Frequently Asked Questions

Find out answers to the most commonly asked questions.

About The IBM Alpha Zone accelerator

The program highlights:

About BD

  • BD (Becton Dickinson and Company) is a leading medical technology company that partners with customers and stakeholders to address many of the world’s most pressing and evolving health needs. Our innovative solutions are focused on improving medication management and patient safety; supporting infection prevention practices; equipping surgical and interventional procedures; improving drug delivery; aiding anesthesiology and respiratory care; advancing cellular research and applications; enhancing the diagnosis of infectious diseases and cancers; and supporting the management of diabetes. We are more than 45,000 associates in 50 countries who strive to fulfill our purpose of “Helping all people live healthy lives” by advancing the quality, accessibility, safety and affordability of healthcare around the world. In 2015, BD welcomed CareFusion and its products into the BD family of solutions. For more information on BD, please visit www.bd.com.
  • BD is partnering with IBM's Alpha Zone 3rd class starting September 2015. The partnership with IBM is part of BD's external innovation efforts to find and nurture new growth opportunities.
  • BD is interested in startups that will be able to effectively use IBM’s technology to improve healthcare delivery and decision making. Such companies may be using medical devices to capture or transmit information to patients, healthcare providers or payers. We are also interested in the analysis of data to improve clinical outcomes; this could be complex diagnostic information (i.e. genomics) or data captured via sensors or devices.
  • For healthcare startups aligned with BD’s interests, BD offers:
    • Professional mentorship by an experienced BD associate, knowledgeable in the global medical technology industry. A grant of up to $25,000 (US) to defer some of the costs associated with the accelerator program. Access to BD Subject Matter Experts.
    • Access to Guidepoint’s Key Opinion Leader network. Guidepoint gives professionals more confidence in strategic decisions by connecting them to specialized industry experts who can answer their most pressing business questions. As the experts at finding expertise, since 2003 Guidepoint has set up more than 500,000 interactions between business professionals and experts around the world, via phone and in-person meetings. Guidepoint’s six offices on three continents provide 24/7, quick and agile service. For more information, visit www.guidepointglobal.com.
  • BD plans to mentor up to four healthcare startups in the Alpha Zone's 3d class.
  • BD is a global medical technology company that is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. BD leads in patient and health care worker safety and the technologies that enable medical research and clinical laboratories. The company provides innovative solutions that help advance medical research and genomics, enhance the diagnosis of infectious disease and cancer, improve medication management, promote infection prevention, equip surgical and interventional procedures, optimize respiratory care and support the management of diabetes. The company partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. BD has more than 45,000 associates across 50 countries who work in close collaboration with customers and partners to help enhance outcomes, lower health care delivery costs, increase efficiencies, improve health care safety and expand access to health. For more information on BD, please visit  www.bd.com.
  • BD has been partnering with IBM's Alpha Zone since the 3rd class and continues to do so in the 5th class starting December 2016. The partnership with IBM is part of BD's external innovation efforts to find and nurture new growth opportunities.
  • BD is interested in startups that will be able to effectively use IBM’s technology to improve healthcare delivery and decision making. Such companies may be using medical devices to capture or transmit information to patients, healthcare providers or payers. We are also interested in the analysis of data to improve clinical outcomes; this could be complex diagnostic information (i.e. genomics) or data captured via sensors or devices.
  • For healthcare startups aligned with BD’s interests, BD offers:
    • Professional mentorship by an experienced BD associate, knowledgeable in the global medical technology industry.
    • BD will consider providing a grant of up to $25,000 US$ to an Alpha Zone Start Up it sees fit, to defer some of the costs associated with the accelerator program.
    • Access to BD Subject Matter Experts.
    • Access to Guidepoint’s Key Opinion Leader network. Guidepoint gives professionals more confidence in strategic decisions by connecting them to specialized industry experts who can answer their most pressing business questions. As the experts at finding expertise, since 2003 Guidepoint has set up more than 500,000 interactions between business professionals and experts around the world, via phone and in-person meetings. Guidepoint’s six offices on three continents provide 24/7, quick and agile service. For more information, visit www.guidepointglobal.com.
  • BD plans to mentor up to three healthcare startups in the Alpha Zone's 5th class.

Does IBM and BD retain equity in the companies participating in the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator?

No, IBM and BD do not retain any equity in the companies participating in the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator.

Do IBM and BD retain the IP that is developed during the IBM Alpha Zone accelerator?

No, IBM and IBM do not retain IP developed during the program. The IP developed by a participating company is retained by the company or any other party as specified in the company's relevant agreements or applicable law.

What does a Cognitive solution mean?

Cognitive computing systems learn and interact naturally with people to extend what either humans or machine could do on their own. They help human experts make better decisions by penetrating the complexity of Big Data. Cognitive computing systems are trained using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms to sense, predict, infer and, in some ways, think.

Is my company in the “right” lifecycle stage to apply for the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator?

We select companies in all stages of development. We prefer companies with a formalized prototype or a more advanced development phase. From a funding perspective, there is no limitation, but we are more focused on post Seed & Round A funded companies.

How do you choose which companies to accept into the program?

We will choose talented founders who can solve real business problems or create meaningful innovations. Strong applications will include:

Can you tell me more about the networking and educational opportunities?

The program will include Meetups in which mentors will speak about relevant topics and enrich participants. Meetups will be hosted by highly successful entrepreneurs, angel investors, legal experts, venture capitalists, and investment bankers. Occasionally, Meetups will include a brief presentation followed by a Q&A session by a CEO or CTO of a well-known local startup. In addition, leading executives and technical experts from IBM will visit companies on a regular basis and provide feedback and significant opportunities for their business. These Meetups are intended to be informal and provide time for companies to personally interact with various mentors across a diversified field.

Will all the mentors come from IBM and BD?

No. While IBM and BD will contribute mentors, additional mentors are successful entrepreneurs and investors who are experts in Big Data, Analytics, IoT, Mobile and Cloud delivered applications or related technologies. Our main goal is to provide significant industry knowledge and investor support for the selected companies.

Do I need to send in a business plan?

No, we do not require business plans. We only require each applicant to fill out an online application. However, we recommend including a Business Plan and a Company Presentation, since these documents provide a more comprehensive understanding of your application.

Where is the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator office located and what is the schedule for selected companies?

The IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator location is in IBM Israel HQ at Azorim Park in Petach Tikva. Each company sets its own schedule and office hours. However, we expect this to be a full-time job for participants.

How does IBM Alpha Zone office space look like?

Take a quick look through the pictures. (Click on image below to enlarge.)

Rooms thumbnails

What if my company doesn’t ultimately succeed?

Our program provides each company the best opportunity for success. We believe The IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator program will be an important milestone for you and the founding team and an impressive resume achievement. The experience, knowledge and network connections from your participation in the program will help bring success in future endeavors.

How does a company apply for the IBM Alpha Zone Accelerator?

Please complete an application at  //www.ibmalphazone.com/.

What is the Expected Timeline?

What do I need to do in addition to submitting my application?

While we review the applications you might want to register for the Cloud Program for Startups as it is a mandatory criteria for the companies who gets into Alpha Zone accelerator.

Useful links:

While we review the applications you might want to register for two program as they are a mandatory criteria for the companies who gets into the program.

Please contact us if you have any additional questions which have not been answered here.