IBM, the global tech giant, is collaborating with Columbia University to launch “technology accelerators” that are part of a push to speed up blockchain development.
Called The IBM Blockchain Accelerator and Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator will initially support 20 startups between them, according to the IBM press release.
David Post, IBM Blockchain Accelerator managing director, said in the release: “The possibilities presented by blockchain technology are seemingly endless, and we are seeing strong dedication by technical talent to build game-changing applications.” And he added, “What is also needed to truly bring about this sea change is the right technology and expertise which is why IBM is working with Columbia to help give these early- and mid-stage founders a way to build enterprise-grade networks that can move blockchain innovation forward.”
IBM stated the project’s ultimate goal in the press release, saying, “The goal of these programs is to help network founders develop their ideas into sustainable and scalable companies offering blockchain solutions. For those already further along in their journey, the programs are designed to help them achieve scale and build successful business networks. As blockchain technology continues to grow in popularity, its value is tied to the strength of the networks that use it. By helping companies build scalable solutions, the programs can foster meaningful enterprise blockchain adoption and drive business efficiencies across industries.”
The two accelerators have slightly different functions. The IBM Blockchain Accelerator is designed for later-stage growth companies globally and focused on building out an enterprise business network and client base for their blockchain application, while the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator is designed for pre-seed, idea-stage companies with a Columbia or other recognised New York City-based University affiliation.
The pilot programme will take place over eight weeks in New York City, although the teams will later split their time between sites in NYC and San Francisco.