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Microsoft Boosts AI Startups With Competition

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Microsoft Ventures, the venture fund of the Windows maker, announces a search for promising startups working in the field of artificial intelligence through a global competition, Innovate.AI.

Microsoft SkylineLaunched in collaboration with Madrona Ventures, Notion Capital and Vertex Ventures Israel, the competition awards $1 million in funding and $500000 in Azure credits to one startup in three regions, namely N. America, EU and Israel. In addition, a 4th "AI for Good" prize consisting in $500000 in funding and $500000 in Azure Credits goes to the applicant that "best leverages AI to better society."

As Microsoft puts it, the startups should bring make AI more accessible and valuable by pushing its transformative potential to maximise efficiency, boost security and solve at least some of the big problems affecting society. To be eligible, they also need to have less than $4m in combined equity funding and/or loans, as well as have a product, service or platform making use of AI techniques.

Up to 10 finalists from each region get a chance to pitch their offering in person, bringing about an opportunity in exposure and potential funding from regional partners. The submission deadline is 31 December 2017.

Go Microsoft Ventures Announces Innovate.AI