CHARLOTTE – IBM is looking for 15 startups to participate in a new accelerator program that includes a Charlotte partner, Queen City Fintech. Charlotte also will be the site of a workshop in November for selected companies.

Big Blue’s program is called the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator Powered by IBM LinuxONE. Nominations are now being accepted. Recipients will receive up to $120,000 in service credits as well as ongoing mentorship.

“Over four phases – call for entries, startup identification, an in-person workshop and ongoing mentorship – selected startups will work with IBM and our collaborators IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, and MEDICI, to help them develop their ideas into sustainable and scalable companies,” wrote Melissa Sassi in a blog post.

“The selected startups will have access to technical workshops from IBM, an experienced network of business and technical support, connections to Queen City Fintech’s 300 business mentors, business value design assistance, curated curriculum specifically designed for startups, and up to $10,000 monthly in IBM Cloud technology credits that can be used within that month to access IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services running on IBM LinuxONE.”

Here’s how Sassi describes the program:

  • Phase I: Call for entries

[W]e’re looking for early-stage fintech and healthtech founders from around the world who need access to the resources required to help them build world-class applications and technical solutions.

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.

Nominations for the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator are now open. This program is designed for early-stage, pre-Series A startups from across the globe that are less than five years old and have less than $1M in revenue. Startups should have a website and matching email address. The application process will remain open until July 31, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

  • Phase II: Startup identification

Over a 12 week period, IBM will work with IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech, and MEDICI to review startup applications and select fifteen early-stage fintech and healthtech startups with technical and business best practices.

For startups in the healthcare and financial services space needing to protect highly sensitive data in cloud native applications, LinuxONE is designed to offer a highly secured environment, and is capable of scaling as their companies grow. LinuxONE also provides the highest level of uptime and availability for companies that rely on uninterrupted service.

  • Phase III: In-person workshop

In November, IBM will host an in-person workshop which will take place over four days in Charlotte, North Carolina the week of November 11, 2019. The workshop will include agile design workshops from IBM, technical expertise from IBM engineers, business value sessions from IBM Alpha Zone, Queen City Fintech and MEDICI, helping the startups to refine their ideas, and will conclude in a demo day where founders will present their solutions to IBM partners, customers, and the venture capital community.

  • Phase IV: Ongoing mentorship

To create a long-term, successful accelerator, IBM will provide virtual mentorship to this cohort of entrepreneurs, consisting of monthly one-on-one engagement and quarterly all-hands with IBM technical personnel over a two-year period.

The cohort will also receive virtual business mentorship over a one-year period, which includes monthly one-on-ones and quarterly all-hands. After one year of mentorship, the cohort will be invited back to a second in-person demo day.

Read more online.

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