Build. Win.
Start selling.

Congratulations to the Business Partners who progressed to Phase 2! Learn about Phase 2.

Don’t forget to check out the new With Watson program and apply. Tell the World You’re Building With Watson!

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Curious about Cognitive?
Explore the IBM Watson Build

The market for cognitive solutions is set to explode. Worldwide revenues are predicted to reach $47 billion USD in the next four years. The pace of adoption is rapid with annual growth forecast to exceed 55 percent between 2016 and 2020. Now is your chance to get in on the action. Capitalize on this emerging opportunity with help from IBM.

Join the Watson Build. Create a cognitive solution that you can take to market and start the transformation - for you and your clients.

Imagine it.

February 14 - May 30, 2017
Submissions to join the IBM Watson Build have closed

In this phase, you will imagine a cognitive solution you can build and bring to market. We will help you craft a business plan for your proposed solution. To begin, explore our online educational resources or attend a hands-on workshop led by IBM Watson experts to gain the skills you need to build. Keep in mind, your solution should have relevance to customers, measurable market value, and uses Watson Developer Cloud APIs.

Need inspiration? Check out Business Partners who are marketing their cognitive solutions now.


Build it.

June 19 - October 1

Selected ideas will move to the build phase where you will gain free access to development tools, access to business mentors and cognitive specialists who will help you bring your concept to life as a working prototype. To help you build your prototype you will gain access to IBM tools like IBM Bluemix, Watson APIs, Watson Content Hub and more.

To help you get started building your prototype, utilitze the resources guide on page 4 of our "Get Started" deck.


October - November

In the compete round, you’ll go head-to-head with other Business Partners who’ve developed cognitive solutions. After a panel of judges review the prototypes, seven winners will be selected from each geography, along with one wildcard winner. These eight winners will pitch their product to a panel of judges in an effort to take home the grand prize. What will you win? Learn here.



The best
will earn
big rewards.*

1 Global Champion Winner &
7 Geo Champions receive:

  • Sponsored feature in IBM Global Client event Spring 2018
  • Recognition at a 2018 IBM global client event along with a complementary event registration
  • Listing on the IBM Marketplace and Bluemix Catalog
  • Promotion through IBM regional events and communications plan
  • Feature article placement on Think Cognitive newsroom

Additionally, the Global Champion will receive a Watson Build Award crystal and Champion’s mark.




Access some essentials for collaboration, planning and development, and review the Watson Build workshop videos for inspiration.

Watson Build Workshop

Start your Watson Build on the right foot.

IBM Design Thinking

Explore IBM's approach to problem solving.



Who’s eligible?

All IBM Business Partners who are members of the IBM PartnerWorld Program are eligible to submit a solution.

Not a member of PartnerWorld yet? Start here.

IBM reserves the right to decline any submission from any Business Partner who is not in good standing with their IBM PartnerWorld or IBM Business Partner agreements.

Where should I start, and where can I find more resources?

The challenge overview is a good place to start, and we encourage you to review the featured solutions for examples of cognitive solutions built using Watson APIs.

Will there be local workshops?

Yes, there are a number of local workshops. To find the workshop closest to you, please review the calendar page.

What type of solution can I submit?

Your business case must be for a cognitive solution, must use Watson Developer Cloud APIs and must focus on industry or domain-specific solutions. Your solution should have relevance to customers and measurable market value, solving real customer problems.

Why should I participate? How will this help me grow my business?

The cognitive solutions market represents a tremendous growth opportunity for Business Partners who provide solutions with cognitive capabilities. According to IDC, by 2020 global cognitive/AI spending will reach $47 billion. This spend will come from many industries, of which the top 3 are Banking (19%), Retail (18%) and Healthcare (11%).

Learn more about the Build it phase