AI accelerator applications open – plus a guaranteed €200,000 investment for one lucky alum

We’ve officially opened applications for our cross-industrial Artificial Intelligence acceleration program that starts in October 2017. The applications will stay open for six weeks, after which the ten best startups will be chosen among the applicants to move to Den Bosch for six months and work on their ideas and products.

“At Rockstart, we already have experience accelerating AI startups, so we know how difficult it is to apply AI in a meaningful way,” said Rune Theill, Rockstart co-founder and CEO. “We’re therefore looking for startups across all industries applying artificial intelligence to solve real problems and add significant business value.”

The startups selected for our AI accelerator will receive €20,000 cash and €80,000 of in-kind funding, office space in Den Bosch for the duration of the program, support from mentors from relevant industries, as well as more than 50 perks and deals worth some €600,000. We trade this for a 6 percent stake in the startups entering the program.

In addition to this, we are excited to announce that one of the lead investors of our acceleration programs has committed to invest at least €200,000 in an AI Startup of their choosing after the Demo Day in February 2018.

We have already put together an impressive lineup of mentors for this program, who bring expertise in hardcore AI, data science, and building businesses around technologies.

“The biggest opportunity that an accelerator provides is a way to connect with bigger companies that can become the launching customers for startups,” said Jane Zavalishina, CEO of Yandex Data Factory and a mentor for our AI program. “What I hope I’ll be able to bring to the table is that translation between the technology, its capabilities, and the opportunities it brings into the actual day-to-day life of the business, which isn’t always ready to incorporate a scientific approach. It’s a two-way road: businesses will need to learn how to do that, but on the other hand, I think, the most promising AI startups are those who bring these technologies closer to the current business processes in the companies, making them easier to use in real-life situations.”

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