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Columbia blockchain centers to launch two "acceleration" programs

The IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency of Columbia will launch two "acceleration" programs: one for student-led blockchain efforts and another for advanced companies that focus on blockchain.

The two acceleration programs will be joint efforts between Columbia University and IBM, but will have different names and will focus on different areas of the growing blockchain space.

The Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator will be dedicated to New York City college students looking to build an idea that they have for a blockchain effort. IBM Blockchain Accelerator will present advanced companies focused on blockchain.

Every program will do it offer 10 points each and be free for those accepted. The acceptance of the respective programs provides access to technology, marketing and tutoring services from both IBM and the university – benefits of $ 400,000 per spot. Applications for the student-centered Columbia blockchain launcher accelerator will open in January 2019, while IBM Blockchain accelerator applications were opened last week.

Despite similar names, the two programs have different goals, said Satish Rao, Chief Business Analytics Engineer at IBM Systems and executive director of the Columbia blockchain launch accelerator.

Groups led by students taking part in the Columbia blockchain launcher could potentially be able to find the VC seeds or money at the end of the eight-week course, Rao said. Although it is expected that many groups are composed mostly of students, that program requires at least one current New York student per group.

"Students come to Columbia at all levels – undergraduate, undergraduate, even a professor – and they're trying to start businesses. They want to learn how to be the founders – many students we've seen, this is their first job after leaving the 39; university, "he said.

The IBM blockchain accelerator is aimed at companies interested in building a client network for their blockchain application, which should already exist in some way, said Rao

For the launcher blockchain Columbia accelerator, groups of students they will meet weekly to learn the technical skills necessary to build their prototype, and at the same time they will learn the basic business and storytelling skills necessary to effectively manage a company. The group should have a basic understanding of the blockchain and an idea before application. That does not mean that they do not rotate during the course, although – almost all teams realize the difficulty and revisions necessary to create a feasible product and step during the course, said Rao.

IBM and Columbia have a long history of researching emerging technologies together, which is why the center has been announced on the Columbia campus in July. This will be the sixth "accelerator" focus of the university – the previous five focusing on various types of medical technology, cyber security, clean energy, media and AR / VR.

This is the first university that has ever done with an industrial partner, however – a fundamental distinction, according to David Post, Managing Director of the IBM blockchain accelerator.

"The possibilities offered by blockchain technology are seemingly endless, and we are witnessing a strong dedication from technical talent to create revolutionary applications," said Post in a statement. "What is also needed to achieve this change at sea is the right technology and experience, which is why IBM is working with Columbia to help these founders in the early and intermediate stages to build enterprise-level networks that can move innovation blockchain forward. "

The IBM blockchain accelerator will keep the emphasis on creating a strategy for blockchain products more than for building distributed register technology, said Rao, because candidates should have a complete idea or a blockchain product already in use. They will have the opportunity to scale their business through the meetups in New York and San Francisco and virtual programming through the course.

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