BitTorrent has gotten itself a bad rap. Their name and service have become synonymous with piracy and illegal peer-to-peer file sharing. From BitTorrent’s perspective, this is like blaming boats for actual piracy. Yes, the technology was integral to allowing the crime, but hardly the only thing it is useful for. In hopes of turning this image around, the company has just launched the BitTorrent Accelerator to assist and promote any startups that are leveraging their technology for legitimate purposes.
According to the press release, the company is “opening up our innovation lab to new media startups. If you have a publicly available product in sound, film, live streaming, media sharing, or peer-to-peer technologies, we’ll work with you to accelerate your idea’s success.” Qualified applicants will receive an initial assessment of their service against BitTorrent’s product vision and market. Select participants will then get to user-test product ideas with over 170 million BitTorrent users. They’ll also receive advertising and product placement within the BitTorrent ecosystem, as well as potential partnership, investment, and acquisition opportunities.
The accelerator has no defined class size or duration, so come one come all. The BitTorrent technology is useful for much more than stealing the latest Game of Thrones episode, it remains to be seen if the company can prove that point to the public.