AI start-ups boosted by support scheme
Entrepreneurs using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help societies and boost the potential of their companies are set to benefit from a University programme.
Twelve new start-ups – working in areas such as brain surgery, electric vehicles and removing bias from algorithms – have been selected to take part in the AI Accelerator Programme, which is run by the Bayes Centre, Edinburgh’s world-leading hub for data science and AI.
The six-month programme will help emerging companies with high growth potential to develop their initiatives and bring investment and jobs to Edinburgh and the city region.
To qualify, participating companies must use AI for wider societal benefit and deliver solutions in core areas such as health, social care and the environment.
Participants benefit from a full package of support focused on building connections, leadership mentoring and support with product development to help transform their AI businesses into world-leading companies.
Among the 12 successful companies are EtiqAI – a female-founded company whose technology is designed to increase transparency and minimise any unintended bias within AI algorithms.
Also included is Edinburgh-headquartered Vahanomy, which is driving the rollout of charging stations for electric vehicles, and US start-up MindTrace, which was first attracted to Scotland by the University’s expertise in AI research and talent development. The company uses AI and imaging to enhance positive outcomes in brain surgery.
This year’s AI Accelerator programme features the appointment of John Brodie to the role of Entrepreneur in Residence. John was the co-founder of data analytics consultancy Aquila Insight, which grew to become a highly successful company, and was sold in 2017.
He is now an active advisor and investor within the Scottish start-up community and has been named as one of Data IQ’s 100 Most Influential People in Data.
Edinburgh’s AI Accelerator has supported companies and helped them attract more than £10m in grants and investment over the past year.
The programme will be delivered both digitally and in-person by the Bayes Centre and Edinburgh Innovations – the University’s commercialisation service – on behalf of its Data-Driven Innovation hubs.
The programme has also partnered with global strategic design consultancy NileHQ, and is supported by Huawei UK and the Edinburgh Earth Initiative.
As a world leader in AI research, the University’s role is pivotal in supporting innovative companies which are applying AI to help address key societal challenges such as climate change and healthy ageing. This exciting new cohort of AI tech companies will benefit from cross-fertilisation of research and ideas as well as the expertise on offer to scale their tech businesses for the benefit of us all.
Congratulations to all the companies selected for the new AI Accelerator. As we have seen from the progress of many past participants, the programme has a successful track record in helping companies using AI for good to scale their business and make them investable so they can achieve their maximum potential.
“I am hugely excited to be joining the AI Accelerator and working with the fantastic organisations selected this year. “My two passions over the last 20 years have been driving actionable data science projects and enabling early stage businesses to scale. This role allows me to combine both of these and I am very much looking forward to helping these companies develop their potential.”