10 Best AI Accelerators and Incubators for Startups

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Artificial intelligence (AI) tech is revolutionizing how we work across a wide variety of industries, ranging from healthcare to finance. As part of this digital transformation, more and more entrepreneurs are creating AI startups and brand-new ventures that utilize AI technology to make an impact and positively benefit their industry. 

To help these startups achieve success with their ideas and make it in the competitive marketplace, many specialized incubators and accelerators have emerged worldwide. These incubators often offer mentorship or funding with the goal of supporting these emerging companies in their growth initiatives and helping them hit the ground running.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of today’s top-rated AI incubators and accelerators open to startup businesses.

Also Recommended: Check out our articles on the best startup accelerators and best startup incubators.

Top Artificial Intelligence Accelerators and Incubators

There’s no question that the world is buzzing around artificial intelligence these days – but how do startups find reliable guidance among all the hype? Fortunately, there are plenty of quality accelerator programs available today, specifically tailored towards nurturing emerging businesses working with AI technology.

In the sections below, we’ll dive in and explore the leading players in the AI incubator and accelerator space – ones known for offering unique tools geared towards inspiring innovation while promoting success among budding entrepreneurs in the process.

1. AI2 Incubator

Location: Seattle, Washington

The AI2 Incubator was created to help entrepreneurs combat common obstacles in the AI startup space, helping them succeed in their ventures and make a splash in the global marketplace. With the support of renowned research institute AI2, this program will nurture your innovative ideas and help you think outside the box every step of the way.

AI2 is currently offering funding opportunities in four main technical areas including FMOps as an evolution of MLOps; Domain-Specific FMs (DSFMs); Generative/Creative AI; and AI for social good where foundation models play a pivotal role in creating everything from visual arts to strategic business communications.

The success stories associated with initiatives like the AI2 Incubator back up these claims – as AI2-funded startups have already received over $175 million in funding, with a combined valuation exceeding $900 million.

2. NVIDIA Inception

Location: Santa Clara, California

NVIDIA Inception is a free program aimed at helping startups grow faster by providing access to cutting-edge technology, NVIDIA experts, venture capitalist connections, and co-marketing support to boost company visibility. Catering to all stages of a startup's life cycle, the program offers the best technical tools, latest resources, and some investor networking opportunities as well. Premier members receive additional benefits like increased NVIDIA marketing support, access to exclusive events, and a dedicated relationship manager.

NVIDIA Inception members are making significant strides in multiple industries. OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever, also an Inception member, discussed GPT-4, ChatGPT, and the future of deep learning. Pendulum, another startup in the program, has developed AI engines to detect falsehoods in social media content, and Open Climate Fix built transformer-based AI models that use terabytes of satellite data to improve solar energy generation predictions by three times.

3. AI Venture Labs Accelerator

Location: Dubai, UAE

AI Venture Labs is an accelerator focused on mature, pre-Series A AI startups in their expansion phase (particularly those in the pan-Arab region). They offer a customized approach to supporting startups, beginning with an assessment of their individual needs and the creation of a tailored acceleration plan. 

Startups admitted to the program can receive up to $75,000 worth of development professional services, free office space, and up to a 25% discount on exclusive technology product benefits from partners. The program is designed to accelerate the development of cloud-first, hyperscale-ready AI solutions and provide access to an international network of sales partners and a dedicated team of technology and industry specialists. 

To apply, startups must submit an online application form, including a business plan, the founders' CVs, and a certificate of incorporation if available. Successful applicants will then be contacted with an extended offer and can begin their innovation journey.

4. Next AI

Location: Toronto, Canada

Next AI is a program that provides early-stage AI startups mentorship, education, and over $1 million in deals and perks from partner vendors. It also offers access to capital investments, with up to $100,000 in direct funding available through an external fund. Participants can join the program from Montreal or Toronto hubs or remotely from any other location.

The Next AI program provides a world-class curriculum taught by award-winning faculty, access to top AI scientists and venture managers, high-impact workshops, speaker series, and perks from leading AI technologies. It also offers free office space in Toronto and Montreal's AI hubs, as well as access to an international pool of mentors and investors. 

The accelerator and incubator program consists of two phases: upskilling founders and strengthening the foundations of their ventures through common-track and one-on-one support as well as acceleration of product development. Next AI accepts ideas or early-stage ventures passionate about solving global problems using AI, and seeks exceptional teams committed to building and executing powerful AI-enabled solutions.

5. AI Startup Incubator

Location: Smichov, Czechia

The AI Startup Incubator (AISI) is an investment fund specializing in early-stage AI startups. In Q4 2022, AISI became a subsidiary of Look AI Ventures (LAIV) SICAV fund, merging its portfolio, expertise, resources, scouting, and evaluation processes into the new fund structure. Despite the merger, AISI continues to operate within the LAIV structure.

AISI offers tailored cooperation to meet the specific needs of each startup, rather than providing a generic package. Having evaluated over 4,000 startups, the incubator has access to 70 mentors and is industry-agnostic, with a focus on AI. AISI brings industry expertise through mentoring and partnerships to help startups grow.

The incubator offers smart money to support AI startup growth and prides itself on its AI technology expertise. By providing tailored solutions and resources, AISI plays a vital role in fostering the growth of AI startups across various industries.

6. NextGrid AI

Location: Warsaw, Poland

Nextgrid's Artificial Intelligence Seed & Accelerator Program is a three-month program designed to provide technical founders with the framework, support, and understanding needed to work with complex technology solutions. 

Participants receive up to $500,000 worth of cloud computing credits, business and technical mentoring from industry experts, connections to Nextgrid's network of Silicon Valley and AI investors, and access to unreleased hardware. In exchange for their support, Nextgrid takes a 4% equity stake in the participating businesses. 

At the conclusion of the program, participants have the opportunity to pitch their projects to 10 high-profile investors and tech companies, showcasing their progress and potential for future growth.

7. Microsoft Accelerator

Location: Redmond, Washington

Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub is a platform that connects people, knowledge, and technology to help founders tackle startup challenges. It requires no funding to sign up and offers benefits such as up to $150,000 in free Azure credits, expert guidance, and access to development tools like GitHub Enterprise, Azure OpenAI Service, VS Code, Microsoft 365, and LinkedIn.

The platform also provides startup-friendly offers from trusted partners, including OpenAI APIs and LinkedIn Premium. Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform, plays a crucial role in the platform, providing industry-leading AI innovation, integration with popular development tools, and enterprise-grade security and compliance features. 

Founders have access to 1:1 technical advisory sessions to help them start building on Azure, as well as assistance with architecture design, scalability, security reviews, and more. They can connect with experts and mentors for guidance on a variety of startup challenges, including subject matter experts (SMEs), successful former founders, and venture capitalists from M12.

8. Founders Factory Accelerator

Location: London, United Kingdom

The Founders Factory Accelerator Program is an investment program that offers capital and six months of hands-on operational support from a dedicated team. Staff members collaborate with startups in mission-critical areas like strategy, product, marketing, finance, talent, and operations, providing access to market-leading partnerships for commercial contracts, distribution, market intelligence, and equity investment. 

With over 300 startups globally, the program has a global founder community, connecting startup founders, operators, and investors through private in-person and online events. It has a team of more than 100 operators with deep industry, investment, and entrepreneurship experience to help startups accelerate their growth. Access is provided to leading innovators in the world's most influential companies, providing startups with the necessary support and resources to move forward faster and achieve success in the long term.

9. Digital Catapult

Location: London, United Kingdom

Digital Catapult is an organization dedicated to accelerating the ethical and responsible adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). It provides startups access to computing power, hardware, industry expertise, mentorship, and experimentation space and supports larger companies in accelerating AI adoption. 

The program collaborates with policymakers and academics to ensure the UK and every company they work with worldwide lead the way in transparent and ethical AI applications. What's more, their Ethics Committee assists UK developers and organizations in integrating ethical practices into the use of AI and ML technologies, helping organizations benefit from advanced digital technologies while promoting ethical and responsible AI adoption.

10. The Hive

Location: Palo Alto, California

The Hive is a seed-stage venture fund located in Palo Alto that provides support for entrepreneurs looking to build their own companies from the ground up. It accelerates company building by actively working alongside founders during their critical early stages while focusing on startups that leverage data-driven analysis and AI technology innovation solutions. 

The Hive offers pre-seed and seed financing options ranging between $1.5 million to $3 million, as well as follow-on participation assistance in helping startups get future financing rounds. Plus, the program actively fosters creativity by creating opportunities for entrepreneurs to collaborate with major corporations, such as GE, Dell/EMC, eBay, and McKesson. 

All of the program's investments target promising sectors such as general enterprise, industrials, financial services, insurance, and health, areas where AI is predicted to thrive.

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