IBM, Columbia University Support Startups with New Blockchain Courses

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IBM, Columbia University Support Startups with New Blockchain Courses

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IBM’s almost frenetic blockchain charge continues with the multinational giant’s announcement of plans to combine with Columbia University to provide two accelerator programs for blockchain-based firms.

The Ivy League research university’s Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator is an eight-week program designed for pre-seed formulating companies with affiliations with either Columbia or any other New York universities. IBM’s press release explained the usefulness of the new program for other participating universities should they choose to sign up:

The goal of these programs is to help network founders develop their ideas into sustainable and scalable companies offering blockchain solutions. For those already further along in their journey, the programs are designed to help them achieve scale and build successful business networks.”

IBM added that the accelerators would “will offer entrepreneurs and blockchain network founders around the world access to the expertise and resources they need to establish blockchain networks”.

The two programs are each to target ten startups and will involve mentorship using technical, academic and business mentors from IBM and Columbia, plus enrolling student will have access to IBM’s agile design workshops as well as use IBM’s Cloud technology. Students will be offered extra support through connection to researchers from Columbia as well as other students.

The second of the two programs, the IBM Blockchain Accelerator, another eight-week course, is designed for companies at a more advanced stage of growth, taking place in New York and San Francisco. Of the two accelerators, Columbia Blockchain Launch Accelerator Executive Director Satish Rao said:

“Early- and late-stage teams will undoubtedly benefit from IBM’s technology resources, expertise and established network coupled with Columbia’s ground-breaking research and talent in blockchain and data transparency, all while benefiting from rapidly growing NYC blockchain communities.”

As IBM continues to demonstrate its determination to use blockchain research and development in a number of sectors and play an active role in pushing the technology into mainstream use, Columbia itself has been no slouch in expressing its opinions on DLT. In a recent edition of the university’s Columbia Journalism Review, a report on the events of its most recent panel discussion entitled ‘Blockchain in Journalism: Promise and Practice’ outlined its findings in how blockchain could impact journalism.

The panel found that key resistance to blockchain adoption was a general lack of knowledge. The panel felt that the stigma of cryptocurrency was still there to be overcome, including public fears of volatility and its past connections with criminal activity. They also felt that the dearth of available information to the public regarding blockchain’s workings and its numerous potential applications across all sectors was still a barrier to adoption.

 

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