Think, pitch and grow your ML ideas

A six-week mentorship and acceleration programme from AWS, Accel and Intel – ML Elevate 2022 will empower early-stage AI/ML startups to build, grow and scale.
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The role of AI/ML in driving innovations has skyrocketed in the last three years. While some of it has been due to the natural technology maturation process, a large part of the rapid growth has been due to a push towards digital transformation across industries and pandemic-driven business needs.

While globally, VC funding in AI/ML startups increased 73 percent in 2021 to $112.4 billion, in India ML startups raised $3 billion in capital in 2021. However, by Q1 of 2022, ML startups raised $1.2 billion in capital, an acceleration that indicates that AI/ML-led technology solutions are becoming the need of the hour today.

Businesses that have become the largest adopters of AI/ML for business optimisation include fintech, healthcare, retail, agriculture, manufacturing, agriculture, education, recruitments, energy, automotive, among others.

Technologies like computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), conversational AI, ML operations, automation for business, robotic process automation (RPA), mega models and ML platforms, under the gamut of ML and AI have thrown open the doors to new ways of approaching just about every facet of business.

As both AI and ML are poised to drive a huge change across businesses and impact lives positively, a growing number of startups are seeking to tap into the limitless opportunities for growth and development that ML offers. Industry sources in the AI/ML sector have predicted that by 2024, global spending on AI will reach $110 billion, while 75 percent of enterprises will shift from piloting to operationalising AI.

To tap into this potential of a fast growing sector and to nurture innovative, deep-tech founders to build and develop their core ML startup, YourStory and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in association with Accel and Intel are launching this year’s edition of ML Elevate, a programme that will offer AI/ML-led startups a platform they need to showcase their innovation, connect them with the right resources of mentorship, founder and VC insights, funding and pitch channels and a talented cohort community from previous editions of the program, that since its launch in 2020 has been a hub of learning and growth for AI/ML powered startups looking to make a difference across sectors.

"As one of the world’s most exciting and dynamic startup ecosystems, it is nothing short of fascinating to see the level of pioneering advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) happening in India. Startups are leveraging advanced technologies like conversational AI, computer vision, robotic process automation, and more, to disrupt industries like financial services, healthcare and life science, education and agriculture, by creating vertical-specific use-cases and powerful new user experiences.

 

This has increased venture capital (VC) investment into AI and ML technologies, fuelled global enterprise spends on AI/ML, and created demand for more AI/ML startups in the region. To support this growing ecosystem, AWS is launching the second chapter of ‘ML Elevate’ program, which equips early-stage, ML-powered startups with relevant resources to accelerate their growth. ML Elevate is an intensive six-week program, which is packed with curated resources and perks to provide the early-stage ML startups with the tools and technical know-how they need to build, grow and scale at speed. Along with it, the startups also get access to an extensive network of industry leaders and technology experts. The program also provides access to AWS Activate, which offers business mentorship to founders just getting started, as well as training and credits.” shares Slavik Dimitrovich, Head of APJ Startup Solutions Architects at AWS.

Accel which has been actively investing in the AI / ML space in India and globally for the past two decades has invested in Sigtuple, Finbots, Spyne and many others in the last few years, who are leveraging AI / ML technologies to solve problems across various industries. “We at Accel are excited to partner with AWS, Yourstory and Intel to help nurture the next generation of AI and ML startups from India. Through ML Elevate, we hope to meet, mentor, and partner with exceptional founders who will revolutionize the space and build the next generation of AI / ML startups from India for the world,” said Prayank Swaroop, Partner at Accel.

Complementing this is AWS and Intel’s decade-long partnership which has delivered the most comprehensive set of resources, tools, training, and services for AI and machine learning for businesses. “At Intel we see ML Elevate being a great platform to engage and collaborate and build success stories for machine learning on cloud, that has accelerated solutions to solve business challenges by driving data to insights. We look forward to deep discussions that will enable us to build a stronger ecosystem on ML for today and the future,” said Akanksha Bilani, AWS Alliance Head at Intel, about their partnership for the program.

ML Elevate 2021 highlights:

1. ML Elevate 2021 was the first-of-its-kind mentorship accelerator for a cohort of 30 early-stage ML startups that fetched 210+ applications.

2. Of these, 14 startups raised a cumulative ~$50 million after graduating from the program from the likes of Y-Combinator, 021 Capital, SOSV, Venture Catalysts, Ideaspring Capital, CDC Group.

3. The cohort of selected startups made the best of the resources and insights provided to them, including mentorship by industry experts on product-market fit, go-to-market, fund-raising, hiring, and developing their AI capabilities to scale their ventures, among other topics. The cohort received 56+ connections with VCs and Enterprises.

4. Top cohort members NimbleBox Inc., Sciffer Analytics, Kaleidofin, Inventigen Technologies, Bewgle Inc, Intentico Inc. were awarded at the Amazon AI Conclave which is among the largest and prestigious learning conferences for startups, enterprises and SMBs to accelerate their AI/ML journey.

5. 30+ Mentors from Freshworks, Moglix, Observe.ai, Amagi Media Labs, Near, Clevertap, Nexus Venture Partners, 1MG, Playment, Niki.ai, Fractal Analytics, Amazon Web Services, among others took 35+ masterclasses and live AMA sessions.

What to expect?

This year the program gets bigger and better. For ML startups this is your chance to showcase your ideas, to the sharpest minds from the industry. ML Elevate 2022 partners include global venture capital firm, Accel, known for their funding in leading technology companies of the world like Facebook, Slack, Atlassian, Flipkart, Spotify, Dropbox, and global corporation Intel known for their breakthrough deep technology innovations in chip manufacturing.

1. Qualifying cohort of 30 startups to power through four weeks of mentor masterclasses and ask-me-anything sessions delivered by industry leaders, successful founders, VCs, AWS experts.

2. Insights on technology and product building, go-to-market strategy, optimizing ML workflows, hiring and talent development and raising capital.

3. Hybrid program format with in-person meetups and demo day and access to networking events hosted by AWS, Accel, Intel and Yourstory.

4. Opportunity to showcase products and traction to a room full of VCs, angels, startup founders/CxOs and domain experts at the Demo Day. Qualifying 30 startups to have exclusive access to curated connections with industry experts, advisors, investors and potential customers.

5. Attendee passes for Amazon AI Conclave and YourStory TechSparks and ecosystem visibility, from YourStory, AWS, Intel and Accel’s outreach channels.

6. Collaboration with an exclusive learning community of fellow cohort and alumni founders to help you learn from each other's successes and pitfalls via roundtables to discuss topics like hiring, acquiring customers, product growth and building a strong technical foundation.

Perks and exclusive offers:

1. AWS perks include upto $100k* of credits, tech resources, 1-1 office hours and technical and business deep-dive sessions, roundtables with cohort founders and enablement on how to leverage the AWS tech stack to build and innovate faster.

2. Accel perks include 1-1 mentorship by investment professionals, guidance and feedback during the program. In addition, startups will have access to Accel’s learning series and partner discount offers by Freshworks, Clevertap and Chargebee.

3. Intels’ perks include mentorship sessions with Intel Capital and Intel technologists and access to Intels’ developer tools and solutions.

Who is encouraged to apply?

Startup founders who are curious, and are interested in exploring the limitless possibilities of AI and ML in solving key operational and business challenges across industry use cases, are ideal candidates. Startups that are AI-First that leverage AI/ML from Day 1, have raised under $3 million, and have been functioning for less than three years should definitely apply.

Startups seeking mentorship across achieving product-market-fit, building go-to-market strategy, hiring and fund-raising; 1-1 deep dive with experts on technical and business topics; peer-to-peer learning community of AI founders; an opportunity to showcase its product to and make connections with investors, customers and advisors, should definitely apply.

Applications for the ML Elevate programme 2022 are now open. The last date for applications to reach us is September 30, 2022.

If you are a startup founder who seeks guidance and resources to build, scale, and grow your core ML venture,

*Disclaimer: Startups must also qualify for the AWS Activate program.


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