International Business Machines Corp. has spent the last two years building direct relationships with entrepreneurs that can help it grow its business. Now it’s getting an early indication that the strategy is working.

It announced Wednesday that it has partnered with Streetline Inc., a start-up that’s developing technologies to shorten a driver’s search for an empty parking spot.

IBM’s growth plans rely on its ability to understand and capitalize on emerging technology trends coming out of innovative young companies. For the last decade, it has leaned on its relationships with venture capitalists to steer it towards the best companies, but changing dynamics in the venture industry have made IBM realize that it needs a more direct channel to entrepreneurs.


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