For the past several months, the Developer Relations team has been participating in numerous events and activities targeted at the tech start-up community. For example:
- Since last fall, we’ve held at least 19 Hackathons focused on innovating on BlackBerry® platforms with BBM™, and more recently gaming.
- We sponsored AppCircus pitching contests at BlackBerry DevCon EMEA, and at BlackBerry® 10 Jam in Orlando. In addition, we were sponsors and I was a judge at the Mobile Innovation Awards at Mobile World Congress, put on by AppCircus.
- We’re limited partners in Relay Ventures’ (formally BlackBerry Partners Fund) latest fund, and spoke at their annual general meeting to some of the entrepreneurs present.
- We sponsored the Golden Triangle Network’s LaunchPad 50K event in Waterloo, and I spoke briefly there on the subject of entrepreneurship.
- We sponsored the Canadian Venture Capital Association’s annual event in Montreal last week, and my colleague Martyn Mallick spoke there.
- Last week we also sponsored CHINICT, China’s annual entrepreneurship forum and I spoke there. In addition, we sponsored the CHINICT Hackathon, and saw many great new ideas being built on the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet.
- This week in Jakarta, I’ll be speaking at Mobile Monday. On Wednesday, in Bangalore, I’ll be meeting local start-ups, and Thursday I’ll be representing RIM for the opening of the BlackBerry Innovation Centre (also known as Rubus Labs) at Startup Village in Kochi, India.
- In July, we’ll be sponsoring the International Startup Festival in Montreal. In its second year, the Startup Festival brings together entrepreneurs and ecosystems, for a three day event focused on (you guessed it) start-ups.
So why all this attention to startups when the press and customers are relentlessly focused on whether or not the next version of the latest hot game is available on the BlackBerry platform? One word — innovation.
Now, don’t get me wrong – we want the latest hot titles on BlackBerry as much as you do, and we have a dedicated team that does nothing but work to make that happen. But startups are where the excitement is. Startups are the companies that are going make a bet on BlackBerry 10. Startups are the companies that will take apart all of the amazing innovations we’ve built in BlackBerry 10 and conceive of something new that can’t be done on competitors’ platforms. They’ll be the ones who focus on the three key themes of flow, connect, and extend, and will build BlackBerry 10 experiences that the world has never seen before on any platform.
And that’s why we love startups so much.
Got a startup? Come to a BlackBerry 10 Jam session. We’d love to help.