October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

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Imperial leads accelerator initiative to turn AI research into new companies

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

The AI SuperConnector brings together complementary AI innovation expertise at Imperial, York, Leeds and Liverpool universities.

Imperial is leading a new accelerator project that will help early career researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) turn their work into startup companies. Starting in January 2024, the AI SuperConnector will provide a broad training in innovation and entrepreneurship, while addressing the unique challenges inherent in this fast-moving area of science.

The partners in the initiative – Imperial College London, the University of York, the University of Leeds and the University of Liverpool — have complementary strengths in a wide range of AI sectors, from defence and security to health, and from sustainability and climate change to robotics and autonomous systems.

The AI SuperConnector will transform today’s researchers at the forefront of AI discovery into tomorrow’s startup and scale-up leaders.Dr Simon HepworthDirector of Imperial Enterprise

“The AI SuperConnector will transform today’s researchers at the forefront of AI discovery into tomorrow’s startup and scale-up leaders,” said Dr Simon Hepworth, Director of Imperial Enterprise. “These researchers will already be experts in state-of-the-art AI and its application to societal challenges, but thanks to the AI SuperConnector they will become conversant in commercialisation and comfortable in ecosystems that span multiple business sectors.”

The initiative has secured nearly £1.5 million in support from the Research England Connecting Capability Fund. It will accept applications from early career researchers in all four institutions, offering them a six-month programme that will focus on developing the commercial potential of their innovations.

Turning researchers into founders

The AI SuperConnector builds on Imperial’s experience running the MedTech SuperConnector, a collaborative medical technology accelerator set up in 2018. In its first three years, this initiative has expanded the horizons of over 85 early career researchers, and created 14 spinouts. These new companies raised more than £17 million in venture capital funding and grants in their first three years.

“Our aim is to customise the core elements of the MedTech SuperConnector to address the unique challenges of AI,” said Dr Hepworth. “But we will maintain our MTSC’s principles of bold experimentation, open access to our methods, and personalised support for the founder.”

Full story: Imperial leads accelerator initiative to turn AI research into new companies | Imperial News | Imperial College London

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