The US-based technology giant is opening a new accelerator program that will assist enterprises and developers in establishing new blockchain networks.

IBM has announced the launch of the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator to help enterprises develop and grow their projects using the blockchain technology.

The program will allow participants take their blockchain networks into production faster. In addition, the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator will provide one-on-one mentorship, technical guidance and support by network founders and technologists across different needs, such as technical development, business case development, network membership incentives, governance and legal issues.

“IBM has worked on more blockchain projects than any other player in the industry and we understand the challenges organizations face and the resources needed to get blockchain networks right the first time,” said Marie Wieck, general manager, blockchain technology, IBM. “IBM is proactively building solutions and entire blockchain ecosystems across a broad range of industries and we are sharing our expertise and resources to help more organizations quickly set up their networks.”

The company will choose eight of the best blockchain network founders to take part in the accelerator from a range of industries, including logistics, retail, banking and manufacturing.

The participants will get an access to workshops, IBM Cloud services and software assets provided by software giant to reduce time needed to write complex blockchain code. These assets are based on the company’s experience in creating blockchain networks with over 400 clients worldwide. Also, the members will receive up to $120,000 worth of IBM Cloud credits to leverage the ecosystem, as well as an access to IBM Bluemix Garage sessions for development.

The program was created to address important issues that many enterprise founders have identified through the development of blockchain networks. It is aimed at fueling the adoption of production blockchains by sharing collective knowledge with enterprise developers.

“As a founder of security and privacy solutions addressing the cost and complexity of complying with regulatory requirements such as the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, the guidance and support that IBM provided us in bringing DataPassports to market was invaluable in accelerating the development and delivery of our blockchain based services,” said Kevin Ellison, CEO of Schedule1.

IBM is focused on the blockchain technology and is committed to expand the ecosystem. The company has developed IBM Blockchain to solve one of the biggest problems of the bitcoin blockchain — protecting data privacy in the context of industry and government regulations.

Jerry Cuomo, vice president of blockchain for IBM, believes the interest in the technology will continue growing in the near future. According to the company’s research, one third of 3,000 executives surveyed are using or planning to use the technology.

“I think 2016 was the year of blockchain experimentation,” said Cuomo. “2017 is the year of adoption, and this year we are seeing networks activated. We will measure the success of this year by the number of permissioned blockchains we see activated. As we get into 2018, we are going to see both the growth of those networks and the interoperation of those networks.”

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