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IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator Returns: A Year of More than Doubling Down



Over the past 2+ years, IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator has enabled 45 of the most exciting and global fintech, healthtech, and insurtech startups. This year, we are working with 55 more companies across two cohorts (Cohort 4 and Friends of Hyper Protect) with the continued support of our brilliant collaborator, Village Capital, that manages the business mentorship aspect of the program’s support services, whilst IBM leads technical enablement. 

Once again, we are teaming up with early-stage entrepreneurs that handle sensitive data including Personally Identifiable Information, such as medical records, insurance claims, financial information, intellectual property, and the like. We work with startups with less than $1M in revenue and less than five years old. With Cohort 4 and Friends of Hyper Protect, we are expanding our breadth of industries. This year, we have seen an incredible number of applications, including those from the music industry (shoutout to Timbaland, the Beatclub crew, and the music creator community!), edtech, and legaltech startups. We can’t wait to work with all the amazing startups that have been added to the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator family!


Diversity is extremely important to us and our collaborators. We have built upon our record-breaking gender and ethnic diversity last year and are proud that nearly half of our new cohort companies have a female founder, and 64% of startups have at least one diverse founder (Black, Asian, or LatinX) founder. These diversity numbers resulted from Village Capital’s unprecedented outreach, sourcing, and selection efforts. Our collaborators at Female Founders Alliance and Black Innovation Alliance have also been instrumental in making this achievement a reality.

With less than 3% of venture funds in the United States going to female-founded startups, it is strikingly obvious that something must change to ensure that the startup ecosystem is fueled by all genders. Our team truly believes when a company has diverse talent at the top of the house, it’s better able to represent its customer pain points, aspirations, wants, needs, joys, and frustrations; therefore, creating more inclusive products, services, and solutions. 


Throughout the first two years of this program, it became clear that we needed to scale our impact to boost our support for companies from across the planet. That’s why we have more than doubled our capacity each year, starting with supporting fifteen companies in 2019, 30 in 2020, and now working with 55 companies in this year’s accelerator. Scaling up is a priority of both the Accelerator team and Village Capital, which is why we are both excited to be leveraging the Village Capital Abaca platform alongside other tech tools to ensure founders receive valuable and tailored business enablement that aim to unlock their next stage of growth.

IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services

One of the most important issues of our time includes the protection of our data and its sovereignty.  How often do we hear of security breaches from even the most sophisticated organizations? Daily, right?

We launched this program to empower startups with game-changing security and encryption solutions that one of our startups describes as the Fort Knox of cloud solutions. Like last year, this year’s cohorts will be armed with solutions such as IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services powered by LinuxONE. We are excited to offer our startups the scalability and security capabilities of the mainframe, while running their workloads in the cloud.

Selection Criteria

Cohort 4 and Friends of Hyper Protect startups were selected based on a multi-step process conducted by IBM Z leadership and Village Capital where applications were evaluated based on data security needs, use cases, product-market fit, size, age, and ability to build and scale.  Finalist companies underwent multiple interviews and were evaluated on both technical and business factors, while enabling startup CEOs and CTOs to interview our team to ensure we would be the right fit to help them achieve their business and technical goals and objectives.


Startups receive:

  • IBM Cloud credits of up to $120,000, which equates to up to $10,000 per month for a one-year period. 
  • Two years of ongoing technical mentorship from a crew of IBMers.  These are real IBMers and not a chatbot or email box that connects to a pool of unknown and nameless resources. 
  • Three months business mentorship led by Village Capital aimed toward business enablement and investment readiness.

Cohort 4 & Friends of Hyper Protect consist of 55 startups in fintech, healthtech, insurtech, regtech, edtech, legaltech and datatech startups from twenty four countries, including USA, UAE, Mexico, Argentina, UK, Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Nigeria, Kenya, Israel, Singapore, Jordan, and more. 

We want to take this opportunity to congratulate our winners!

Cohort 4:

  1. Abakus (Fintech, Argentina) A peer-to-peer end financial ecosystem, specializing in banking, payments, remittance, and foreign exchange. 
  2. Adroyte (Fintech, South Africa) Adroyte provides Fintech solutions (lending, virtual banking, etc.) for banks, telcos, and other verticals. 
  3. Beatclub (Music, USA) Connecting the music creator community with record labels, music publishers, film & tv, brands, creators, and independent artists. 
  4. BioTwin (Healthtech, Canada) BioTwin harnesses AI and biometrics to create virtual human twins allowing early detection/ prediction of diseases. 
  5. Cirkled In (Edtech, USA) An online platform for youth to showcase their talent and connect to the best-fit education, employment and other opportunities. 
  6. GoStaff (Healthtech, Tunisia) Enables tele-expertise between health professionals and facilitates the automated diagnosis of diseases via artificial intelligence. 
  7. (Datatech, Mexico) Building a more private, safe, and practical way for people/companies to build trust, by enabling digital identity on the blockchain. 
  8. Moneo (Fintech, Mexico) A receipt-snapping rewards app that helps brands to reward existing and potential consumers.
  9. Procordr Ltd (Datatech, UK) Procordr uses the vast array of Cyber Security data available to CISOs to guide them in their executive reporting and decision making. 
  10. RePay Africa (Fintech, Kenya) Provides an electronic alternative to cash, cheques & banks for the un-banked Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  11. Robbie AI (Healthtech, USA) AI-driven solution for prevention of patient injuries related to falls, and early prediction of delirium through computer vision. 
  12. The Purchasing Power Exchange (Fintech, USA) combines Bitcoin’s 100% verification process with systematic incentives to trade its resulting smart contracts inside a regular bank account. 
  13. Tinuum / doc2doc (Healthtech, USA) Offering real-time diagnosis between patients and physicians, and expedited treatments.
  14. Title3Funds (Fintech, USA) Title3Funds is cracking the code to reach Retail Investor, presenting a wide variety of investment opportunities with crowd appeal.
  15. XVision (Healthtech, Romania) XVision is making the radiology diagnosis process more efficient with the help of AI. 

Friends of Hyper Protect:

  1. Asaak (Fintech, USA) Asaak is a fully digital lending platform that offers mobile financial services across Uganda to strengthen businesses.
  2. Aurora (Edtech, Colombia) Aurora’s mission is training and educating +140M blue-collar employees to excel in a more competitive future.
  3. Be Safe Group (Insurtech, Italy) Be safe provides innovative hospitality industry tools to help businesses improve their processes and increase competitive offers.
  4. CardioLync (Healthtech, Israel) CardioLync improves chronic disease care with its Interdisciplinary care coordination and communication technology.
  5. Comtok (Healthtech, Spain) Comtok is a safe and secure way for doctors and patients to communicate, saving money and time and improving the quality of care.
  6. ChangeCom (Fintech, Jordan) The first mobile app-based platform that provides personal financial management solutions built for millennials for better financial health for users and higher financial inclusion rates.
  7. CircaGene (Healthtech, UK) CircaGene provides digital health solutions for users that value their Data Privacy and personalized health management.
  8. Coopco Technology (Datatech, Nigeria) Coopco Technology is end-to-end cloud-based software that provides workflow solutions for cooperative organizations
  9. Credit Plus (Fintech, Uganda) Credit Plus is a digital platform that provides flexible earned wage solutions to employees.
  10. CryptoMate (Fintech, Argentina) CryptoMate facilitates P2P and OTC operations using blockchain, AI and social technologies.
  11. Curacel (Insurtech, Nigeria) AI-powered claims processing and fraud detection platform for insurance companies.
  12. Edfundo (Fintech, UAE) Edfundo is a money management application that comes with a prepaid debit card. It sets out to give kids and teens an unrivaled banking experience with a core focus on financial literacy.
  13. eFlow (Edtech, UAE) eFlow is a cloud-based educational platform powered by an interactive chatbot that enhances learning delivery and management by conserving the human element in distance learning through conversational course format.
  14. ELCIES (Datatech, Netherlands) ELCIES is a Data and algorithm platform that offers the science behind “Workout Personalization” as-a-service. ELCIES has developed an Award-winning algorithm that personalizes the Fitness and lifestyle-related data by predicting the best “Fitness Routine” for each person in less than 3 seconds!
  15. Emata (Fintech, Uganda) Emata is disrupting the $240bn farmer financing opportunity in Africa and on a mission to provide digital loans to millions of farmers.
  16. Erudit AI (Healthtech, USA) AI-driven software for people analytics.
  17. FamGenix (Healthtech, USA) FamGenix is a digital platform for patients to manage their family health history and connect with clinicians, including the use of genetic counselors.
  18. GritWell (Healthtech, USA) GritWell is a virtual care platform where AI enables providers to deliver a new standard of chronic care, addressing the full spectrum of modern health needs.
  19. Hippocrates Technologies (Healthtech, Italy) Hippocrates Technologies aims to democratize the development of advanced app-based and cloud-based eHealth solutions that run on cutting-edge hardware and software technologies and natively connect to wearable (mIoT) devices.
  20. HoyTrabajas (Recruitment, Colombia) HoyTrabajas is a job market network that recruits employees for low-skilled jobs.
  21. Kapitalwise Inc. (Fintech, USA) Kapitalwise Inc. enables automated and precise client interaction for financial institutions. Their goal is to scale and automate client engagement for financial institutions.
  22. MayaMD (Healthtech, USA) MayaMD is an advanced Clinical intelligence platform that can reduce the current pressure on health systems by acting as a digital front door for medical consultations for virtual triage for 7000 plus conditions in less than 2 minutes.
  23. Merkle Science (Datatech, Singapore) Merkle Science is the next-generation of crypto threat detection, risk management, and compliance solutions for businesses, banks, and government agencies.
  24. Moonstake (Fintech, Singapore) Moonstake is a leader in blockchain wallet and staking solutions and services to satisfy increasing demands in regional and global blockchain markets.
  25. Nymiz (Datatech, Spain) A solution for the anonymization of personal data focused on the pseudonymization of unstructured data that allows protection from hacking and compliance with data protection laws for companies, their clients, and providers.
  26. Pagomed (Insurtech, Mexico) Pagomed is a company with a platform that connects doctors with insurance companies and completes the billing process between hospitals and insurance companies.
  27. Paybox (Fintech, Ghana) Paybox is a one-stop cross-border mobile payment and fund transfer platform for Africa.
  28. PayDay (Fintech, USA) PayDay is a blockchain-powered company that helps Africans receive money from anyone, anywhere in the world in less than 3 minutes.
  29. Ponoly (Datatech, Sweden) Ponoly is the modern digital safety deposit box, protected by the highest grade of encryption, where you are in control of your digital assets.
  30. Regtank Technology (Fintech, Singapore) One-stop compliance solution for Fintechs in navigating compliance, security, and risk management.
  31. Roundups (Fintech, UK) A “tech for good” startup transforming the charitable giving space by showing donors the social impact of their contributions in an engaging way to further strengthen donor- organization relationships.
  32. Ltd (Datatech, UK) is a cybersecurity deception-technology platform that helps businesses identify previously undetected data leakage incidents and significantly reduce incident costs.
  33. Triyo (Datatech, USA) Triyo is an enterprise collaboration platform and knowledge management system that accomplishes workflow, efficiency, and data analytics by leveraging API economy to provide granular operational visibility and collaboration across remote and hybrid work models, with minimal behavioral change.
  34. Snark Health (Healthtech, Kenya) Snark Health helps patients improve their access to health care and lower their cost of care through a Hippocratic Coin® alternative payment model.
  35. TEDU (Edtech, USA) TEDU integrates and partners with universities and other educational institutions worldwide to provide them and their students a suite of out-of-classroom academic resource utilities.
  36. Ubawa Technologies (Fintech, Kenya) Ubawa enables businesses to accept online payments at their customer's convenience.
  37. Volve Solutions (Fintech, Singapore) Volve allows you to pay, manage, and track expenses anytime, from anywhere with automated expense reporting, receipt tracking, and matching.
  38. XSISI (Insurtech, Mexico) XSISI provides easy-to-buy and specific indemnity insurance that will be easy to claim in case the client needs to be compensated
  39. YData (Datatech, Portugal) YData is a data science platform focusing on data rather than the models in order to help data science teams collaborate and build the best training datasets and exponentially accelerate AI & ML while preserving the security, privacy & fidelity of data.
  40. ZapFlow (Datatech, Finland) Zapflow is a cloud-based productivity platform for investing teams in the alternative investments space.

Please take a moment to congratulate this year’s classes of IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator and Friends of Hyper Protect startups via social media shoutouts using the hashtag #HyperProtectAccelerator and tagging @IBMZ. Feel free to tag our leadership team personally as well: Melissa Sassi & Aaron Ralls. We’d love to hear from you!

Interested in joining future classes during our next call for applications? Show your interest here.

Here we go!

Melissa Sassi
Chief Penguin, IBM Z
Student & Entrepreneur Experience