IBM launches first-ever start-up accelerator

Alpha Zone in Petah Tikva will focus on big data, cloud computing and more.

IBM Corporation (NYSE: IBM) is joining the wave of technology incubator programs with the launch of its first-ever start-up accelerator in Israel. The company says that it has begun the preliminary selection of entrepreneurs and companies for the program's first class. The program was established in cooperation with ZionTech Blue Initiatives LLC, an American boutique investment house founded by general partner Nathan Low.

The accelerator, IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator, will provide a 24-week immersion program in which participating ventures will have free use of IBM's development tools, cloud infrastructures up to a value $24,000, and access to consultancy services and knowhow of IBM technology staff, researchers and developers around the world. Alpha Zone is based in IBM Israel's premises in Petah Tikva, as part of the IBM Global Technology Unit.

Alpha Zone's first class will begin in July. The program will network entrepreneurs with venture capitalists, assist in presenting proposals to the Office of the Chief Scientist, and arrange meetings with advisers in the industry, such as Bank Hapoalim (TASE: POLI), Office of the Chief Scientist, accountants Ernst & Young and law firm Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co.

IBM Global Technology Unit leader Dror Pearl says that Alpha Zone will accept early-stage companies in big data, cloud, cognitive computing, mobile, social networks, e-commerce, Internet of Things, and e-marketing.

"This collaboration creates a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to benefit from a rare combination of close support, knowhow, strong networking, and technology tools that improve the chances of success and remove many of the obstacles that often block the path of new companies," says Low.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on April 24, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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