Watson Is Laying Startup Eggs
December 21, 2015
Incubators are warming stations for eggs. Without having to rely on an organism’s DNA donor, an incubator provides a warm, safe environment for the organism to develop, hatch, and eventually be ready to face the world. Watson has decided it is time for itself to propagate, but instead of knitting tiny computer cases Watson will invest its digital DNA in startups. The Chicago Tribune discusses Watson’s reproduction efforts and progeny in “Watson, IBM’s Big-Data Program Is Also A Startup Incubator.”
While IBM sells Watson’s ability to scan and understand terabytes of data, the company also welcomes developers to use Watson for new ideas. What is even more amazing is that IBM gives developers the ability to use Watson for free for a limited time.
“In Ecosystem, everyone is invited to play with Watson for free (for a limited time); some 77,000 developers have accepted. If your Watson-powered startup shows promise, it becomes a “partner,” often via a quasi-incubator model, and enjoys access to IBM business and technology advisers–and a shot at a capital infusion from the $100 million IBM is making available to Watson startups…”
Ecosystem has been used for startups that feature lifestyle coaching, personal shopping, infrastructure guards, veterinarian advice, fantasy sports calculator, 311 information, and even a hotel butler.
To quote the biblical justification for propagation: “Go forth and multiply the [Watson startups].”