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30 Early-Stage Startups Selected for Cohorts 2 & 3 of IBM’s Hyper Protect Accelerator Program

Washington, DC [September 15, 2020] — IBM, in collaboration with Village Capital, Female Founders Alliance, MEDICI, Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, and Healthtech Women, today announced the 30 early-stage fintech and healthtech startups that were selected to take part in Cohorts 2 & 3 of the Hyper Protect Accelerator Program, an investment-readiness program for startups that are working to keep highly sensitive customer data secure.

“Every 39 seconds, a hacker attempts to steal personal information from people and businesses around the world,” said Melissa Sassi, Global Head of IBM’s Hyper Protect Accelerator. “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 and financial records. We’re excited to work with these 30 companies that impact people's ability to live healthy and productive lives, improve the chance for small businesses to succeed, and create a more sustainable environment."

“Village Capital leverages entrepreneurship to drive impact at scale,” said Allie Burns, CEO of Village Capital. “We’re thrilled to work with IBM to support some of the most promising startups ensuring personal data privacy and increasing access to essential financial and health services are available around the world.”

Participating startups will benefit from more than 40 hours of virtual training in November and December with a focus on improving investment readiness and growing their businesses. Each company will work closely with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to develop the networks they need to scale their impact. Additionally, each startup will receive $10,000 monthly in IBM Cloud technology credits that can be used within that month to access IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Services, as well as IBM Cloud offerings in artificial intelligence, blockchain, and others. 

All startups that apply to the program will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s global online network that helps entrepreneurs become self-aware and articulate how ready they are for investment, and matches them with the right investors and resources.

Of the 30 cohort companies, there are thirteen fintech, twelve healthtech, and five insurtech and datatech companies. The accelerator received applications from over 60 countries, and the cohorts reflect this geographic diversity with 40% of the companies coming from the Americas, 23% from Europe, and 27% from Africa, along with 10% coming from other parts of the world. Beyond geography, the company founders also reflect the diversity of the program with 53% of the companies having a female co-founder, and 43% of the companies having a Black or Latinx co-founder. 

Here are the 30 startups in the cohort that are working to keep customer data secure:

Cohort 2

AIO Verified Identity (Israel) provides a customer-centric, reusable ID vault to help financial institutions, online lenders, and fintech in customer due diligence for corporate/SME clients.

Amlet (Italy) makes KYC for banks, insurances, financial service companies, more easy and secure, while preserving customer privacy.

Balkerne (UK) processes property specific information, a range of historical and live data sources and qualifies the risk by category, enabling property owners to identify and understand risk, to make informed and auditable decisions to reduce the frequency and scale of losses and business interruptions.

Consentic (Australia) optimizes, standardizes, and streamlines medical consent, resulting in enhanced patient understanding, improved patient and clinician satisfaction, and increased efficiency.

Datacy (UK) allows people to collect, access, manage, and sell their online data easily and transparently and gives data buyers instant access to high quality and bespoke consumer datasets that are legally acquired.

FotoConcent (UK) is the only fully GDPR and HIPAA compliant mobile platform for capturing, storing, and sharing clinical images and documents.

Lafya (Nigeria) is a mobile health savings wallet that allows individuals and families to go dutch with their healthcare expenses by enabling users to share the cost of healthcare with other users.

Machine Medicine’s (UK) platform provides a secure regulatory and technical environment for the design, development and clinical deployment of precision neuro-therapeutics.

Marketforce 360 (Kenya) is a comprehensive sales and distribution management platform that enables FMCGs and Financial Service Providers to manage their field sales activities and grow their distribution channels in Africa.

MedPharma (Ghana) is a social enterprise that digitizes healthcare and delivers medicine through an aggregation of providers, drugs, specialists & patients.

PayHippo (Nigeria) powers small business lending in Africa by automating the lending process so borrowing is easier and more reliable for SMEs.

Sikoia (UK) enables B2C businesses to offer instant credit solutions to their customers through innovative Lending APIs.

Staple AI (Singapore) develops cognitive AI to read, interpret and extract structured data from documents regardless of layout or language. 

Syntho (Netherlands) offers privacy-preserving synthetic data to unlock data and remove legitimate privacy concerns.

Waya (Ghana) is an application that aims to provide a digital banking platform to enable quick and easy transfer of money and payment.

Cohort 3

CyphLens (USA) is a new and powerful technology, with a simple point-to-decrypt user experience, that protects against the most sophisticated cyberattacks by enabling secure private access to your most sensitive data on any platform or system, even if untrusted or public

emTRUTH (USA), using blockchain and AI, provides private multi-system, multi-format data aggregation, and actionable analytics while strengthening resiliency with advanced cyber and data protection at every layer.

Fonbnk (USA/Africa) enables the friction-free movement of value for unbanked people globally using prepaid mobile data credits as a currency equivalent; the analog model would be a global version of Venmo.

Gerald Technology (USA) provides life events engagement and cross- sell automation opportunities to insurance providers to ensure effective customer retention.

Health Direct Global (Ghana) provides a multi-sided platform that allows users to have on-demand access to healthcare through a network of accredited health service providers.

Leaf (USA/Africa) provides digital financial services to refugees and migrants on a mobile device through blockchain technology without the need for a smartphone required.

Money Captain (USA) offers a financial service that helps humans unlearn bad money habits, eliminate toxic debt, and create a better financial future.

My Normative (Canada) is the only health tracking app available in North America that incorporates female-specific metrics into their wearable health and fitness tracking app.

Pegasi (Chile) is dedicated to the smart management of healthcare information for the developing world - making it accessible, clear, and secure for patients, physicians, and service providers.

Pngme (USA/Africa) provides financial institutions with a Unified Data API that allows them to develop complete financial profiles of new and existing customers - enabling the deployment of digital financial services to more people.

Renalis (USA) is creating digital therapeutics in pelvic health, increasing patient engagement, improving adherence, decreasing out-migration, and saving providers valuable time & effort.

SilverBills (USA) receives, stores and scrutinizes elderly clients’ bills and ensures bills are paid correctly and on time.

Urgify (USA) makes collecting hefty medical bills easier for hospitals and less stressful for patients globally, where consumers spend lots of money in emergency situations without having insurance.

Vittas (Nigeria) allows for individuals and businesses to have better access to working capital while, also, providing lending institutions the required tools to assess credit risk. (Mexico) protects your health and well-being by forging close connections through the conscious use of data and technologies to design insurance products and services that foster resilience and build a better world.

For more information, reach out to Melissa Sassi at IBM ( or Rustin Finkler at Village Capital (


About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit

About Village Capital

Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 100 program graduates, including 8 early-stage US fintech companies like Vault, Fig Loans, and Finix.

About Female Founders Alliance

Founded by CEO Leslie Feinzaig, the Female Founders Alliance  is a network of 20,000 founders, investors, partners and supporters that collaborate to help women and non-binary startup leaders succeed. FFA offers programming, community, incubation, deal flow and investment opportunities, with a mission to increase the number of successful founders 20 times over in 10 years or less.


MEDICI is the #1 destination for the global FinTech industry. 

The proprietary media and insights platform covering 15,000+ companies across 60+ FinTech sub-segments now supports the largest community in FinTech with an audience of 200,000+ executive leaders, innovators and investors. The platform offers 3 memberships to address the needs of the entire ecosystem. More details at

The Inner Circle membership for individuals caters to the rapidly growing interest in the space with a daily curated feed, personalised newsletter, research deep dives and preferred access to exclusive events.

The MEDICI Advisory membership allows enterprises (banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, pre-IPO startups and corporates in other industries) to engage with the early stage FinTech ecosystem and build new experiences via collaborative innovation. 

MEDICI Studio helps companies of all sizes to stand out and showcase their innovations via thought leadership content fueled by the MEDICI platform's deep domain depth and research-driven context.

About Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE)

Society of Physician Entrepreneurs (SoPE) is a physician-led non-profit member organization. SoPE's core mission is to help doctors who have ideas for products or services that will improve healthcare. SoPE provides education programs; a networking venue and services, including access to sources of financing that can assist them in bringing their idea to life. On a bigger stage, SoPE is spearheading an effort to promote a better understanding of the processes involved in the introduction of new healthcare related products and services and working with all stakeholders in healthcare to identify ways to improve and accelerate the process. For additional information, call 703.879.7710 or visit

About Healthtech Women

Founded in 2013, Healthtech Women is a global not-for-profit organization that is committed to supporting women in leadership and innovation across the health industry.