Invaluable support for innovative AI startups

Startups from across the world are taking part in Rockstart’s cutting-edge new AI programme, which the company announced earlier this year. Each of the startups are spending six months working together with Rockstart’s expert team of mentors. They're also receiving a support package worth around €600,000 from the accelerator’s partners, which include Google, IBM and Amazon. Talk about priceless experience…

If that’s not enough, the startups get a whopping €20,000 in cash, office space for the duration of the programme and €80,000 of in-kind funding. All in all, the programme will provide each participating company with access to market, capital, expertise and an invaluable network (academia and business) – each a vital factor for growing into a viable business. In return, Rockstart expects a 6% stake of the startups (after the companies receive their next round of funding).

“Building a company requires a strong team of the right people with complementary skillsets,” said Rockstart’s co-founder and CEO, Rune Theill. “It’s especially important within AI, as founders need to bridge knowledge of deep tech with business. We therefore strongly believe that working with an educational institution like JADS will give the founders access to the right talent and expertise in order to succeed with a startup utilising AI. Along with JADS, we’re putting together a stellar team of experts, mentors, and renowned business partners.”

A promising pre-acceleration programme in Amsterdam

The six-month accelerator actually kicked off in October – a little later than expected. This is because the company launched a Launchtrack AI pre-acceleration programme, which began in Amsterdam at the end of August. The six-week programme – dedicated entirely to supporting talented individuals with deep technical knowledge – wrapped up at the end of September. and was a huge success. In fact, GeoSpark, which took part in the Launchtrack AI programme, ended up being selected as one of the startups for the full programme.  

“Again, Rockstart is at the forefront of developments,” said Ruben Nieuwenhuis, StartupAmsterdam’s private lead. “And laying a foundation for growing Amsterdam into a city-wide AI cluster. StartupAmsterdam will join forces and actively engage in this ambition.” Find out more about Amsterdam's awesome AI startups.

So Rockstart fully understand the importance of AI in the business ecosystem, and their equity-free pre-acceleration programme is a testament to this – as is the full six-month acceleration programme, as both aim to help bridge the gap between the business ecosystem and developments in AI.

“Rockstart is determined to make the Netherlands one of the most attractive places in Europe to build AI startups and is actively engaging large international corporations, academic institutes and the best technical experts from around the world to succeed in this mission,” said the company’s AI programme director, Marjel Quekel.

The participating startups

The innovative AI startups chosen to take part in the six-month programme are:

  • AirSquire (Singapore) – an inspection management company that gives construction companies and real-estate developers the information they need to make faster, better decisions.
  • AizoBot (India) – utilises driverless tech to develop autonomous robots – Litterbots – that clean streets and hospitality-sector floors.
  • Baarb (North America) – provides fast and adaptable ways for travel companies to include personalised search/booking engines on their sites and apps.
  • Birds.ai (The Netherlands) – uses cutting-edge AI techniques to extract information from drone images, giving inspectors a ‘birds-ai view’ of hard-to-reach assets, such as solar panels and wind turbines.
  • Cambridge Humanae (Italy) – this startup’s data-driven psychometrics streamline human-risk management in high-stress jobs (police, fire service, military, financial sector and more).
  • GeoSpark (India) – develops a location-based app that lets users leave messages for their friends and family at specific locations. This startup initially took part in the pre-acceleration Launchtrack AI programme.
  • OPTOSS AI (The Netherlands) – provides a platform that gives an intuitive live overview of data, helping users to detect anomalies in real time.
  • Overscore AI (South Africa) – develops a language-processing programme that ‘reads’ documents just like a human would.
  • Peazy (India) – created a parking search engine, which uses a complex algorithm to instantly lets users know where they can park.