Microsoft Ventures Launches Global Competition for AI Startups

Microsoft Ventures, in collaboration with venture capital firms Madrona Venture Group, Notion Capital and Vertex Ventures Israel, has launched a global competition for AI startups.

Innovate.AI aims to uncover emerging startups working to progress the future of artificial intelligence. In particular, startups leveraging AI for intelligent apps, services or platforms are encouraged to submit entries via the Microsoft Ventures website to compete for a chance at one of four prizes.

Submissions will be accepted from Oct. 10 to Dec. 31, 2017, and open across three regions: Europe (EU), Israel, and North America (Canada, Mexico and U.S.). Companies will be eligible to apply if they have raised less than $4M in combined equity funding and/or loans at day of application, and must introduce a product, service or platform that utilizes or intends to utilize AI techniques, as defined by relevant scientific research.

Up to 10 finalists will qualify from each region for a chance to pitch their innovation in person as each vies for a chance to win their region’s $1M-plus prize. Winning startups may also benefit from competition exposure and potential future funding from regional VC partners.

In total, Microsoft Ventures and its partners will award $3.5M in venture funding and $2M in Azure credits. One million dollars in venture funding and $500K in Azure credits will be awarded to one startup per region — North America, Europe and Israel — with a fourth prize for the applicant that best leverages AI to better society.
The AI for Good prize consists of $500K in funding from Microsoft Ventures and $500K in Azure credits.

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