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IBM launches accelerator program to drive blockchain adoption


In a bid to expand the blockchain ecosystem program, tech giant, IBM has announced a Blockchain Founder Accelerator to help enterprises and enterprise developers take blockchain networks into production faster. According to the company, the accelerator is the first program available that provides expertise and support across the technology, legal and business considerations of establishing new blockchain networks.

IBM claims that the Blockchain Founder Accelerator has been designed to address the key challenges many early adopters and enterprise developers have identified through the development of leading blockchain networks. It aims to share this collective knowledge with enterprise founders to drive adoption of production blockchains. The goal of the program is to provide guidance, support and technical expertise to bring new blockchain networks into production and supporting an ecosystem of users and partners.

Who is it for?

IBM is calling blockchain network founders to join this program. A founder is the individual or organization which takes the first steps towards implementing a blockchain solution for a business network, or consortium. The company states that candidates with an interest in constructing a production blockchain network on Hyperledger Fabric are the ones it is looking for and have the desire to deploy a blockchain production network by the end of this year.

How will it help?

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.

In addition, members of the Founder Accelerator will receive early access to new prebuilt software assets, delivered via IBM Cloud, to help reduce the time and technical expertise needed for developers to write complex blockchain code.

These assets are based on IBM experience in building blockchain networks with more than 400 clients globally. Along with IBM’s established blockchain cloud services, these new capabilities will help clients rapidly create highly secure, cloud-based blockchain ecosystems.

“Blockchain is a team sport. With the right network of participants collaborating on the blockchain, the benefits can be exponential. IBM has worked on more blockchain projects than any other player in the industry and we understand the challenges organizations face and the resources needed to get blockchain networks right the first time,” said Marie Wieck, General Manager, Blockchain Technology, IBM.

“IBM is proactively building solutions and entire blockchain ecosystems across a broad range of industries and we are sharing our expertise and resources to help more organizations quickly set up their networks.”

What will the program entail?

The company claims that eight new blockchain network founders will be selected for this fee-based accelerator across a range of industries such as banking, logistics, manufacturing and retail. It will provides organizations with guidance, support and technical expertise to get their networks up and running and supporting an ecosystem of users and partners by the end of the year.

The program will also make scholarships available and grant access to Design Thinking Workshops such as Bluemix Garages and design bootcamps; Founder Mentorship One-on-Ones, which will bring in technical and business mentors from IBM Research team creating Blockchain solutions and assets, and IBM Labs contributing to and helping maintain Hyperledgers; as well as IBM Cloud Services.

According to Big Blue, assets designed to help organizations speed the deployment of code from months, to just a few days, participants in the program will have first access prior to the general availability of the code. These assets include IBM innovations incorporated into projects across global trade digitization, supply chain finance, transaction settlement, procurement trade finance, supply chain visibility and food safety.

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