Rockstart opens applications for Europe’s first AI accelerator with a guaranteed €200,000 investment for one alum

After the Demo Day in February 2018, one of the graduating startups will receive follow-on funding from one of Rockstart's investors

AI startups working in any industry have until mid-July to apply for Rockstart AI acceleration program that will start in October 2017. The ten best startups chosen for the program will get access to the market, capital, community, and expertise through Rockstart's extensive network of investors, mentors, partners, and alumni.

Rockstart has opened applications for its 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 the AI accelerator by Rockstart 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. The accelerator will take a 6 percent stake of the startups entering the program.

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

The acceleration program has also put together an impressive lineup of mentors, 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 at Rockstart’s 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 scientific approaches. 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, make them easier to use in real-life situations.”

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 and Smart Energy. 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 108 startups across 11 programs and supported them in their journey to raise more than €45 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.

About Rockstart

Rockstart is an early stage investor that empowers purpose-driven founders across three domains: Energy, AgriFood, and Emerging Technologies.

Rockstart invests in early-stage startups from each of the three funds and provides access to capital, market, and expertise by connecting founders with co-investors, mentors, partners, corporates, and the wider Rockstart network.

Rockstart has invested in more than 350 startups and its alumni value to date is more than €1.6bn. Rockstart is an international team of 45+ professionals dedicated to empowering purpose-driven founders to become scalable and drive positive change on a global scale. Rockstart has notable exits such asWercker,, Hubs.Com, Bouw7, iClinic, and s and Brincr. The company has offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Bogota.

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