IBM and Columbia University launch blockchain accelerators for startups

The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency has unveiled two new programs aimed at helping startups accelerate blockchain innovation


IBM and Columbia University are asking for startups to join their two new accelerator programs aimed at helping companies accelerate their blockchain innovation.

The unveiling of the accelerator programs follows the company's partnership in July in which the duo set up the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, a center devoted to research in blockchain technology and data transparency. The aim of the center is to apply blockchain to address the growing need for data transparency and to incubate the business ideas from students, faculty and members of the startup community.

The new programs will support 10 startups in each program and participants will have access to design workshops from IBM, a network of business and technical support as well as connections from the Columbia research community and student talent pools. Additionally, they will receive business value design assistance and access to IBM's Cloud technology.

The technology and services offered value at around $400,000 per company and the program will last around eight weeks.

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Of the latest development from the center, IBM Blockchain Accelerator's MD David Post stated: "The possibilities presented by blockchain technology are seemingly endless, and we are seeing strong dedication by technical talent to build game-changing applications."

The IBM Blockchain Accelerator is designed for "later-stage growth companies while the Columbia Blockchain is aimed at "pre-seed, idea stage companies" to provide all-encompassing support that covers startups at different stages in their blockchain innovation efforts.

Nominations for the IBM Blockchain Accelerator have already opened, while applications for the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator are set to start in January 2019.

This move by IBM is the latest in a large number of blockchain-related strategic moves that the legacy tech giant has been making recently in an effort to democratize the technology and generally establish itself as a blockchain leader. It recently filed a patent aimed at using blockchain technology to aid scientific studies and announced an expansion of its partnership with Travelport to advance the adoption of blockchain within the travel industry, among a string of other moves.

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