3…2…1… Houston, we have lift off! IBM at the NASA Challenge with Internet of Things leading!

April 24, 2015

Over the weekend of April 11th and 12th, IBM partnered with NASA on their International Space Apps Challenge. Over 12,000 attendees participated in the 48-hour hackathon in 133 cities around the world creating apps to solve some of the most challenging issues we face here on earth, in space, around robotics and as human beings.   IBM Bluemix was used as a development platform during this hackathon and we saw Bluemix adopted by more than 3600 developers during this event.

Combining the real time data provided by NASA about earth & space, and the ready-to-use Cloud services and app development tools provided by Bluemix,  developers rapidly created powerful solutions to address the challenges we see everyday.     .NASA Astronaut Catherine “Cady” Coleman made this bold statement at the New York City Main Stage Event:  “Having the tools, having a platform like Bluemix, to get these people in this place solves problems that we don’t have enough people to solve, and I think we’re going to see some amazing solutions.” – Watch the video at youtu.be/88KtkdVD8gs.

In this blog, I want to drill in and highlight three key things that I have learned

1. Creativity by combining IoT data and mobile

Wildfires are an immediate danger when they are close to human communities. When evacuating these areas, it turns out that the chosen route is crucial to people’s survival.  A NYC based team created the  Wildfire Navigator Mobile IoT App that analyzes the CO2 sensor data and combines real time imagery coming from NASA satellites Aqua and Terra, and builds optimized safest route API using Bluemix Python services. The route API will make predictions about potential areas that wildfires can spread to. Finding routes will take into consideration these predictions. Learn more at ibm.biz/BdXHrr

One of the NASA Space App topics was “Food Direction” – the country decision makers and the general public need to to understand the self-sufficiency of their country across decades and under fluctuating market conditions. To meet this challenge,  Noordwijk team from Europe created the app “Can You Feed Me?”.    This Android app uses space data combined with other data sources to create insight into the imports and exports of food in the world.  It was built to withstand global demand and supply data. The app’s backend mapping web service was built on Bluemix using its Web app services and is capable of telling if there’s enough food for the population of a specific country. Learn more at ibm.biz/BdXHj8


The Great British Space Race, created an app that uses British astronaut Tim Peake’s inaugural mission to the ISS to encourage people on Earth to keep fit. Keeping track of the exercise they do, participants can pit themselves against friends to earn mission badges and astronaut wings as they race towards orbit.  Groups can challenge each other, and in conjunction with gyms, teams across the world can race around the solar system by earning “rocket fuel” for their physical exercise.

2. Women can do this too

In keeping with NASA’s focus on Women in Data for the 2015 Space Apps Challenge, the Space Apps Data Bootcamp was led by many exceptional women making an impact on the world through their engagement with data. This was NASA’s first Data Bootcamp and it was a huge success for women in or interested in coding.

Women of all ages got a chance to hear several women panelist speak about their first hackathons, problem solving tips, and more. Panelists included 13-year-old Olivia Ross, who represented Black Girls CODE. She got started in coding when she was just 11 and definitely embodies what we’re looking for in future Bluemixers. Learn more at ibm.biz/BdXHsd. two creative solutions out of these thousands of apps that developers came up with in solving our earth problem in the 48 hour period.

olivia IMG_6937

My colleagues at IBM have recognized this trend and will build programs that specifically help women of all ages to take the leap and help them acquire necessary skills that transform their ideas into the next great product.

3. Innovation is happening everywhere.

In this rapidly evolving world, we have transitioned into an innovation economy – where capital and computing infrastructure is becoming a commodity, while creativity + speed have emerged as real differentiators in how a business can leapfrog their competition.   The #SpaceApps challenge has shown that by leveraging developer’s creativity and a rapid innovation platform’s speed, you can create new solutions within 48 hours.  I challenge your team to join us in our future Hackathons that my colleagues have created to challenge you to create your innovative solutions. http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/events/


Internet of Things Foosball on BlueMix With Social Linkage!

April 23, 2015

Yes, the students have done it!  This is an Internet of Things Foosball Table designed by Fabian Eitel and Marcel Seibold.  In this picture, they are the 2 gentlemen playing against me !!

thumb_IMG_0357_1024This table with sensors throughout does the following: 

  • It tweets the scores.
  • It rates the probability of the winning team (my team was not rated high — even though I did score one point!)
  • Others can tweet to cheer you on!

Here you can find our final result in Twitter as a little souvenir.   https://twitter.com/TischkickerEhn/status/590534529464467456)

It is a very innovative way to showcase the value of the Cloud.   Marcel and Fabian are not hard core coders but were able to get this up and coming quickly because of Bluemix.

How does it work?

Sensors capture the “game” and then send the results to the cloud, where the data is analyzed and stored.   Then based on the game, Tweets are automatically sent and the probablity of a Winner Calculated!

What fun!

foosball Capture



IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud: Focus in Germany

April 22, 2015

IBM has a long and deep commitment to the entrepreneurial community. IBM works with more than 400 leading venture capital firms in 30 countries to get an early-look into new technologies and upcoming entrepreneurs.  Through the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program, IBM already works with 6,000 startups worldwide, mentoring them to help them grow with free software and technical expertise, exposure to 600+ expert mentors of corporate executives and serial entrepreneurs, plus access to a global network of clients.

In Germany, we have been working together with 150 Startups.    On Thursday, I will be in Berlin meeting with some of the best of the best German Ecosystem members — from startups, to VCs to incubators.

word cloud Capture

Last time here, I met with the Investment Punk   https://de-de.facebook.com/investmentpunkpage


The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups is the leveling up of IBM’s current entrepreneur progam, combining the incredible power of IBM Cloud with the company’s vast, existing network of resources for startups.  This program is a game changer for entrepreneurs, offering them $120,000 of free IBM Cloud platform credits for one year and deep connections to IBM’s enterprise client base. This financial offer is higher than any other cloud vendor has offered startups to date.

This is the highest value cloud startup offering in the market for two reasons: the power of IBM Cloud, and the face-to-face connections and visibility for early stage startups to large enterprise clients.   We want to help ignite even more the growing community in Berlin and beyond in Germany.

IBM Cloud also offers startups an advantage in technical breadth: IBM is the leading vendor to provide a full suite, from bare metal to platform services with DevOps, in both virtualized and hybrid environments.  Bluemix is IBM’s cloud platform as a service, which offers a tremendous breadth of services to help startups build and scale their innovations quickly, as well as leverage rising volumes of Big Data from growing mobile and social networks, IoT devices and more.


“IBM is the only large tech firm offering face-to-face, in-person connections to enterprises and mentoring that is so critical for early stage companies,” said Robin Hrassnigg, CEO of Diabetizer, a German startup and IBM partner recently recognized by the World Health Organization for its innovative health care app, in a statement. “As our company continues to scale our app, which uses cognitive computing and cloud to help diabetics manage their treatment with flexibility and accuracy, we will increasingly look to these types of in-depth connections to bring our approach to big data to different industries.”

IBM is also offering entrepreneurs connections to its enterprise client base through regional face-to-face events, as well as CIO and entrepreneur meet-ups. These face-to-face connections with enterprises are invaluable to early-stage companies, and IBM is the only large tech firm to offer interactions at this level.

The IBM Global Entrepreneur Program for Cloud Startups also offers entrepreneurs the most extensive global network of local technical expertise through IBM’s 43 Innovation Centers, all of which also host local tech community events and meet-ups.  And Using IBM Bluemix allows companies to accelerate the time it takes to bring their innovation to market – from weeks and months to hours and days.


Go Entrepreneurs!





5 quotes from German Authors — Celebrating my time here!

April 21, 2015

german flag indexI love quotes and have been sharing some of my favorites.   Since I am in 3 cities in Germany this week, I thought I’d look up some favorites from German Authors.

1.  Aller Anfang ist schwer    “All beginnings are hard.”

So true!   Anything that you start is always hard!     Transformations are particularly difficult but the outcomes are sweet!  As an entrepreneur, starting that business is hard, and keeping persistent harder.  But you have to begin to finish!

2.   Aus Schaden wird man klug.   Translated it means  “Failure makes smart.”

You learn so much from experimenting and failing and taking those insights back into the business.   This experimentation is now part of our learning skills!

3. Erst denken, dann handeln.    “First think, then act.”

Sometimes we are all impulsive.    But thinking, and finding that time to study, is always crucial to your success.  In today’s world that doesn’t mean planning for months, but it does mean pausing to think it through.

4.   He who begins many things finishes but fewGerman Proverb

Stay focused on the right things.    I see lots of entrepreneurs trying to do too much (yep, sometimes that me too!) but staying honed in on the right items really makes a difference.

5.  Übung macht den Meister 

Practice makes a master
I love this concept.    I created one that says ” Homework is not a MooC point”.   The thought is that you have to work at what you want to accomplish!   I love learning from serial entrepreneurs as they have learned some things of value!


Growth Hacks for Startups!

April 20, 2015

Small is beautiful !  Listening to your clients!  Just some of the essentials ways to grow with some cool hacks!!


Top 5 Quotes to inspire and challenge you to innovate

April 15, 2015

I love quotes and wanted to share my fav 5 for this week!

1.  Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.  But it is wisdom that knows not to put a tomato into a fruit salad.  Informs Conference

tomato IMG_7050





2.  In GOD we trust.   All others bring data.

3.  Don’t get distracted by every squirrel that runs by.

4.  People lose their way when they lose their why.  Focus on your goals.

5.  Never sacrifice 3 things:  your family, your heart, or your dignity.



NASA Apps Rock This World and OuterSpace!!!

April 14, 2015



Predictive Cloud Computing is REAL! Franz Edelman Award Finalist – team IBM!

April 13, 2015


Astronaut Cady Coleman dishes on NASA Space Apps, STEM and Innovation

April 13, 2015

I had such a great weekend in NYC meeting all the great Hackers on the Bluemix platform.   You will see a set of videos around participants from 15 years old to 70 years old, as well as a ton of folks driving innovation into the local communities.

Today, we have Astronaut Cady Coleman, an amazing woman who spent 6 months in space!

More on the NASA Space Apps Challenge


My Top 3 Ahas from the NASA Space App Challenge

April 12, 2015

I loved spending the last 2 days at the NASA Space App Challenge.

nasa IMG_6893

The first day I was at the Women of Data with 75 amazing women ranging in age from 13 to 75.   Each was incredible — and I learned so much from each one.   Saturday was the first day of the Hackathon ,and while IBM was engaged in over 70 of the hacks and the virtual hack with IBM Bluemix, I was at the NYC hack today with 3 astronauts, the NASA CTO, and Beth from NASA who runs the Innovation Program.  I had so many AHA moments but I thought I’d pick out my top 3 and share with all of you!

1.   Community Matters.

Yesterday I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Brian Solis:  “Community is much more than belonging to something; it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter.”   As we were chatting yesterday after a session, our circle of “girls” kept growing and growing.  I loved the community that formed as we were all united in a common goal!

circle 2 FullSizeRender

2.  Hacks Give Confidence

Today I met amazing people who have gained tremendous confidence through hacking.   Olivia who “borrowed” an XML book from her brother, and then googled Ruby to learn language, Tae who attends Leigh University who could hardly sit still for a chat cause he wanted to go and code, and Katie who is a great combo of theater and code !!

double IMG_3459

3.   NASA’s Data Gift not only helps NASA, but all of us!  Open source and crowdsoucing has a MAJOR impact!

During this Space Apps Challenge, NASA opened up new APIs and 200 data sources.   They did this not for their own gain, but for helping space, earth, and entrepreneurs.     Their own astronauts are committed to the collaborative economy — authentically !

This era of the collaborative economy is going to change the world.  And that’s what I witnessed today — a world changing event!

astro IMG_6938 village IMG_6926


Millennial Myths and Truths!

April 9, 2015

Not a shocker!  Collaboration is valued highly!

In phase 1 of the millennial study, we found that 56% of millennials and 64% of gen x’ers value collaboration (boomers operate more independently) in decision making.  Given that, there are things that really matter to these new workers (I love them too!)

new workplace

Not just gut feel!
Millennials and Gen X’ers rely on analytics to help them make decisions (Baby boomers operate more on gut feel).  For instance, Millennials love the analytics inside of email (like IBM Verse) help prioritize your inbox and make your day more productive using analytics.
Virtual plus In person matters:
One of the key findings from the phase 2 millennial study is in the way these new folks like to work.   They like to meet in person but also virtually.   Social collaboration matters to them.   So training the team on how to use social on social selling …During the sales cycle, make sure that you enable your sellers on social influence and selling.  For instance, IBM has partnered with Hootsuite and sellers can get a license to help manage their social accounts.
For in person value, we have been building out our influencer network with the influencers that millennials listen to (e.g., TED@IBM).  In addition, we have a world class social good focus. Through our IBM Corporate service corps, we deploy IBMers to do smarter city projects for local governments to give local citizens visibility to IBM and how we are helping local communities.
I have a team of millenials that have just started a weekly in person meeting because as they love the virtual work environment, that in person get together is also crucial.
Social — Millenials are more careful
One big difference between Gen X and Gen Y, is their use of digital.   We know that millennials grew up digitally and as such they are more careful in their use of social tools  But because they know how to use the tools, make sure you take advantage of their knowledge.  Have them do reverse mentoring to assist you in the workplace.

social mill


Make it real — Influencers need to be authentic!!!

April 8, 2015

From #SMMW15, I loved Douglas Karr , the President and CEO of DK New Media, and his examples of powerful Influencer Marketing.

Authenticity is when your voice and input are helpful, real, verifiable and meaningful,  A simple example of the power of authenticity is a viral video hero!

The Authentic Rap

Did you catch the YouTube video that a husband filmed his wife in a very authenticate set of moves, as she raps to a song in the car.  It has about 18M views to date.   And the song playing by Salt and Pepper received another 500K downloads through the Ellen Show.

The Brand “takes over”:

Acura asked this “YouTube” star to do a commercial for them with their rap.   I still like the rap in their new commercial — but it only racked up 172K views on YouTube “Drive like a boss”.  Why?  It was not as authentic because of the heavy branding.


The second video is very branded, and not as authentic.   The big question is how do you leverage an influencer in an authentic way?

Doug’s 3 top pieces of advice:

1. Leverage influencers that have an audience that matches your audience.

2. Find influencers who are willing to share the story with their audience.

3. Measure the impact of the influencer


NASA Space App Challenge Beginning this weekend with IBM BlueMix! Out of this world!

April 7, 2015



Twitter Battle between Duke and Wisconsin – Social goes #ncaa

April 6, 2015

It started with a tweet from Wisconsin!

twitter battle

Duke counters with a Vine Video of the Duke Devil! duke comebackSo Wisconsin brings in a Blue Man Group Video!wis comeAnd of course, Duke goes away for a bit to bring back pictures of influence from the pastbannersYou get the picture …. it’s a Social Battle of Twitter, Vines, YouTube, and Instagram between the best teams in the nation right now!What will happen next?


A New Way to Work! Email + Social = WOW!

April 6, 2015


5 Insights From VC Meetup and Panel for Enterpreneurs

April 2, 2015

I love to learn and share those learnings so here are 5 things I took away:

  1. Validate the good idea.   Over 50% of new apps and products fail.  Those that success have been vetted and tested.   The advice they gave was to have as many people as possible provide you feedback as quickly as you can. That could be through Kickstarter or just creating an MVP!
  2. Either be or hire a Tech Geek!    The VCs validated that every company today is competitive through technology (well, just about!).   The discussion was that every company is a tech company so either the founder or her right hand person needs to be steeped in the knowledge of technology.
  3. Network.   Networking is crucial to a successful startup.  All the VCs said that they bet on the person first, the idea second.   In order for them to bet on you, they need to know you and trust you!  Take the time to get to know those who might fund you!
  4. Have a business plan.   This factoid amazed me.  Over 50% of those companies that come into a VC come in with a great product but no business model.  Make sure you think through both the offering and the way that you make money.
  5. Dream big and have confidence.   A lot of success is trying again and again and not being afraid of hearing no  Facing  rejection can be tough, but ensure you have the confidence to wirhstand it.   One entrepreneur said he was turned down for funding over 20 times before he was funded, and is now a successful serial entrepreneur.  Be passionate about what you bring to the table.

7 Career Hacks — Featuring advice from PointSource, Girls Who Code, Prudential, Lowe’s Social Media Today and more!

April 1, 2015


I wrote this book at the request of many women that I mentor and the 38K women strong Super Women’s Group at IBM!

I share the stories and advice updated for Career hacks!

I would love you to share and use it — in social media style!


cover geek girls


The Weather Channel and IBM using IoT and IBM Cloud to “change” the business of weather!

March 31, 2015

I am very excited for the Partnership of the Weather Channel and IBM!   IBM and The Weather Company through WSI, its global B2B division, today announced a groundbreaking global strategic alliance to integrate real-time weather insights into business to improve operational performance and decision-making.

As part of the alliance, The Weather Company, including WSI will shift its massive weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud and integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services.

IBM and WSI will deliver new cloud services to businesses in three key ways:

  • Watson Analytics for Weather: IBM and WSI will enable easy integration of historical and real-time weather data in business operations and decision making with IBM analytics platforms such as Watson Analytics. The companies will jointly develop industry solutions for insurance, energy & utilities, retail and logistics among others.
  • Cloud and Mobile App Developer Tools: Entrepreneurs and software developers will be able to rapidly build mobile and web apps that take advantage of WSI data combined with data from operational systems, connected devices and sensors using advanced analytics through Bluemix, IBM’s cloud application development platform.
  • Business and Operational Weather Expertise: Thousands of consultants from across IBM Global Business Services will be trained to combine WSI data with other sources to more effectively interpret industry pain points, providing clients new insights that solve business problems.

Check out https://ibm.biz/IoTandWeather

I am also loving our VINE videos to use social media showcase the power of this announcement.    https://vine.co/u/1025833884602232832

A YouTube Video, Harnessing the power of Weather: IBM and The Weather Company, voiced by The Weather Channel(R) Meteorologist Jim Cantore, this video offers an overview of IBM and The Weather Company’s alliance to bring advanced weather insights to business.



The Expectations you set can change your “quest” for success! Community or Crowd

March 31, 2015

The other day my daughter came home with 2 different grades.  On one paper, she received a 97 and was upset that she didn’t get a 100.  On the other she got a 87 — a “B+” — and was satisfied because this was a ‘hard’ class and subject.

I thought about her reaction and ours to these types of situations as well.

Are you expecting success from your social work?  Are you expecting a crowd or a community?

As I talk to companies around the world, the big question that I get is: “What is the difference between just a group of people – a crowd and a community?”  Sometimes the question is “How do I get a group of people to become a community, and see value in the community itself?

This question has fascinated me for a while as I myself have built communities, and have been in learn mode as well from others researching the power of a community, taking classes, reading everything I can get my hands on, and talking to lots of clients who have been successful!

My conclusions for building a great community vs just a crowd, are below.  But in all cases you need to expect great things from working with your community!

  1. Leadership vs. Equality. The best communities have strong Community Managers who provide leadership and direction for the group. They help establish the goal of the community experience and define the business problems trying to be solved. They help develop and shape the community norm, start conversations, and listen. They attract and build the right content, stories, and subject matter expertise.. Crowds have no leadership that is stable.   As such, they struggle with a defined direction and so wander and lose focus. CEMEX, the world’s largest building materials supplier, has leadership not just from a community manager, but their leadership is all the way at the very top, their CEO.
  1. Purpose vs. Pride. A Community is motivated by purpose. They share a goal. For instance, Dogster, the number one community for dog lovers, is driven by the love of dogs. The community states “this vibrant community is a must for any dog enthusiast!” Crowds are run by Pride. Sometimes pride of ownership not purpose.
  2. Engaged vs. Sporadic. A community is engaged in active discussions and sharing.  They comment, debate, and share expertise. They are consistent and responsive. For example, the DeveloperWorks community, is very engaged even though they have over 4 million members. They engage though member driven topics on technology. The engagement is driven by trust in open and transparent discussion (this is what works, this doesn’t) and by perceived value. IBM has experts that are passionate about providing the best support in the industry. With the right people in the community, the value based engagement shines through as the members become community champions – internally and externally. Crowds are in and out of discussions in a sporadic way.   They are not committed to the discussions but pepper themselves in and out of the discussions.
  3. Belong vs. Benefit. A community is powered by belonging so that they can influence. The satisfaction that they get from the community is partially that they are part of something bigger. For instance, the China Deaf Association has a community that centers around providing real-time, online sign-language interpretation to improve the lives of deaf and hearing-impaired people. This 200K member community is driven by belonging to a community of people like them. Crowds wants benefits – or rewards. Crowds like to get; Communities like to give.
  4. Collaboration vs. Connection. The best communities collaborate as a normal working style.   They feel the value exists with more input and a diversity of debate. For example, Pepsi, a large global consumer products company, has their community focused on accelerating development and project pipelines for innovations and new products. Product innovations increase as people collaborate through discovery and expertise. Crowds want connection; Communities believe in the collective brain!

Numbers of members are not the key metric and does not equal a strong community. A Crowd Mentality is driven by the broad set of people that you have access to, not a relationship with.   A community is about having passionate members that belong!


Executive Coach Mary Lynne Heldmann (seen on Oprah twice!) Dishes on her Top 3

March 30, 2015

Friday Top 6 Favorite Quotes to Inspire

March 27, 2015

1.   Nobody who ever gave her best regretted it.    George Hala

2.   Entrepreneur is a state of mind, not a job title.

3.  Make your crazy ideas stick.

4.  Being you can be your niche.

5.  What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail.  E.  Roosevelt

6.  A tweet only lasts 60 minutes.


Kevin Hall, Author of Aspire, Dishes on his 3 Best pieces of Advice!

March 23, 2015

I had the honor of meeting Kevin Hall, the author of the book, Aspire.   This book is the all time best seller for personal motivational books and is well worth the investment.   Listen for a little taste of the great insight he offered us at the Senior Leader Session at the Professional Business Women of California session!


Customers expect simple, sophisticated experiences – Some Cool Ones from SXSW!

March 19, 2015

Experience with new platform technologies and business models is dramatically increasing both the expectations and
empowerment of consumers. They are developing an insatiable desire for compelling experiences across all areas of life.
Increasing technological sophistication is leading to:

  • More information to consumers, allowing more choices and enabling greater opportunity to influence organizations
  • Higher expectations of integrated and sophisticated — yet simple — experiences
  • Decreasing brand loyalty, as consumers have less patience and are more willing to switch interchangeably among

At SXSW, we saw Mophie leverage a simple “dog” to deliver power at the sound of a tweet!  This simple yet impactful experience will remain one of the top at SXSW.  The other great example was in Start up WonderWoof.   Designing a FitBit for dogs, they have delivered more information to consumers allowing them more informed decisions.
In response, organizations are increasingly pressured to play catch-up and meet the next generation of consumer demands
by providing integrated, customized experiences. Consumers expect personalization across all of their experiences, from
airline counters, to online mega-retailers, to the showroom floors of automobile dealerships. They expect integration
across channels and touch points, and they are quick to change loyalties to organizations that can better meet their needs.
Today, 81 percent of millennial consumers demand improved response time; 76 percent expect organizations to understand
individual needs and 68 percent anticipate organizations to harmonize consumer experiences.  In fact, at SXSW at our Millennail panel, Monday night, IBM hosted the first ever new way to startup Gen Y pitch party, attracting over 250 guests. 10 teams participated and only 5 were picked to move on to  live in a house in Austin, TX for an exciting reality webseries. They will compete to win software, services, mentorship and a trip to TED@IBM. The documented webisodes will demonstrate how these innovators are working with IBM to transform their big ideas into big change.  These types of experiences humanize brands.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, for example, is seeking to engage connected consumers. Xiaomi uses customer
segmentation as a brand differentiator. It sells high-end phones for prices close to cost, less than half the price of some rivals.
The company leverages consumer feedback captured via Weibo (i.e. Twitter-like social media application) to release new versions
of its operating system, which it does on a weekly schedule.

The Xiaomi example demonstrates that, to create an opportu­nity to provide a differentiated experience in line with consumer expectations, organizations must embrace data and analytics to underpin experience and pursue social media to promote collaboration. They will also need to reduce barriers to engage­ment and partnering.
Luxury fashion house Burberry, a traditionally conservative brand, digitized its organization to create a seamless consumer experience. Burberry removed organizational boundaries between digital and physical; for example, it equipped employ­ees with iPads to enable online access to leverage consumer data to improve the in-store experience. Through digital-phys­ical integration, Burberry has transformed into a modern, relevant, and hip luxury brand.

Focus on these simple, yet impactful brand experiences!!!


Nustory Project: Startups and students get together for content marketing and growth hacking!

March 17, 2015

Learn more about the Nustory Project

Check out Hootsuite University


It’s IBM at the Jimmy Kimmel Show during SXSW!

March 16, 2015

Yes, IBM BlueMix, IBM Verse, and IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program played a starring role in the Jimmy Kimmel show.

This short video showcases the energy in seeing IBM showcased with our Partner Mutual Mind and our IBM Cloud!

We featured #GuillerMoInAustin and you too can get tickets to go by heading by the IBM Cloud @Startup Village in the Hilton !! It is a must see event!


Day 3 of SXSW: Women in Tech, Startups, Content, Meerkat, IBM Cloud Trending

March 16, 2015


How do companies engage millennials? Lanie Abisdris explains! (Coffee Break)

March 16, 2015

Did you see the USA Today Article on Geek Girls Are Chic – The Gap in Women in Tech?

March 15, 2015

USA Today Article

image IMG_6234

usa IMG_6235


Love Growth Hacking? How about Career Hacks — Download the ebook!

March 15, 2015

Join me in this Geek Girls Are Chic community!   Community

And download this ebook!    http://bit.ly/sandy7hacks

cover geek girls



SXSW Day 2 Summary: Career Hacks, Run your business like…, and IBM Cloud !

March 14, 2015

5 Days at SXSW with IBM Including Massive Party, Millennials, and Girls Who Code

March 14, 2015



Summary of Day 1 at SXSW Interactive! ROC (Return on Content), Millennials, Startups, and Bears Oh no!

March 13, 2015


Social Media Tips for SXSW!

March 13, 2015

SOCIAL TIPS SXSW2015_10_socialbusinesstrends_for_review_03_12_15_front


Places to eat in Austin, SXSW-style!

March 13, 2015

Many of you know that I’m always bragging about my Texas heritage. Can’t help it! Texas is a great place! And when SXSW is in full-swing, it’s a great time to soak up all that is Austin!

Just like last year, Chef Watson will be active at SXSW. We have a Chef Watson session in the making at the historic Driskill Hotel this year. You can check it out on the SXSW website -> http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP44524. Bring your recipe ideas!

There are so many things to love about Austin, but I must admit, my favorite thing about Austin is the food! So, in spirit of Chef Watson coming back to SXSW, I’ve comprised a list of Austin foodie places! Get ready for some great food!

We gotta start with Mexican food!

BBQ, anyone! Yes!

Then there’s Southern and Southwestern style!

Asian food is sooo delicious!

And last, but not least, FOOD TRUCKS!


#SXSW – IBM Day at the Radisson: It’s all about the entrepreneurs!

March 12, 2015

What to learn more about Watson?   Come to our IBM Day at the Radisson!

We’ve got great sessions dedicated to CAMSS and IoT focused on developers and entrepreneurs. The session on the Startup Go-to-Market Guide will help entrepreneurs learn how to plan your go-to-market strategy and leverage the right partnerships to your advantage.

Likewise, the session on Innovating Development of Cloud, Mobile, and Social will help entrepreneurs and startups understand how new approaches to development and new APIs and capabilities could radically change product/app definition, design, development and deployment for themselves and their clients. Bluemix will be showcased, as well as embedding Watson services and content through cloud-based APIs.

Click on the links to add them to your SXSW schedule!

As you can see, there’s a ton of great stuff to hear and learn about on Watson and Bluemix, plus plenty of time for questions and networking after each session!

I look forward to seeing you there!


IBM @ SXSW: Geek Girls, #Selfies, Supercomputer chefs, and more!

March 12, 2015

I’m an Austin gal at heart, so there’s hardly a more exciting time of year for me than SXSW! Once again, IBM will have a huge presence at SXSW Interactive, so I just can’t wait to see my passion for the city of Austin meet my passion for the work we do at IBM!

There will be so many great sessions and events to experience, but I want to give you a taste of a few that I’m really excited about! I hope you’ll check these out and add them to your SXSW schedule! See you in Austin!

Friday, March 13

Social Media Today Breakfast (http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_OE03970)
8:30AM – 10:30AM
Join me for breakfast and discussion about how people and technology are transforming businesses. We’ll discuss the new way to work. Request your invitation here: http://bit.ly/SMTSXSW

Decoding Gender Diversity in Tech (http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP41428)
3:30PM – 4:30PM
The shortage of women in tech is no secret. The industry has fewer female executives and founders than almost any other. Why the disparity? Learn more about the issue and how companies can fix the gap, with thoughts from Alexa Scordato of Stack Exchange, Carolina Huaranca of Girls Who Chode, Darrell Silver of Thinkful, and Savannah Peterson of Shapeways Inc.

Saturday, March 14

Can anyone really trust user generated content?(http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP41634)
12:30PM – 1:30PM
In this session, Gene Austin, CEO of Bazaarvoice, discusses the dark side of social media, along with the impact of inauthentic behavior on businesses and consumers, and what each of us can do to create a web worthy of our trust.

City 2.0: Why Local Gov. Bets on Civic Innovation (http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP35776)
3:30PM – 4:30PM
Rapid technological advances, explosive urban growth, and changing economic dynamics are presenting a host of new challenges for U.S. cities. In order to stay competitive, urban leaders are re-envisioning how to run their cities, from meeting the basic needs of constituents to tackling complex urban challenges. Hear from Jessica Singleton, Digital Director from the Office of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as leaders from Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco to see how cities across the US are tackling these challenges.

Sunday, March 15

Geek Girls are Chic! 5 Career Hacks (http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP31283)
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Join Elizabeth Caudle, Director of Girls Who Code, and me as we discuss why women in tech matter, how innovation will benefit, and how to foster an interest in tech. Learn why women need to take risks and embrace failure to give them the courage to crash through the glass ceiling or start a new business!

*Following this session, I’ll be available for book signing on 4th floor of Austin Convention Center in SXSW Bookstore at 12:00PM. Come by, get a book and say “Hi!”

Anatomy of #Selfies That Sell
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Join Pau Sabria, CEO of Olapic, and Chris Haines, Director of Strategy for Fluid, for an insights-packed discussion of the visual commerce landscape, including new data about consumer appetite for visual commerce, the Top 10 best converting photos of 2014, the most innovative and successful brands and retailers in visual commerce, and how to plan your approach to integrating customer photos.

Monday, March 16

How Chef Watson Changed the Way We Prepare Food (http://schedule.sxsw.com/2015/events/event_IAP44524)
9:30AM – 10:30AM
Learn how Chef Watson has changed the way we interact with and prepare food and allows us to make new discoveries. Dawn Perry, Senior Food Editor for Bon Appetit, will be on hand to help us explore this concept in the context of design, implications for the mass market and professionals, and how it impacts how we prepare food in our homes.

These are just a few of the great sessions going on at SXSW, so I encourage you to check out the schedule and find the topics that excite you. Also, make sure you don’t miss IBM’s full day of sessions at the Radisson on Monday, March 16. There’s a new way to work and it’s made with IBM—join us to learn more!






SXSW! Geek Girls Are Chic with Girls Who Code! Five Career Hacks on Sunday at 11AM CST!

March 11, 2015

Come on Sunday to see Geek Girls are Chic:  5 Career Hacks!  We’ll be in Ballroom A at the Austin Convention Center on Sunday, March 15th. Our session begins at 11:00AM Central. Visit this link to add our session to your SXSW schedule!

Geek Girls Are Chic

I’m so thrilled that I am sharing the stage during a SXSW featured session with one of my favorite organizations:

  • Girls Who Code! Joining me will be Elizabeth Caudle, Director for Girls Who Code. Elizabeth’s background is rich in STEM-type roles where she has been a supporter and leader of organizations dedicated to advancing educational opportunities around the globe!

During our session, Elizabeth and I will discuss women’s participation in tech-related fields, why there are fewer women graduating with a technical degree, and why women are not rising in the tech ranks or startup businesses. We’ll tackle these issues, as well as discuss how the tech industry can benefit from innovations from women. We’ll discuss why more women need to take risks and embrace failure and build the courage the shatter the glass ceiling! We’ll also share with you 5 career hacks that can help you strategize your approach to grow your career!

Here’s a taste of what we’ll share with you:

  • Doing your homework is a MOOC point
  • Be an Open API
  • Define your “ALL”

Watch my short video to get a taste of my session with Girls Who Code!

And after the session, be sure to join me at the SXSW Bookstore where I’ll be signing copies of my books. Come by, say “Hi!” and share your ideas with me! I promise, it’ll be a lively debate!

cover geek girls

Whether you are a woman or man, parent or business owner, this is a must-see session!


Women in Technology – A Business Imperative

March 10, 2015

Live at Professional Business Women of California Sr Women Forum!

March 9, 2015



Happy International Women’s Day!!! STEM jobs on the rise, but Women in STEM declining

March 8, 2015

STEM jobs are on the rise, in fact,  there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs by 2020.

  • These new jobs pay better, 33% more than non-STEM positions.
  • Women are the perfect candidates for these new jobs. Women hold a greater percentage of all bachelor’s degrees,
  • Unfortunately, they also hold an increasingly smaller percentage of computer science degrees with just 18 percent in 2012 as compared to 37 percent in 1984.
  • Women represent 48 percent of the workforce but only a quarter of STEM and IT careers.
  • When women are in positions of leadership, there is a 35% higher return on equity and 34% better return to shareholders.

So let’s get some more women into the roles they can be qualified to fill.

At PBWC tomorrow, a group of Senior Women will continue the work to change the game.   Tell me what you will do!!



Insight Robotics WINS the IBM Entrepreneur of the Year!

March 8, 2015

Check out their amazing IOT solution that is changing the world!!!


Over 5500 Coming to the Professional Business Women of California!

March 5, 2015


Cricket is HOT in India – Developers are Coding BlueMix Apps to Participate!

March 4, 2015

Cricket Bluemix EDM-01u


What I learned from the Women of the Cloud Get Together at IBM Interconnect!

March 3, 2015

With over 1000 women joining us for the Women in the Cloud event at IBM Interconnect, we heard Ted Talks from:

  • Lisa Seacat DeLuca – IBM’s Most Prolific Woman Inventor
  • Maria Winans – IBM’s VP of Marketing
  • Marie Wieck – IBM’s GM of Software
  • Laurie McCabe – CEO / Founder SMB Group
  • Frances West – IBM’s Executvie for Accessibility
  • me!
  • all the women FullSizeRender

Here’s my Top 10.5 Top Aways!

  1. Learn how to say No!   Not every opportunity is a good one so don’t say yes to everything.   Pick and choose those with the highest Return on Investment or Most Joy!
  2. You Can have it ALL but you have to define what your ALL is.    What brings you joy and excitement should be your bar, not what others desire.
  3. Exercise!   Almost all of the TED talks valued working out to de stress and stay healthy!
  4. Prioritize yourself.  The analogy I used was on a flight and in life, put your safety mask on first.  Then you can help others.  Sometimes it is ok to make you a priority.
  5. Have a support structure.   All of us need help and so when your daughter comes home with that last minute tea and you have a big presentation, have a support team who can sub in when needed.  You’ll need a strong support network for your personal life to meet the challenges of integrating work and life. Ask help of those around you – friends, family, and neighbors
  6. Take risks. Stretch opportunities, coaching and placement in roles outside of your “comfort zone” is critical to building leadership attributes
  7. Have fun.    Many examples of where women excel more when they loved what they were doing.   Do what brings you joy!
  8. Move from “can it be done” to “how can I get it done”.   Attitude and tone is really important but for your teams and you!
  9. Believe in yourself.   Make sure you have confidence in you and your abilities and those crazy ideas.
  10. Give yourself permission. Don’t feel guiltly about decisions  Make a decision and stand behind it. As one executive put it, “Don’t spend your time feeling guilty afterwards because you may be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself.”

10.5  Get a massage weekly!

say no


Entrepreneurs are driving Innovation in 2015!

March 2, 2015


Selfies Can Reveal Your Health!

February 28, 2015

Compliments of Ray Hammond again!  I love this one!  (Follow him here — @hammondfuturist )
A team of researchers at the University of Rochester has developed a computer program that can help health professionals monitor a person`s mental health through the images from selfie videos the patient records while engaging in social media activity.
The method is a variation of existing health monitoring programs. The novelty here is that the user’s behavior. can be monitored quietly and unobtrusively while they routinely use their computer or smartphone. No extra information about how the user is feeling needs to be provided. No special accessories are required, either. The user just needs to go about their computer routine as usual.
During its experiments, the team, successfully measured a user’s heart rate simply by monitoring small changes in the patient’s forehead color.  Other visual signals could be extracted, such as blinking rate, eye pupil radius and head movement rate, from the video data, all of this using modern computer vision and signal processing techniques.




New Startup: The Smartphone Device That Will Be Able To Detect Cancer In Your Breath

February 27, 2015

Compliments of Ray Hammond who alerted me to this cool Startup!   A device developed in Israel called the “NaNose” is claimed to be able to detect cancer and other illness simply by sampling human breath.
NaNose is now being ported to be available on a smartphone as an add-on called “The Sniff Phone”.
By identifying the special “odour” emitted by cancer cells, it is claimed the NaNose system can detect the presence of tumours, both benign and malignant, more quickly, efficiently and cheaply than previously possible.

It is claimed the system is 90 per cent accurate.


IBM Interconnect Cloud Ecosystem Highlights! It’s all about the Cloud!

February 26, 2015



Coffee Break: Jason McGee, IBM Cloud CTO explains why this is the year of the hybrid cloud!

February 23, 2015

Cloud is transforming entire industries around us! I recently caught up with Jason McGee, IBM Fellow and IBM Cloud CTO, who explains how cloud changes the way apps are being built and why this is the year of the hybrid cloud.

We’ll be discussing more of these topics at IBM InterConnect this week!



Building an ECOSYSTEM for Growth Hacking: the Nustory Project!

February 23, 2015

As you know, I’m a HUGE fan of growth hacking and content marketing. Businesses need to embrace the most powerful digital engagement strategies and make data-driven decisions!

And what’s a core ingredient to make this happen? Skills!

We need new marketers that understand how to mine data to build PERSONALIZED relationships. We need project managers that know how to run an EFFECTIVE content calendar. We need data scientists and developers that can build the tools to TRANSFORM industries.

How do we build these skills? Through partnerships and development of an ECOSYSTEM. That’s exactly what we are doing with the Nustory Project. We’re matching student teams with startups to work on real-world challenges building and executing on content marketing plans.

Nustory In Action

Recipes for success:

Pair students with living, breathing startups

For this project, we are leveraging two key components of our ecosystem: faculty and students from our Academic Initiative AND startups from our Global Entrepreneur Program.

Faculty realize the need to build content marketing skills. As Peter Cardon from USC’s Marshall School of Business says, “Social media has turned brands into publishers, and the pressure to produce quality content is growing.”

Startups realize the importance of building content strategies to differentiate themselves as digital engagement becomes increasingly important.

Give students access to the best tools and platforms

To create a culture of success, we need to give students and startups access to the best tools!

Again we leverage our ecosystem, bringing in Hootsuite, the world’s most widely used social relationship platform and a key IBM social business partner . Through Hootsuite’s Higher Education Program, students access the Hootsuite  platform for sharing content across social media and measuring its effectiveness. Startups access the platform to validate content and provide feedback.

For a successful content marketing strategy, COLLABORATION is KEY! And when it comes to collaboration, developerWorks offers a best-in-class suite of tools, whether its wiki for posting challenges or the forums for sharing best practices across a number of student teams.

Use analytics and certification to drive performance

Today’s volatile business environment demands a flexible data-driven strategy to drive success. Throughout the Nustory Project, students assess the reach, engagement and action from the social content they generate. They use agile processes to constantly move in the direction of higher value for customers and the startups they represent.

It’s one thing developing skills, but how can students actually PROVE that they are knowledgeable in Content Marketing? All students in the Nustory Project have access to Hootsuite University’s Certification Program – one of the best in the business for social media and content marketing.

So remember, when it comes to successful growth hacking and content marketing, think SKILLS and think ECOSYSTEM!

Learn more:

1) Come see my presentation on Growth Hacking @ InterConnect!

2) Hootsuite University – Stay up to date in today’s rapidly changing media landscape through social media education and industry-recognized certification

3) Whether your are a student, faculty member or business, get involved in the Nustory Project




Amsterdam Opens FIRST Innovation Space for developers and entrepreneurs! IBM, StartupHouse and more!

April 16, 2015

We are proud to announce our first IBM Innovation Space in the vibrant Amsterdam StartupHouse community!  Full Story

With this announcement,  we are confirming our deep commit to entrepreneurs and developers looking to push disruption and accelerate innovation!!

cut ribbon IMG_7083

With over 600 participants, 3X what expected, B.Amsterdam was completely Sold Out! In collaboration with Startupbootcamp,  and their sister company Innoleaps,  we are offering a unique experience for the Amsterdam ecosystem.

fab 4 Capture

Today,  15 startups did their 3 minute pitch in front of a crowded amphitheater of investors, corporates and entrepreneurs:

  • SustainerHomes just closed their first deal live here just few minutes before their pitch!!! Things happen at the speed of light
  • Cupenya with their predictive analytics innovative solution impressed the audience!  They shared how IBM Bluemix unleashed them on the market. coming back from CEBIT with a lots of leads this opening certainly  allowed to further accelerate their growth!

partner IMG_7082

We saw super long lines of enthusiastic developers waiting for Bluemix demos (Twitter handles and Poseidon project).  There was so my energy from the endless possibility of composing App this platform can offer!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32,609 other followers

%d bloggers like this: