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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 have selected 12 organisations with a commitment to a social mission to join this 4-month programme.

"The passion from entrepreneurs for solving some of the world's most critical and challenging societal issues is palpable. The combination of their ideas, what they'll learn from others and their development journey through this programme, is where I see the impact and the opportunity."

Clare Barclay, Microsoft UK Chief Operating Officer

Meet the class of 2020 below.


Meet the Cohort

We're excited to welcome the class of 2020 to the Microsoft AI for Good accelerator programme, in collaboration with Social Tech Trust. Watch this space as our cohort members build on their solutions and take their AI to the next level.

AI for good is about using technology advances to create a positive change in the world. We bring this vision to life with our change management and customised IP applications around core Microsoft products to create inclusivity and accessibility. - Managing Director, Margaret Totten
Akari team

Akari Akari logo

At Akari, we want to bring this vision to life. Our organisation is female led and our core offerings make us unique to the market, including our two applications AVA and Akari Translation Studio Our mission is to provide opportunity to any individual, regardless of hidden disabilities, mental health, gender or age.

Created in 2018 | HQ: Scotland

To us, AI for Good is sustainable, impact, and at scale. We're closing the access to justice gap with the human cloud - connecting paralegals and lawyers with those who need legal assistance the most. - CEO, Guy Stern
Baobab team

Baobab Baobab logo

The key to solving access to justice is the "human cloud". Baobab Connect solves the technological issues faced to access to justice organisations including provision of sustainable impact at scale.

Created in 2018 | HQ: London, England

We're a digital coach and tracker providing personalised speech therapy on-demand, and the AI for Good programme helps us build the required technology to transform lives of those with speech impediments - people like me. - CEO, Jordi Fernandez
BeneTalk team

BeneTalk BeneTalk logo

BeneTalk is a digital coach and tracker for fluency therapy. Unlike other alternatives, we provide affordable personalised therapy on demand and objective fluency progression during the day ('FitBit' for fluency).

Created in 2018 | HQ: Walton on Thames, England

We transform public swimming pools into physiotherapy spaces through AI-powered clinical software on waterproof tablets. To us, AI for Good is about making healthcare accessible for a wide range of people by distilling specialist clinical knowledge. - CEO, Ben Wilkins
Good Boost team

Good Boost Good Boost logo

Good Boost transforms public swimming pools into therapy spaces for the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions through AI powered clinical software on waterproof tablets.

Created in 2018 | HQ: London, England

We are a cloud-based platform helping commercial buildings save energy and improve efficiency to provide heating for occupied areas only. - Co-founder and CTO, Dr Zsuzsa Mayer
EcoSync team

EcoSync EcoSync logo

Cloud based platform helping commercial buildings to stop heating empty rooms.

Created in 2018 | HQ: Oxford, England

Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

To us, AI for Good is allowing anyone to find out about their city and feedback to their city as they move through it. - CEO, Tiernan Mines
Hello Lamp Post team

Hello Lamp Post Hello Lamp Post logo

Hello Lamp Post is a citizen centric public engagement platform that encourages people to strike up playful, text based conversations with street objects using their mobile phones We're helping city decision makers better understand their citizens and allowing more people to have a say in the decision making, to achieve true co creation of communities.

Established in 2018 | HQ: London, England

Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

AI for good is about using innovation to make the world a better place for the elderly and we're using AI to keep them safe, active and connected with family and friends.
miiCARE team

miiCARE miiCARE logo

miiCARE is a MedTed formed in March 2018 and we specialise in the application of AI in the area of geriatrics The company employs industry subject matter experts and a GP.

Created in 2018 | HQ: London, England

AI for Good brings us great value and opportunities to provide mental health solutions to people of all ages and health states. - CEO, Keiron Sparrowhawk
MyCognition team

MyCognition MyCognition logo

MyCognition tracks, treats and prevents poor mental health through our cognitive assessment and training platform, providing solutions to people of all ages and health states.

Created in 2012 | HQ: London, England

To us, AI for good means access to energy for all, and providing accurate and secure analytics that provide efficiency improvements for energy networks. - CEO, Akshat Kulkarni
OrxaGrid team

OrxaGrid OrxaGrid logo

OrxaGrid provides accurate and secure analytics that provide efficiency improvements for energy networks.

Created in 2017 | HQ: London, England

Our goal is to create waste removal chains that are just as efficient as today's supply chains. We're disrupting the waste management industry by leveraging deep learning and AI in our digital sorting solution. - CEO, Victor Dewulf
Recycleye team

Recycleye Recycleye logo

Recycleye is disrupting the waste management industry by leveraging deep learning and AI advancements with an ultra low cost, rapidly deployable, decentralized, scalable, digital and fully automated sorting solution.

Created in 2019 | HQ: London, England

AI for Good means we can make sign language more available, more quickly for more people. Our browser extension allows organisations to easily add sign language to any webpage so deaf customers get the same service as everyone else. - CEO, Mark Applin
Signly team

Signly Signly logo

Signly browser extension allows organisations to easily add any sign language to any webpage so Deaf customers get the same service as everyone else.

Created in 2019 | HQ: Lockerley, Hampshire


Curriculum

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:

Graph illustration

Business development

Business fundamentals, commercial strategy and raising funds.

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AI and tech

AI fundamentals e.g. AI ethical principles, cognitive services essentials and machine learning deep dives.

Heart illustration

Social impact

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.

4 skills for social good BLOG


FAQ

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.


Feedback

"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!"

Darren, CEO

"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

Read COO Clare Barclay's blog about 2020