“We have seen that launching and scaling a startup continues to be a challenging journey for early-stage entrepreneurs, and we have all heard the statistics that a large number of startups fail,” the company announced on the IBM Developer blog. “By helping companies build scalable solutions, while providing a highly secured platform for development, the program is designed to drive business and social innovations across the financial services and healthcare industries.”
In the programme, the selected companies will receive technical workshops, business value design assistance, a curriculum tailored to early-stage startups, business and technical support, access to 300 business mentors at Queen City Fintech, and up to $10,000 monthly in credits ($120,000 by the end of the accelerator) for IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services.
Eligible FinTech and HealthTech startups from around the world that would like access to resources to build world-class applications and create technical solutions are invited to apply. IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator is open to early-stage, pre-Series A startups that are less than five years old and have less than one million dollars in revenue. The companies also need to have a website and matching email address.
Over a 12-week period, IBM will choose 15 startups in collaboration with IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, and MEDICI. In November, the selected startups will attend a four-day in-person workshop in Charlotte, North Carolina. The sessions, led by IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech and MEDICI, will discuss technical expertise, business value and agile design. At the end of the workshop, the founders will attend a “demo day” to present their companies to IBM partners, potential clients, and venture capitalists. Over the following two years, IBM will offer virtual mentorship to the startups. The entrepreneurs will receive monthly engagement and quarterly “all-hands” mentorship over two years, including a second in-person demo day one year in.
Over the past several years, accelerators have propelled numerous startups towards success, including Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe and Reddit, graduates of the acclaimed Y Combinator programme. In 2015, more than $191 million was invested into more than 8,800 startups in five regions around the world, according to Forbes.
“Since the founding of the first accelerator in 2005, the industry has grown tremendously, giving thousands of entrepreneurs unprecedented access to expertise, resources, and capital that helps turn their ideas into businesses,” the Forbes article explained. “Within only a decade, accelerators have become a mainstay of startup ecosystems in regions around the globe.”
IBM’s programme is one of the latest startup accelerators that are helping founders and their teams to overcome initial hurdles, build connections with successful entrepreneurs and expand their businesses quickly.