The top-performing teams could receive up to €500,000 from GapMinder and the 70+ European VC investors in the Techcelerator community.
Techcelerator, the most active accelerator in Romania, and Google for Startups are announcing the launch of the third edition of the “Advancing AI” acceleration program, dedicated to start-ups from the SEE region that develop products using artificial intelligence/machine learning technologies.
The initial phase of the program runs for 3 months and applications are open here from 26 October to 10 December 2022. The program is targeting both local start-ups and companies from South East Europe that use artificial intelligence/machine learning to develop scalable technology products globally.
The program will select 12-15 companies meeting the following criteria:
- a solid team with complementary skills, consisting of at least 2 co-founders
- a globally scalable product/solution based on one of the following technologies: AI, ML (Machine Learning), Deep Learning, Big Data, Cloud, DevOps, Robotic Process Automation – RPA, Blockchain, Advanced Analytics.
Trackers for early-stage start-ups and advanced companies that already have traction
To support as many start-ups as possible, Advancing AI#3 will include two trackers: a MVP Acceleration one – dedicated to early-stage start-ups and an Investment Readiness one – dedicated to companies that already have traction and want to prepare for pre-seed/seed funding rounds.
Early-stage companies will have access to an experimentation-validation program built to support them in defining a go-to-market strategy. The more advanced companies will benefit from the necessary training to scale their product and additional access sources of funding, with Techcelerator facilitating their interaction with over 70 European VC funds.
The targeted industries
The program is targeting the following sub-verticals: Analytical AI (applications such as sentiment analysis, risk assessment for suppliers), Functional AI (IoT, robots), Interactive AI (intelligent assistants, chatbots), Text AI (text recognition, speech-to-text conversion), Visual AI (Computer Vision, Augmented Reality) next to AI & Data development tools.
From this edition, next to applications in domains like Enterprise SaaS, FinTech – InsurTech, eHealth, PropTech, AgriTech, Tech for Sustainability / ESG the program will have a focus also on startups developing product solutions in AeroSpace & Defense, Cybersecurity, Chip Design & Manufacturing next to emergent Web3 platforms.
If in the case of early-stage companies the stage of the POC/MVP and the addressability of the product is the one taken into account, when it comes to the more advanced companies, the selection criteria include the traction that the product already has and the go-to-market strategy.
Access to deep-tech & business development experts
Throughout the entire duration of the Advancing AI#3 program, start-ups will have access to deep-tech & business development experts next to dedicated investors in the AI/ML field, technological leaders who are already integrating artificial intelligence in their products, as well as international & local partners from the private and public sectors who will help them in prototyping and validating the developed solutions.
Moreover, during the accelerator program, the participating startups will benefit from mentoring and guidance in order to achieve their growth goals, as well as learning resources and know-how (Design Thinking for deep-tech, Growth Sprints, AI&ML Product Development) provided by Google for Startups’ global network of mentors, access to mentors & strategy advisors from DeepMind, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, wC, Bit Sentinel and more, next to the matchmaking opportunity with over 200 mentors & industry experts from Techcelerator & DefCamp communities.
Benefits that worth over 200,000 euros from Techcelerator partners
All the companies included in the “Advancing AI” program will receive benefits worth over 200,000 euros from Techcelerator partners, such as free Google Cloud access, Stripe credits, HubSpot accounts for startups, FreshWorks & Notion software products, and others.
So far, Techcelerator and GapMinder have invested in and accelerated a large group of deep-tech companies in South East Europe that have attracted subsequent rounds of Pre-seed, Seed and Series A funding.
Some of them are Amsimcel (Romanian winner of the European Innovation Council accelerator in 2022 – €4.8 million blended round), MedicAI, Rayscape (former XVision, most recent funding announced was €1 million), Soleadify (most recent funding announced was €1, 5 million), Synaptiq, Machinations (most recent funding announced was $3.3 million), Data Against Data, SecurifAI, Aggero (most recent funding announced was $2 million), Cyscale (most recent funding announced was €3 million) and TypingDNA. Notably, Typing DNA has attracted investment and involvement from Gradient Ventures San Francisco – Google’s AI-focused venture capital fund.
“Artificial Intelligence drives the new digital economy. The net positive impact of AI on the GDP of major economies is to exceed 13.5% by 2030, acording to PwC. For five years, Techcelerator has been supporting Romanian start-ups to develop their know-how and the ability to grow internationally. Starting in 2021, we have expanded our area of interest to cover the entire SEE region. Together with our partners GapMinder, TechAngels and Google for Startups, we are very involved in supporting local AI activities. Our objective is to strengthen and continuously develop the ecosystem of AI start-ups so that they can develop innovative solutions and products and always be better prepared to attract valuable investments. That’s why we have widened the addressability of this Advancing AI edition, which now targets both early-stage start-ups, as well as more advanced companies”, said Cristian Dascălu, Managing PartnerTechcelerator.
“Artificial Intelligence is one of the most important technologies today, with a huge potential to push progress in all fields. Google has always supported new technologies; thus, our involvement in the AdvancingAI program and, implicitly, supporting genuinely innovating start-ups continues our local and global efforts”, said Dan Oros, Head of Marketing, Google & YouTube Romania.
“GapMinder supports companies in the avangard of technology and the companies that develop solutions based on Artificial Intelligence are our primary targets. Starting this edition of AdvancingAI, we are even more ambitious and we are positive to invest 1,5-2 million Euros in the next rounds, going up to 10 million Euros as follow-on rounds”, stated Dan Mihăescu, Founding Partner Gapminder.
Together with Google for Startups and with the support of GapMinder, Tech Angels, SeedBlink, ROTSA – Romanian Tech Startups Association, and Bucharest AI, Techcelerator launched in 2021 The 100 AI Startups, a map of the artificial intelligence startups founded in Romania or with Romanian founders.