Watson: ‘Jeopardy’ winner looks for new categories to conquer

Welcome to CapBiz A.M., your morning primer on business news with a focus on Washington.

What is… Watson? It has been three years since Watson, IBM’s computing powerhouse topped two former champions on “Jeopardy!” Now, the company is hawking the technology in Washington, hoping to market Watson as an analytics engine capable of transforming a multitude of established industries. And for that, it’s soliciting help from software developers both locally and across the country. (CAPBIZ)

Teaching on campus: Microsoft officials say they plan to open one of their first training centers in the United States on the east campus of the former St. Elizabeths hospital, in one of the poorest areas of Southeast D.C. That would help Mayor Vincent Gray check off one of the top items on his economic development to-do list. (CAPBIZ)

Global challenge: D.C. business incubator 1776 this week hosts its Challenge Festival, the culmination of a months-long search of the world’s most promising and ambitious start-ups in highly regulated sectors like education and health care – including four up-and-coming companies from the Washington region. (OSB)

Cyber sway: The number of companies, associations and other groups lobbying on data and cybersecurity issues has nearly tripled since 2008. Some of the increase stems from companies hiring firms right before disclosing a major data security breach – and yes, that includes Target. (CAPBIZ)

Squash on Fire: Georgetown developer and entrepreneur Anthony Lanier, whose company is breaking ground on a $12 million indoor sports facility in the District’s West End Fire Station later this year, is is digging deeper into the business of squash – and that’s the sport, not the fruit. (CAPBIZ)

Driver disruption: Mobile-app based ride services like Uber and Lyft are growing increasingly popular in the region, giving cab drivers in serious competition for customers and creating headaches for regulators who are scrambling to figure out if and how they should get involved. (WP)

On Wall Street

Stocks ended last week on a high note, with the Dow climbing to a new record high on Friday. This week, investors will be monitoring the latest retail sales and inflation numbers, as well as earnings from Wal-Mart and Cisco. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Treasury budget report (2:00 p.m.)

GovSec conference for government, homeland security, and law enforcement professionals (9:00 a.m.)

Challenge Festival forum on legal advice for technology startups (11:30 a.m.)

Virginia SBDC seminar on starting a business (6:00 p.m.)

Appointments: A look at some of the area’s latest movers and shakers

Help: How to harness big data for your market research (ENT)

Follow: Watson, the official account IBM’s artificial intelligence computing system

Extra: A connection between your employment status and your weight? It appears so. (WP)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he manages the Post's On Small Business blog.
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J.D. Harrison | May 9