IBM has announced the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator to help enterprises and enterprise developers take blockchain networks into production faster. The accelerator provides expertise and support across the technology, legal and business considerations of establishing new blockchain networks. Enterprises can join to gain access to technology and consulting expertise.

As an expansion of the blockchain ecosystem program, the IBM Blockchain Founder Accelerator is designed to address the key challenges many early adopters and enterprise developers have identified through the development of leading blockchain networks. It aims to share this collective knowledge with enterprise founders to drive the rapid adoption of production blockchains. The program provides one-on-one mentorship and support by network founders and technologists across a range of needs such as business case development, network membership incentives, technical development, governance and legal issues.

In addition, members of the Founder Accelerator will receive early access to new prebuilt software assets, delivered via IBM Cloud, to help reduce the time and technical expertise needed for developers to write complex blockchain code. These assets are based on IBM experience in building blockchain networks with more than 400 clients globally. Along with IBM’s established blockchain cloud services, these new capabilities will help clients rapidly create highly secure, cloud-based blockchain ecosystems.

Marie Wieck, general manager of blockchain technology at IBM, said: “Blockchain is a team sport. With the right network of participants collaborating on the blockchain, the benefits can be exponential. 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. 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.”

Eight new blockchain network founders will be selected by IBM for this fee-based accelerator across a range of industries such as banking, logistics, manufacturing and retail. The program provides organizations with guidance, support and technical expertise to get their networks up and running and supporting an ecosystem of users and partners by the end of the year. Scholarships are also available. Program participants will gain access to design thinking workshops , founder mentorship one-on-ones, IBM Cloud services and co-marketing potential.

CEO of Schedule1, Kevin Ellison remarked: “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,”

New software capabilities via the IBM Cloud are based on experience from IBM’s largest blockchain initiatives and experience with production blockchain networks across shipping, manufacturing, supply chain and finance. Designed to help organizations speed the deployment of code from months, to a few days, participants in the program will have first access prior to the general availability of the code. These assets include IBM innovations incorporated into major projects across global trade digitization, supply chain finance, transaction settlement, procurement trade finance, supply chain visibility and food safety. Initial software assets include document store, provenance engine, process engine, and member management and on-boarding.

The software assets will complement Hyperledger Composer, a collaboration tool for building blockchain business networks, and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation. Hyperledger Composer is an open source tool for developing and deploying chaincode, and the efficient development of business logic in Smart Contracts.