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IBM Z Day announcement spotlights companies from around the world that leverage highly sensitive data to solve different problems.


Last year, the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator introduced 15 startups in the program’s very first cohort, and this year we will be announcing 30 additional companies in our upcoming Cohorts 2 & 3 during IBM Z Day on September 15!

Our team has spent the past four months assessing and interviewing global early-stage fintech, healthtech, and insurtech startups that handle highly sensitive personally identifiable information and increase access to essential services.

In an increasingly digital world, the value of customer data has never been greater, and the challenges of keeping data secure have never been more important to businesses and startups alike. ForgeRock reported that 97% of data breaches in 2018 targeted personally identifiable information, and nearly 60% of data breaches targeted health or financial data. As these incidents increase each year, it is our mission to support companies that prioritize keeping this customer information secure from tampering or hacking. Whether it is a healthtech startup disrupting how medical professionals share patient data, or a fintech startup innovating frictionless money transfer in Africa — the impact of keeping data secure will expand who can use and access these essential services.

With over 300 applications from more than 60 countries, we had a record-breaking number of companies apply to this year’s program. Healthtech and fintech composed most of our applicants, making up 46% and 37% of our applicant pool, respectively. Another big push we made with our sourcing efforts was to promote the diversity of our cohorts beyond geography, and we are excited to share that over 50% of the startups that applied to the accelerator have a female co-founder. Our goal is for early-stage companies that are handling highly sensitive data to put data security at the forefront of their needs and value proposition.

Our selected companies will receive $120,000 in IBM cloud credits to be used toward IBM Cloud Hyper Protect services; this will ensure that their data receives the best protection on the market, as well as the variety of other products available, including Watson, Watson Health, and/or blockchain. In tandem with the credits, selected companies will receive two years of technical mentorship from IBM experts, and one year of business mentorship and investment readiness support from Village Capital.

Join us on IBM Z Day to learn more about the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator and the 30 innovative startups we will be accepting into Cohorts 2 and 3 of our program. These companies come from all over the world and are each leveraging highly sensitive data to solve a different problem.

Here’s what you can expect from us at IBM Z Day:

  • Melissa Sassi, Chief Penguin of the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator
  • Allie Burns, CEO of Village Capital
  • Leslie Leinzaig, CEO of Female Founders Alliance
  • Official announcement of Cohorts 2 and 3
  • Live pitches from top companies selected into our cohorts

We’re looking forward to seeing you on September 15. Tune in to find out if you are a good fit for future cohorts of the IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator and how you can access resources like cloud credits beyond being a part of our program.

See you there and don’t forget to register here!