Village Capital

IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator 2021

About the Program

IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator is an investment-readiness and technical mentorship program, run in partnership with Village Capital and IBM. The program supports impact-focused startups leveraging highly sensitive data to improve the quality of, and access to digital, financial and healthcare services. The IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator has already supported 45 early-stage startups across the world and is now open to applications for Cohort 4. Check out Cohorts 2-3 here. No equity will be taken in your company by IBM nor Village Capital as part of the program.

This year the program will expand to support more companies working on impactful datatech products. The 2021 program will consist of three components:

  • The IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator (15 companies): 2 years of technical mentorship from IBM (including up to $120,000 of free IBM cloud credits) & a 3 month intensive Village Capital Investment Readiness Accelerator with bespoke mentor and investor matching. 

  • Friends of Hyper Protect (40 companies): 2 years of quarterly technical mentorship from IBM (including up to $120,000 of free IBM cloud credits) & a 3-month Investment Readiness support from Village Capital focusing on milestone planning and investor matchmaking. 

  • The Datatech for Good Coalition: A coalition on Village Capital’s Abaca platform that matches datatech for good startups with like-minded investors and peers.

Read more about the different program components below, and watch this video about the program from IBM leadership.

Program Overview

Problem Statement

Every 39 seconds, a hacker attempts to steal personal information from people and businesses around the world. As the world adapts to a post-pandemic paradigm and financial, insurance, and health services are increasingly offered online, it is more important than ever for businesses to keep their data secure, especially when they are collecting, storing, or transmitting personally identifiable information like medical financial, or insurance records. 

At the core of most data-driven health and financial technology is customers’ personally identifiable information, which, according to ForgeRock, accounted for 98% of all data breached in 2019. The two most targeted industries, healthcare and banking/financial, accounted for 55% of all data breaches. As work and life increasingly moves online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of companies compromising sensitive data increases, and regulators are responding with new restrictions. It’s not just about adhering to regulatory requirements, it’s also about doing the right thing.

This accelerator aims to support early-stage companies that leverage sensitive data to improve and increase access to global health and financial services, in a time with increasing risk and regulation. This year we are increasing the scale of our support with the Friends of Hyperprotect Program and the Datatech for Good Coalition. By working with these startups alongside closely aligned investors and mentors we hope to build a highly connected, global and impactful ecosystem within the nascent but growing datatech for good space.

The Hyper Protect Accelerator 

Village Capital and IBM will  identify, vet, and recruit fifteen companies using highly sensitive data to increase access to digital, financial, and health care solutions. The virtual accelerator will take place between October and December 2021 and there will be continued technical support into 2023. 

 Each startup will receive IBM Cloud credits of up to $120,000, participate in 40+ hours of virtual technical and business mentorship, investment milestone planning, and access to IBM and Village Capital’s network of partners, investors, stakeholders and mentors.  

The Class of 2021 will also work with IBM collaborators, including Female Founders Alliance and Black Innovation Alliance, to help the cohort develop their ideas into sustainable and scalable companies. 

ELIGIBILITY

If managing sensitive data is at the core of your business, this accelerator is for you!  To be eligible, you must be: 

  • Legally incorporated as a for-profit entity

  • Using personally identifiable information to increase access to digital, financial, or healthcare services.

  • Under $1 million in yearly revenue

  • Less than 5 years old

  • Have some traction (this is not limited to revenue, but can include successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships)

  • Have positive social impact

  • Be able to commit to attendance of a founder/member of exec team (~40 hours total between October and December 2021, 3 hour sessions) 

FRIENDS OF HYPER PROTECT

Village Capital and IBM will also identify, vet, and recruit 40 additional companies to join “Friends of Hyperprotect (FOH)”. Companies will receive a lighter touch Village Capital & IBM curriculum, which includes; 

BENEFITS
  • Up to $120,000 in IBM Cloud credits

    • Up to $10,000 per month for one year

  • 6+ hours of virtual training by Village Capital

    • Investment readiness assessment

    • Investment milestone planning

    • Impact Metrics

    • 1/2 group mentor sessions specific to your needs

  • Village Capital coordinated mentor and Investor engagement

    • Invitation to join Village Capital’s global Abaca online network, with over 1,000 investors and organizations that are supporting social entrepreneurs. 

    • 1-/2 mentor tailored mentor/ investor sessions 

  • IBM collaboration

    • 2 years of technical mentorship from IBM on a quarterly basis. 

    • Go-to-market support

    • Co-marketing and branding

    • Access to the IBM network 

ELIGIBILITY

Companies eligible for Friends of Hyperprotect must meet all but one of the eligibility criteria for the full accelerator program (see above). For example, the sessions may be relevant to companies that do not yet have a proven impact thesis, cannot commit to the full 40+ hours, or have less proven traction. 

THE DATATECH FOR GOOD COALITION

The “Datatech for Good” coalition is a curated network of investors who are actively seeking investment opportunities in the datatech/data security space. 

 BENEFITS
  • Invitation to join Village Capital’s global Abaca online network, with over 1,000 investors and organizations that are supporting social entrepreneurs. 

  • Opportunities to engage with a network of investors who are actively seeking investment opportunities in the datatech space

  • Highlighted in an exclusive network of innovators that are leveraging datatech for social good. 

  • Notification of future Accelerator programs

ELIGIBILITY

All applicants are eligible for the Datatech for Good coalition as long as they are:

  • Legally incorporated as a for-profit entity

  • Using personally identifiable information to increase access to digital, financial, or healthcare services

ADVISORY BOARD

KEY DATES

Applications Open

April 7th

Applications Close

June 30th

Advisory Board Reviews

May-June

Cohort Confirmed

July

Orientation Workshop

August

Accelerator

Cohort 4 + Friends of Hyper Protect

September-December

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

To see what Mentor engagement looks like, please click here

Please reach out to kavon.badie@vilcap.com or crombie.angus@vilcap.com to learn more.