Columbia University & IBM Announce Blockchain Accelerator Programs

IBM, Columbia University Fostering Blockchain

A collaboration between IBM and Columbia University has produced two blockchain accelerator programs. The Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator and the IBM Blockchain Accelerator will back 10 startup companies each. IBM and Columbia University joined hands to form the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency this summer. The goal is to increase the spectrum of blockchain applications. David Post is the managing director at the IBM Blockchain Accelerator. Post states that IBM’s collaboration with the Ivy League institution will help it to support early-stage companies. This will be accomplished by providing technologies and social networks necessary for business growth.

In his statement, Post further 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 focus of IBM Accelerator’s eight-week program will be for the later-stage companies that are beyond the product development phase. The company specifically wants to focus on firms that build enterprise business networks for blockchain application.” The program will include virtual programming.

Accelerator Takes Different Approach

On the other hand, the Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator takes a different approach. Columbia’s path supports companies in the pre-seed or idea stage. Columbia’s Blockchain Launch Accelerator will support and train companies on building blockchain startups. In order to qualify, companies in pre-seed stage must have an affiliation with any recognized university based in New York City or with Columbia University.

Both the programs will last for around eight weeks in New York City on-site. The later-stage companies are planning to divide their time between San Francisco and New York. Incidentally, the collaboration is thinking of supplying around $400,000 in technology access and services to each participant. Importantly, both the programs will not charge any equity or fee for participation.

Similar to Columbia University, New York University recently came up with a Major for blockchain technology. It claims to be the first school in the country to offer the degree. It is done in collaboration with the NYU Stern School of Business. Apart from these two universities, many other global educational institutes are now offering multiple crypto and blockchain-related courses.

Concurrently, the development in blockchain has gone beyond just university courses and applications as big companies and industries including IBM, Alibaba, and Bank of America competing to get most of the patents on this technology. IBM already has its own cloud blockchain platform powered by Hyperledger and is the second in the list of firms with maximum patents in the blockchain. The customer relationship management company Salesforce also won a patent in blockchain for a system that leverages ledger technology for filtering unwanted emails.

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