Rockstart teams up with NVIDIA, Atlassian, Volksbank, and others for Europe’s first AI accelerator

19 JULY 2017, ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH
Summary
NVIDIA, the leader in GPU-powered deep learning, has offered Rockstart startups professional guidance at every step of their journey. Atlassian has committed to sharing its knowledge around engineering best practices and providing startups with any guidance that they require.

Rockstart has announced new partners for the first edition of the AI acceleration program set to kick off in early October. Applications for the program will stay open until July 30, after which the selection process will begin. The ten startups chosen for the accelerator will get initial funding, office space in Den Bosch, access to a network of mentors and investors, and support from industry professionals like NVIDIA, Atlassian, Volksbank, and others.

Rockstart has envisioned the program as purposely broad and cross-industrial, emphasizing the impact that artificial intelligence is making across all aspects of human lives. In order to support startups working in different fields, the accelerator is carefully assembling an all-round lineup of mentors and partners from all walks of AI life.

“We are extremely pleased and humbled to work in close partnership with large international corporations, academic institutes, investors, seasoned entrepreneurs and world-class technical experts. Our mission is to make The Netherlands the most attractive place in Europe to build AI startups,” said Marjel Quekel, Artificial Intelligence Program Director at Rockstart.

NVIDIA, the leader in GPU-powered deep learning, has offered Rockstart startups professional guidance at every step of their journey. The assistance ranges from designing and deploying neural network-powered applications to marketing and communications support. In addition, Rockstart AI startups will get discounted purpose-built machine learning hardware and put themselves on the radar of GPU Ventures, NVIDIA’s venture arm, with checks from €400,000 to €4 million.

“This collaboration with Rockstart will bring the benefits of NVIDIA’s Inception Program to AI startups chosen for the accelerator,” said Serge Lemonde, Deep Learning Startups Business Director EMEAI at NVIDIA. “AI is the greatest technology force in human history—it’s already impacting every industry and application.”

Atlassian, an old friend and a new collaborator of Rockstart’s AI program, is a household name in the world of software development. With a product suite that includes the JIRA family, Bitbucket, Confluence, HipChat, and Trello, it caters to the needs of every team, from two to thousands of engineers. The company has committed to sharing its knowledge around engineering best practices and providing startups with any guidance that they require.

"The implications of artificial intelligence are profound, not just for established businesses like Atlassian, but for emerging players across all industries," says Sri Viswanath, CTO at Atlassian. "Atlassian is pleased to team up with Rockstart as they look to generate fresh ideas and foster new talent in the emerging AI space."

The program’s new partners join the ones announced earlier this year, including the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS). Together with a stellar lineup of mentors, they will support and guide the ten startups chosen for this year’s program through the challenges faced on the technology front as well as the business development front.

Spokespeople
About Rockstart

Rockstart, one of Europe's first multi-vertical startup accelerators, was founded in Amsterdam in 2011 with a goal to provide startups with access to the market, capital, knowledge, and community. Since then Rockstart has become the specialist in building entire ecosystems around specific domains—such as Digital Health, Smart Energy, and Artificial Intelligence. Rockstart is actively building up entrepreneurial infrastructures around the world with its acceleration verticals, as well as early-stage startup programs, Rockstart Impact and Rockstart Launchtrack. Since the inception, Rockstart has invested in more than 120 startups and supported them in their journey to raise more than €53 million and hire more than 600 people. Rockstart is an international team of 40+ professionals dedicated to support and empower startups to become scalable and change their world for the better.

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