The AI for Good 2020 accelerator programme helps purpose-driven ventures in the UK advance their AI solutions to create positive social transformation. For the second year running, Microsoft for Startups UK and the Social Tech Trust will be selecting 12 organisations with a commitment to a social mission to join this 4-month programme. And you could be one of them.
The programme supports inspiring and innovative businesses that want to create positive social transformation through AI in four key areas: Earth, Accessibility, Humanitarian Action and Cultural Heritage. The unique curriculum, delivered through engaging talks, workshops and seminars, will support you in the areas of business development, marketing, technical support, social impact and innovation. All elements are delivered by experts in AI and social tech.
The AI for Good programme is designed by Microsoft, Microsoft for Startups and Social Tech Trust to give purpose-driven ventures the holistic commercial, technical and social impact support they need to succeed. The AI for Good cohort will be given the opportunity to co-work at the Microsoft for Startups space in Shoreditch.
The 4-month programme kicks off with community building activities and deep dives into each individual venture, so that we can understand how best to support you and set milestones for your venture together.
The AI for Good Curriculum covers three streams:
Business fundamentals, commercial strategy and raising funds.
AI and tech
AI fundamentals e.g. AI ethical principles, cognitive services essentials and machine learning deep dives.
Social transformation, genuine user engagement, managing impact.
The curriculum will also support you on a number of cross-cutting themes essential to any purpose-driven venture, such as: leadership, partnerships, team and operations.
The curriculum is delivered through a mix of workshops, webinars, panel discussions, online content and more.
Early February 2020.
70 Wilson Street, London, EC2A 2DB and online.
4 months in total. February 2020 - May 2020, graduation in June 2020. Start date to be confirmed.
The aims of the programme are to:
- Give purpose-driven ventures the commercial, technical and social impact support they need to create the future they want to see
- Make an impact in environmental sustainability, accessibility, humanitarian action and cultural heritage by taking AI solutions in these areas to the next level, advancing and embedding the use of ethical and human design principles in their design
- Help participants build a repeatable and scalable business enabling a successful, scalable model to their identified target markets
- Create a platform for AI for Good leadership
- Purpose-driven ventures with a demonstrable social impact
- Companies less than 5 years old, with under £20M investment received and under £10M ARR
- Charities incorporated/registered in the UK and less than 5 years old
- Organisations currently using Cloud services (any provider) and wishing to build Microsoft Azure services and tools into your business (if not using Azure already)
- Organisations that offer an innovative, technical B2B, B2C or B2B2C solution with focus in the areas of Earth, Accessibility, Cultural Heritage or Humanitarian Action
- Companies with an operational technical product (pre or post-revenue)
- Be part of a 4-month dynamic programme with a bespoke approach of your venture and an incredible peer community
- Min. 2 dedicated workspace at Microsoft for Start-ups for the duration of the 4-month programme, in the middle of East London's thriving social tech scene, with access to meeting rooms for business meetings
- Non-Equity programme, with up to $25K of Azure cloud services credits depending on previous credits granted
- Get insights and advice from experts on AI, Technology, commercial development and social impact to take your AI for Good solution / service to the next level
- Workshops and 1:1 coaching from Microsoft for Startups and Social Tech Trust, and an incredible network of advisors to help you meet your next milestones
- Access to Microsoft Reactor meetups to network with London tech community
- Spotlight at the Microsoft for Startups graduation
- Support to explore post-accelerator funding and investment options, and join the Social Tech Trust portfolio and gain access to an incredible network of leading social tech ventures and advisors
The Application process will open on the 1st October and close on the 15th November.
- A short list of applicants invited to pitch virtually to a selection panel between the 2nd and 13th December
- Final decision on the successful applicants will be made on or just after the 17th December
The Microsoft AI-for-Good Cohort is a 4-month programme which includes in-person and online elements. It aims to provide you with access to a variety of events, workshops (delivered on-site and remotely) and other supporting benefits and services designed to help you develop your business from a social, technical & business perspective.
You can learn more about some of our amazing 2019 Cohort in these articles and videos as well as by following the STT and Microsoft for Startups on Twitter.
All organisations will remain part of the Microsoft for Startups community for a following 8 months to continue the technical and sales enablement development.
The alumni will also join Social Tech Trust's portfolio where they'll receive ongoing support from our team and have access to our network of social tech alumni and advisors.
No - as part of the UK Cohort, you will not be onboarded into the global AI for Good programme at the beginning. As you progress towards the end of the UK Cohort, if appropriate, you will be supported onto the global framework of grantees.
There is no monetary cost for you to join this programme or for use of the co-working space or meeting rooms. Neither Microsoft nor the Social Tech trust will take any equity in your business. You will retain all your IP rights.
Your company will be responsible for covering your travel and business/living expenses.
No, you do not have to have an already commercialised/revenue generating AI driven product, however you do need to have working tech product in existence and wish to have Microsoft to support you in understanding how AI can further enhance or improve the impact.
100% of those who were part of our previous AI for Good cohort said they would recommend the programme.
"Inspirational people have given us so many more ideas. Discussions have reaffirmed what we are going to do. Social impact and tech trust involvement has helped focus our mission - it was an amazing experience, which I will remember for ever. Kudos to the team that ran the course and good luck to them and the next cohort!"
"I have been able to define our AI strategy further as part of the programme and have engaged with highly skilled technical people in ML/AI at Microsoft. Also, I am now in touch with other teams at Microsoft who are working within the immersive tech and healthcare space both in the UK and the US, so I am still engaging with Microsoft staff today to push our solution to the next level."
Isabel, Founder & CEO
"I found the workshops far superior to anything else that I have attended, every workshop I was able to take something away that added value. The quality of expertise we were exposed to was fantastic and I found the support of the cohort was also fantastic, we were all happy to help each other."
Amanda, Founder & CEO