Google launches AI-first startup accelerator for ecosystem expansion

Ines Lin, Taipei; Jerry Chen, DIGITIMES Asia 0


Google has announced the addition of AI First category to its startup accelerator program.

Initially targeting startups in North America and Canada, the program is set to expand its reach to Europe, India, Brazil, and other regions. Selected startups will gain priority access to cutting-edge development tools, such as the Gemini series models.

Google's previous startup accelerators focused on themes like climate change, circular economy, female entrepreneurship, and black entrepreneurs. The new initiative specifically targets teams developing AI solutions, requiring a minimum of five members.

Selected startups will receive 10 weeks of practical guidance, technical project support, and access to the latest tools like the Google Gemini series models. Furthermore, participants in the program will have access to workshops covering topics such as infrastructure, user experience, product development, business sales, leadership, and performance evaluation.

The program concludes with exposure opportunities. There are also Demo Day presentations.

Jerry Wu is the founder of Taiwan startup Asia-Pacific Intelligent Machines and an AI First program veteran.

He said that U.S. software companies like Google are committed to managing ecosystem exceptions. Ecosystems can become protective fortresses businesses he added.

Google explains the purpose of the AI First model on the program's website. It says "Today's startups are addressing the world's most pressing issues, and artificial intelligence (AI) is one of their most powerful tools".

The accelerator seeks startups "demonstrating traction, ideally between Pre-Series A and Series A stage," the website reads. Candidates must be in the process of "Building a scalable product or service with a significant total addressable market and defensible growth model," it adds.

Furthermore, Google expects candidates to be "Deeply technical, leveraging Machine Learning and AI with a dedicated AI lead within the team." Google also expects "Commitment from CEO, CTO, and technical roles to participate and engage in required program sessions," it adds.