Incubator housed within the Allen Institute for AI will leverage expanded resources to help entrepreneurs launch AI-first startups
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the AI2 Incubator announced it has raised a $10M fund from top venture capital institutions like Madrona Venture Group, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, and Two Sigma Ventures, along with a number of highly successful entrepreneurs and executives. The AI2 Incubator, created by the Allen Institute for AI (AI2), helps engineers and entrepreneurs build cutting edge AI-first products with access to over 100 of the world’s best scientific and engineering talent in the field of AI.
Each year, the AI2 Incubator invites world-class engineers and entrepreneurs to join on a rolling basis, helping them come up with ideas, find co-founders, engage pilot customers, define their product, incorporate the latest A.I. techniques into their technology, and raise venture capital funding. To date, AI2 Incubator companies including XNOR.ai (acquired by Apple), KITT.ai (acquired by Baidu), Lexion.ai, WellSaidLabs, Blue Canoe, and others have already raised over $32.5M at strong valuations.
“The AI2 Incubator attracts world class talent from both inside and outside AI2,” commented Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for AI. “Our new partnership with world-class investors takes the incubator to a whole new level.”
The AI2 Incubator is open to high potential founders from a variety of backgrounds. This includes serial entrepreneurs, technical leaders who have built teams and shipped products, and PhD’s with an interest in entrepreneurship. Regardless of their profile, the incubator helps founders identify big opportunities and pursue them with products that have a true technical edge. The new fund brings additional resources to support these efforts and includes investors with decades of experience helping launch companies that make an impact on the world.
“Madrona has been investing in machine learning and AI companies over the past decade. Seattle is a clear leader for AI innovation at emerging companies like Amperity, Algorithmia and OctoML and established companies like Microsoft and Amazon. AI2 has been a great partner over the years and we believe this investment vehicle will help launch many more AI companies in the coming years,” commented Matt McIlwain, managing director, Madrona Venture Group. Madrona has worked with AI2 from the earliest days and has funded and helped build XNOR.ai, Lexion and Kitt.ai out of the institute to date.
“The AI2 Incubator has a proven track record of launching smart, innovative companies due to the incredible resources available to entrepreneurs at the Allen Institute for AI,” said Mike Vernal, partner at Sequoia. “Going forward, many of the most successful new products will be underpinned by artificial intelligence and machine learning, making the AI2 Incubator a uniquely valuable partner for ambitious founders.”
“AI2 Incubator is uniquely-situated geographically and technologically, to develop promising AI-startups,” said Wen Hsieh, partner at Kleiner Perkins. “Research-driven AI projects that solve very specific real-life problems are already making an impact in business and science. As an R&D-centric institution, AI2 gives us confidence that the AI startups they incubate will be built on cutting-edge technology.”
“We’re tremendously excited about the era of data and AI driven technological advancement that we are in,” said Colin Beirne, Partner at Two Sigma Ventures. “Virtually every industry will be impacted by this relatively new core piece of technology. AI2 is a nexus of visionary thinkers in a city with world-class engineering and data science capability, and we’re incredibly enthusiastic to work with them.”
For more information on the AI2 Incubator please visit: https://incubator.allenai.org.
About the AI2 Incubator
The AI2 Incubator in Seattle creates, launches and invests in AI-first tech startups. We are funded by the Paul Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence—a world-leading A.I. research institute with over 100+ A.I. PhDs, researchers, and engineers. Each year, we invite world-class engineers and entrepreneurs to join our incubator on a rolling basis. We help them come up with ideas, find co-founders, engage pilot customers, define their product, incorporate the latest A.I. techniques into their technology, and raise millions of dollars in seed funding. But more than anything else, this is a community. Our network includes some of the best VCs, some of the most accomplished entrepreneurs, and some of the best A. I. researchers—all working together to help each other succeed. And as your cofounder, we are with you every step of the way.
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