More Live Blockchains? IBM Launches New Enterprise Accelerator Effort

After more than a year of working intensely on blockchain R&D, global tech giant IBM hasn’t seen many of its projects go live.

Of 400 clients enrolled since it first began its blockchain projects last February, just a dozen active networks are operational, according to the company’s VP of blockchain technologies, Jerry Cuomo.

But, today, the company is hoping to change that with the launch of its IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator.

Described broadly, the founder accelerator is an outgrowth of a problem perhaps not unique to emerging technologies. As explained by Cuomo, there are simply too many companies casually interested in blockchain technology, and only a limited number of somewhat veteran professionals who can help assist in the launch of real live networks.

Cuomo told CoinDesk:

“There’s more interest than there’s people to go around. The best thing we can do for our community is to have more live networks. Graduating them through quicker will make sure the practices will get reflected back to everyone.”

Cuomo went on to describe the offering as one that would sit on top of IBM’s Bluemix Garage, an effort that has seen the firm open in-person facilities for client engagement on distributed ledger tech. The IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator will go a step further, pairing serious builders with more specialized support.

“The program provides one-on-one mentorship and support by network founders and technologists across a range of needs such as business case development, network membership incentives, technical development, governance and legal issues,” IBM wrote in its official press release.

In total, eight founders will be selected for the program, who will gain access to workshops and bootcamps, its founder mentors and specific blockchain technology solutions that IBM has built with partners over the last year. These include a document storage solution, an asset provenance tracker and an identity onboarding tool.

Still, the paid program aims to be selective, according to Cuomo, who framed the effort as one that will ensure projects with the “most likelihood of succeeding” are able to access code and legal reviews, as well as its other support offerings.

Cuomo also said that scholarships and financial support may be made available to select candidates, and that the program would offer tiered access that makes pricing more flexible.

Jumper cables image via Shutterstock

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