- 19 April 2017
Europe’s first Artificial Intelligence acceleration program will start in Den Bosch next September. Organizer Rockstart opens up the window for application next month. The ten AI startups chosen for the program will spend six months in De Bosch, working along with mentors and partners, including the locally-based Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS).
A few years ago, Rockstart tried to found a branch of the company in Eindhoven, but this failed because the desired location (VDMA) couldn’t be adjusted to the needs of the company.
"Founders of AI startups need to bridge knowledge of deep tech with business. We therefore strongly believe in working with an educational institution like JADS."
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, and support from mentors from relevant industries, as well as perks and deals from the partners, including Google, Amazon, and IBM. In return, Rockstart expects to take a 6 percent stake of the startups entering the program after they’ve raised their next round of funding.
Access and guidance
Similarly to the other Rockstart’s vertical programs, the AI Accelerator aims at providing startups with access to the market, capital, community, and expertise. The scope of the program has been defined in a broad way in order to allow startups from a range of industries to work with and learn from each other. The list of mentors who will guide the founders in the intricate field of applied artificial intelligence includes Dr. Eric Postma, professor at JADS, Jasper Wognum, the founder of BrainCreators, Dr. Mykola Pechenizkiy, professor at Eindhoven University of Technology, and Christoph Auer-Welsbach, partner at IBM Ventures and initiator at City.AI.
“Building a company requires a strong team of the right people with complementary skill sets,” said Rune Theill, Rockstart CEO and co-founder. “It’s especially important within AI as founders need to bridge knowledge of deep tech with business. We therefore strongly believe that working with an educational institution like JADS will give the founders access to the right talent and expertise in order to succeed with a startup utilising AI.”
With the collaboration with JADS, Rockstart wants to bring an academic perspective on the industry, as well as the latest know-how and research in the field. “Increasing computational power and the ability to accumulate, store, and link large amounts of data, in combination with the rise of cloud, IoT, machine learning, and deep learning have created a perfect storm for AI developments,” said Arjan van den Born, Scientific Director of JADS. “We now have the opportunity to take our knowledge and research outcomes and apply them to new ventures. We are actively building entrepreneurial communities and our partnership with Rockstart will enable students, data scientists, and partners alike to explore, work together, learn, and build viable businesses.”