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IBM Alpha Zone to open 5th Israel accelerator class

Registration begins for 20-week program that aims to help startups foster partnerships with IBM worldwide

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

IBM executives and members of the first and second groups in the Alpha Zone Accelerator cut a blue ribbon inaugurating the second accelerator class, January 2015  (Courtesy)
IBM executives and members of the first and second groups in the Alpha Zone Accelerator cut a blue ribbon inaugurating the second accelerator class, January 2015 (Courtesy)

IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator has opened registration for its fifth class, offering a 20-week program to help startups build solutions for the enterprise market.

The program, located at the IBM Israel offices in Petah Tikva, will target post-seed & Round A funded companies that aim to create a long-term partnership with IBM worldwide. This year’s focus will be on cloud, big data & analytics, mobile, Internet of Things and a new generation of IT solutions powered by cognitive computing, the company said in a statement.

To qualify, companies need to be less than five years old, to have received some funding, and to have a talented team and a strong technological fit with IBM solutions and technologies, IBM said.

Since the Alpha Zone accelerator program was inaugurated in Israel in July 2014, its first such initiative globally, 25 startups have participated in the program. IBM says it offers companies global exposure to IBM worldwide, support for design and architecture of the technology, network opportunities and free office space.

No equity is taken in the participating companies.

IBM also partners with Becton, Dickinson and Company to jointly select up to four startups out of the entire class in the field of healthcare. For those startups that align with BD’s interests, the medical technology company offers professional mentorship, a grant of up to $25,000 and access to BD’s subject matter experts and a network of key opinion leaders.

At the conclusion of the program, the startups will present their technologies at an Investor Demo Day to angel investors, venture capitalists, IBM executives, media and industry leaders.

Upon graduation, where possible, IBM will try to market the solutions and help the companies with international sales on a global level, IBM Alpha Zone said on its website.

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