2015 Update: Wall Street Journal Startups Put Data Into Farmers’ Hands, New Introduction to Cloud / Bluemix Course, Chicago PaaS Bluemix and Cloud Computing Meetup Events, IBM Global Entrepreneur Program Startups for Cloud Requirements, TechWeek Kansas City and the IBM Academic Initiative Cloud for Faculty

Over the months I have shared how Cloud, Big Data and Security are creating new businesses and expanding current businesses.  This update will focus on what the world is highlighting across the midwest and how data is being used by farmers, startups and big businesses to help everyone make better decisions at more points than ever before in the business chain.  This update summarizes resources you can use to gain more comfort in how you as a person or business leader can create a new business, expand your business or teach/share with others the most current technologies to make this leap.  We will begin with startups helping farmers, go into upcoming September education and labs available for anyone to attend, cover an introductory course available for everyone to take to get started, TechWeek Kansas City and more.  Let’s begin….

On the Farm: Startups Put Data in Farmers’ Hands

Farmobile, Granular and others are developing tools that enable crop producers to compile, analyze their own information

Wall Street Journal Author Jacob Bunge Aug. 31, 2015 2:01 p.m. ET

This article is a good example of how at the entry point in the supply chain farmers can grow their profits and revenue by selling another key asset they own:  their data.  Startups are finding this audience is an great market to go market.  Being able to give farmers technology tools to manage the data they already own makes them better able to know what the field, weather, fertilizer and other conditions are that are key to them maximizing the yield on their crops, machinery, animals and other working assets on their farm.  This article is a very good primer on why startups pursuing the farm community can have a critical impact in an industry that can use technology with far reaching impacts on something we all need to survive.


This event will provide a great place to engage in dialogue on why we need to plant the seed across various industries to incorporate technology into many areas that demand new apps, security and flexibility to meet the needs of that market.  The upcoming Build, Manage and Grow event is a good session to understand and ask questions around going from concept to execution for a new business. expanding a current business, scaling a function or making a current environment more secure.   Below are the logistic details and the link to register to attend:

Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2015 8:00AM to 1:00PM Central Time

Location: Sunda New Asian

110 W. Illinois Street

Chicago, IL 60654


Valet parking included

I will be at the below event and here are highlights of two for the four speakers who will be in attendance:


8:00 a.m. – Check-in and Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

  • Integrating advanced Analytics into

managed services – how to keep your clients

today and gain competitive advantage


  • Cloud infrastructure choices for IT services


  • Extend your services capabilities with Mobility
  • Protect your clients against the new and

complex security challenges

  • Examples of how your peers have enhanced

their services capabilities for greater

profitability, customer satisfaction, and

scalability by partnering with IBM

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Networking Lunch

Register today





This is a new course, “Getting Started with IBM Bluemix.  It is a free online course covering the fundamentals of cloud, Bluemix, containers, agile and testing through video lectures, exercises and more.  Once you complete the course you receive an IBM Explorer Badge to be able to demonstrate your knowledge on social sites, professional sites and your cv/resume.  I am frequently asked how do I get started.   I recommend this class as a starting point to help anyone learn how to navigate the buffet of  functions to create insights into date, manage the social response to your activities and ensure your app is secure–  whether you are the farmer wanting to understand what is happening behind the click, the startup creating the app for the farmer (or bank or retailer or any industry) or the builder or buying of an app who wants to expand it to do more.

Chicago PaaS Bluemix and Cloud Computing Meetup

If face to face hands-on is preferred, consider joining the Chicago PaaS Bluemix and Cloud Computing Meetup.   I co-organize this meetup and we changed the time to during the lunch hour  to make it more convenient.  I welcome your feedback on this change and/or topics you would like to see covered in the future.    Below are comments posted from the August 19th meetup and two upcoming events scheduled at 71 S Wacker Chicago, IL through the IBM Chicago PaaS and Cloud Computing Meetup (“Bill, Marco and Valentina thank you for the awesome comments!”):

Searching And Identifying Faces–Hands On Lab with Alchemy in the Cloud

  • Wednesday, September 9, 2015

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

  • 71 S Wacker Drive Sixth Floor and Please Bring a Photo ID for Building Security, Chicago, IL (edit map)
  • All our meetups are free.  All you need to bring is your appetite and your laptop. Use the IBM Bluemix Cloud and the Alchemy capability to create a new app or expand an existing app–the choice is yours.

Lunch will be provided and access to the cloud is free for 30 days for everyone. Start-ups you can register to get 2K-10K/month of cloud access free for one year.

Docker in the Cloud Hands-on Lab with Lunch

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2015

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

  • 71 S Wacker Drive Sixth Floor and Please Bring a Photo ID for Building Security, Chicago, IL (edit map)
  • All our meetups are free. Are you using Docker today?  Do you want to get hands-on with Docker but have been afraid to ask?  Come join this meetup to see IBM Containers in action!  An Enterprise grade hosted Docker service running on IBM Bluemix, IBM Containers provides everything you need to get started and building your projects all on hosted infrastructure today!

Rick Osowski, Technical Product Manager for IBM Cloud, will cover building and moving an application to a Docker container, running it on IBM Containers, and the integrated monitoring & logging provided by Bluemix.  The combination of Bluemix’s 100+ cloud services and Docker containers can’t be beat and after this session you’ll see why!

Bring is your laptop and your appetite.  You will need your laptop for the labs and lunch will be provided.

IBM Global Entrepreneur Program Cloud For Startups

How to plant the seed for your startup.  I am particularly excited about the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program Cloud for Startups with up to 120K of cloud credit because of the three requirements to engage.  Those requirements are:

1) In business less than 5 years

2) Less than 1M in revenues

3) An LLC or higher in place  (if you do not have an LLC I referenced this website in last months update and find that others have used it as well for various forms):

The above link is all that  is needed to apply.  How you use credits in the cloud is up to you. If virtual machines are what you need then the IBM Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Environment known as Softlayer is how you can use your 2K-10K/month of credits for a year for up to 120K of cloud access.  If you just want to code in the language of your choice then the IBM Platform as a Service (PaaS) environment of Bluemix is how you can use your credits.  If you have a need for both it is up to you how you chose to apply the credit between the two environments.


If you are attending TechWeek Kansas City or in the Kansas City area please come by the IBM table at TechWeek and say hello. There will be a workshop and technical experts on hands to answer questions on the cloud, the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Softlayer environment, the Platform as a Services (PaaS) Bluemix environment, the IBM Global Entrepreneur Cloud for Startups and other questions you may have.   The same as the event I recently attended in Chicago, the TechWeek Kansas City Expo has a option for everyone to attend the expo for free.  Use the above link and I hope to see you there (show your sign-on dashboard for Bluemix at the IBM table for a prize).

IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud

With school starting back faculty remember access to the IBM Academic Initiative for Cloud is available to faculty for 1 year (then renewable annually) and  students have access for 6 months all at no charge.  In addition to the cloud access, faculty guides, curriculum, case materials, redbooks and additional resources are available to take the discussion into hands on exercises and make it real world for your students.

We continually talk about how fast technology is moving today. To have a data story on the front page of  the Wall Street Journal based on a farmer collecting and owning his data showcases how owning and selling data as a revenue source for farmers and many others across industries is growing rapidly.  To manage data as a new revenue source for farmers and startups and big business and others could bring a whole new meaning to the term cash cow.

I hope to see you at the Build,  Manage and Grow Event on September 15th or the Kansas City’s TeckWeek on September 16-18th or share with me  your experiences with any of the above resources.  Remember good ideas are not limited by time and space( .

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions or if I can assistance.   May your business,  technology and crops, “Live long and prosper!



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