IBM and Comcast Ventures Back Blockchain Startup Fund

The accelerator will not only fund the startups, but also help them connect with potential Fortune 500 clients.

International Business Machine and Comcast’s venture arm have agreed to back a fund, called MState, which invests in early-staged blockchain firms that develop blockchain-based products for enterprises.

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The startup accelerator is planning to invest $25,000 – $50,000 each in a series of five to six blockchain firms over the next six months. MState will also help the startups to connect with Fortune 500 companies.

According to Rob Bailey, co-founder and CEO of MState: “There’s a massive opportunity in Fortune 500 companies. They don’t know which companies to work with.”

As per the arrangements, Comcast Ventures will provide funding to the MState startups, while IBM is offering support services.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Janine Grasso, vice president for blockchain strategy and ecosystem development at IBM, said that “it’s complementing our strategy” and ultimately, the tech firm might end up helping entrepreneurs who don’t make the cut for MState.

MState has already made its first investment – in the New York-based blockchain startup Blockdaemon, which is working to provide its enterprise clients with blockchain-based network nodes for faster integration and deployment of blockchain applications.

Earlier, Bailey said: “In 2018, we will see a growing number of enterprise blockchain use cases go mainstream from healthcare applications to government, supply chain and retail to the real estate and transportation industries. But for most of these use cases to succeed, blockchain startups need to be able to engage well with enterprise customers. Our growth lab is going to help make that happen.”

As blockchain technology is gaining popularity, tech giants are also jumping into the pool so that they do not miss the fun. According to a survey conducted by Juniper Research, 6 out of 10 large corporations are considering using blockchain. Established firms ranging from Walmart to Visa are all testing the technology to get benefits in their own sector.

Though the present strategy of MState is to work only with blockchain firms, in the future they will expand and boost other technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing as well, revealed Mr. Bailey.

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