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Call for Applications – Cohorts 2 & 3: IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator


Readers, founders, early-stage entrepreneurs…you!

Launching and scaling a startup is challenging and being an early-stage entrepreneur remains especially trying with everything going on in the world today.

Today, IBM is announcing the expansion of our IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator program by adding 30 new fintech and healthtech startups.

For those of you who have been following along with our progress, you might recall that the program is all about providing a highly secure platform to enable startups to keep their sensitive data secured.

If your startup is collecting, storing, and/or transmitting sensitive data such as medical and/or financial records and looking for a platform to help keep your customer data secure, you have found the right program.

IBM’s collaborators include Village Capital, Female Founders Alliance, MEDICI, Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, Queen City Fintech, and Healthtech Women. Our team empowers startups with business acceleration expertise and technical mentorship throughout our journey together.

Selected startups can expect access to one-on-one, hands-on technical leaders, cloud solution architects, and an experienced network of business leaders. We empower our cohort via curated curriculum specifically designed for early-stage startups. Startups will receive up to $10,000 in monthly IBM Cloud technology credits which can be used toward IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services and the variety of cloud solutions available within the world of IBM, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and other cloud services available via the IBM Cloud. By the end of the program, each startup will have access to up to $120,000 in credits to be used within a one-year period.

Our startups currently operate within the fintech, insurtech, and healthtech verticals across eight countries and four continents.

Check out the Class of 2020 here.

Phase I: Call for Entries

We’re looking for early-stage fintech, insurtech, and healthtech founders from around the world who need access to the resources required to help build world-class applications and technical solutions.

This program is designed for early-stage startups from across the globe that are less than five years old and have less than $1M USD in revenue. Startups must have a website and matching email address.

Our application is live now and will remain open until August 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. PST.

Phase II: Startup Identification

Once applications close IBM will work with its panel of expert judges of IBMers and program collaborators to review startup applications and select 30 early-stage fintech, insurtech, and healthtech startups based on scoring criteria that includes evaluation of each startup’s fit for purpose, including its problem statement, mission, vision, value proposition, architecture, business model, competitive set, solution, and team structure.


Phase III: Business & Technical Workshops

In November, IBM will host a series of workshops. Each startup will be able to attend one workshop series. Details on how these workshops will be conducted will be shared when cohort selections occur, as we are continuing to evaluate the safest and most effective means to host them. The workshop series will include design thinking, investment readiness, pitch refinement, go to market strategy and execution, marketing collaboration, details on joining the IBM Partners Program, and detailed, one-on-one technical mentorship.


Phase IV: Ongoing Mentorship 

To create a long-term, successful accelerator, IBM will provide virtual mentorship to our cohort of entrepreneurs, consisting of monthly one-on-one engagement and quarterly all-hands with IBM engineers and architects 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.

Diversity & Inclusion

IBM recognizes that diversity and inclusion are integral to a company’s strategic and profitability objectives—solidifying the connection between customer satisfaction and winning in the marketplace. IBM values opportunities for businesses owned and operated by minorities, women, LGBT+, disabled veterans, and other disabled persons.



We are incredibly excited to kick off our second annual IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator application process! 

Submit your application by August 16, 2020. Any application submitted after this deadline will NOT be considered. If your startup is nominated, you'll be notified in mid-September during IBM Z Day – a live, virtual event sponsored by the IBM Z Ecosystem team. More on that exciting event in the coming weeks!

Hope everyone is staying safe during these dynamic times; we look forward to hearing from you.

On behalf of our crew here at IBM, we look forward to checking out your pitch deck and the secret sauce your startup has cooking!

Apply by August 16.

Melissa Sassi
Chief Penguin
IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator
IBM Z Global Student Hub


Alexander Leventhal
Z Technology Business Development Associate
IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator