On 26th July, 2017 Google announced a new six-month program called Developers Launchpad Studio. The objective of this program is to support Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning startups around the world. The length of Google Developers Launchpad Studio Program is still being worked out and will be announced soon.
Challenges faced by AI startups
AI and machine learning startups have very different kinds of needs and requirements. One of the major prerequisites is a validation of the product using the new technology. This must come straight from the experienced venture, real users in the industry and corporate investors. This often becomes a struggle for the start-ups. Additionally, they also have to hunt for top talent for creating the best team with datasets that are critical for training machine learning models. This becomes a challenge as most of the top talent in such niche domain is taken away by big tech companies.
How does it help?
This Program will definitely address these challenges to a large extent. It will be a great learning opportunity not only for the startups but also for Google. On one hand, startups will get access to AI experts, VCs, and competent technical talent pool. In addition to this, Launchpad Studio will offer prototyping assistance, specialized data sets, and simulation tools too. And on the other side, Google will get an early view at how AI can be applied to new industries. This eventually may lead to some future thought on strategy for acquisitions of those companies and talent pool which will have a high success ratio.
This program offers the following services to start-ups:
- Applied AI integration toolkit: datasets, simulation, environment, support, troubleshooting, etc. will be provided to startups.
- Product validation support: The business ideas will be presented to Fortune 500 industry practitioners for proof of concept and pilot cases.
- Access to AI experts: Startups will get access to resources from global community of industry and thought leaders for advice and suggestions.
- Access to AI practitioners and investors: The participating startup companies will get a chance to interact with global top AI and machine learning engineers, product managers, VCs and industry leaders.
What’s the plan?
Launchpad Studio will be based in San Francisco, with operations in New York City and Tel Aviv. Google will eventually host events for AI founders in Toronto, London, Singapore and Banguluru.
Roy Glasberg, the global lead at Google Developers Launchpad says, "Whether you are a three person team or an established post series-B startup trying to apply AI and machine learning to the product offering, Google is interested in talking to you."
All AI and Machine Learning startups are welcome to apply for the program. Six to eight AI start-up companies will qualify for the first class of this program in October. Deadline for submitting the application is Aug. 31.
What are you waiting for, Get ready to take off!