More information on how to and who can apply and upcoming application dates.
AI-focused entrepreneurs and businesses scaling up from across the UK and the world can apply to take part in this 6-month Accelerator to benefit from the expertise and talent on offer in Edinburgh. You do not need to be linked to the University of Edinburgh or based in the UK, but you will of course have an interest in engaging with the AI and data ecosystem in Scotland. The next AI Accelerator programme will be focused around 3 key themes:
- AI for climate change
- AI for health
- AI for good
Applications are now open until midnight on Monday, 15th May 2023. Apply now!
We are keen to welcome applications from international businesses who are interested in engaging with Scotland. You must be aware that workshops and meetings will run on UK time. Some sessions will be face to face and you will be expected to attend in person. For certain sessions, we will attempt to make provision for people who are unable to attend in person, but this will not always be possible
We are interested in a variety of sectors, especially in companies who are purpose driven. Applicants do need to fit into the three thematic areas, however these themes are broad. You must already be using AI at some level but you could be looking to use the accelerator to further develop the AI element of your product, or more likely, you could already be strong in the AI elements and looking for support on the entrepreneurial and commercial side.
Once the applications open you will be able to apply via an application form which will be available on this page. Please check these pages for updates regarding the opening of applications.
Many of the questions will relate to information which you will already have, however we recommend you give yourself at least an hour to an hour and half to complete to give yourself the best chance of success.
Unfortunately not. However you can download the questions and get everything ready offline.
The AI Accelerator is hosted both online and through face-to-face sessions. It is delivered by the University of Edinburgh’s Data Science and AI innovation and enterprise hub - Bayes Centre – on behalf of all the Data-Driven Innovation hubs.
The most recent AI Accelerator programme ran from September 2022 to March 2023.
We also expect to have two trips to London.
No. You will definitely be introduced to people and opportunities which could help develop your AI, but this is a more holistic business development programme. Some of our activities are relevant to all scaling businesses (eg. leading a team, funding strategy), some are more specific to AI driven companies (eg. MLOps, AI regulatory landscape).
We are looking for scaleups, so you will need to be an incorporated company, ideally post-revenue having already attracted some funding and with fully dedicated founders. However there are no hard limits here; bootstrappers and pre-revenue companies are also welcome to apply, and may be selected if they can demonstrate growth potential.
We are keen to welcome applications from international businesses who are interested in engaging with Scotland. You must be aware that workshops and meetings will run on UK time. Some sessions will be face to face and you will be expected to attend in person. For certain sessions, we will attempt to make provision for people who are unable to attend in person, but this will not always be possible.
Fill in the application form online. After applications close, we will invite shortlisted companies to a selection panel in June (12th or 13th TBC) ), where you will pitch your business for inclusion in the programme. There may also be a follow-up interview. We plan to let applicants know the outcome around the end of June.
We expect to adopt a hybrid approach, with some activities being run online only and some face to face only. We will design the programme to have F2F weeks and online weeks, so that people who are travelling can maximise the value of their travel and we expect to have around 10 F2F weeks over the 6 month period. Activities will be a mixture of workshops, 1-1s with mentors and coaches and informal sessions with the rest of the cohort. We also expect to have two trips to London.
We can take up to 12 companies.
Activities will normally run on a Wednesday and Thursday, although occasionally on different days. We expect founders to be able to commit around 5-6 hours per week, although this time doesn’t always need to come from the same person. We will take 2-3 weeks off at Christmas-time and plan to have one or two rest weeks.
We will provide companies taking part with free access to bookable hot desks and meeting spaces within the Bayes Centre. This will provided for the duration of the programme and potentially for an additional 6 months after. Note, depending on how big your team is, we may not be able to provide a desk for everyone, so you may need to prioritise based on who will be taking part in accelerator activities.
The Bayes Centre also has regular community events which you will have access to. There are around 35 different organisations resident in Bayes Centre as well as a more itinerant population such as AI Accelerator participants and alumni, PhDs students and academics. All are focused on data science and AI, so the community events are a great opportunity for networking.
NileHQ are a long-term strategic delivery partner. They will deliver workshops and provide mentorship on a range of design topics such as UX or storytelling. Much of this engagement will be bespoke based on participant’s needs. Many companies participating in previous AI Accelerator programme have benefited hugely from working with Nile.
As well as using professional trainers, mentors and consultants we also get adhoc support from a range of other corporates, smaller companies and individuals, whether it’s delivering a session, taking part in 1-1s, or engaging in a fireside chat.
Huawei UK are also supporting the AI Accelerator again. There are many potential opportunities depending on your business – from accessing tech to providing a testbed for your product. And if you want to practice your pitch to a large corporate, they don’t get much bigger!