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UCD gets new accelerator for disruptive AI start-ups

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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

A new accelerator has been launched at University College Dublin (UCD) to support start-ups working on exciting AI products.

This AI Ecosystem Accelerator will be delivered by NovaUCD, the university’s hub of innovation and start-up activities. The six-month accelerator is being launched in partnership with CeADAR, Ireland’s research centre for applied AI.

The focus of the new accelerator is to support entrepreneurs who are developing disruptive AI ideas for global markets. The sectors these AI services could impact include healthcare, cybersecurity, education, sustainability, finance, content creation, supply chain and customer service.

The programme is being funded through the European Digital Innovation Hubs (EDIH) framework, a Europe-wide initiative with funding of €700m from the European Commission and the governments of member states.

The supports for participants of this accelerator include a dedicated commercial mentor and workshops on value proposition, route to market, sales strategies and securing investment.

Participants will have access to co-working space at NovaUCD and access to the NovaUCD community of founders, investors, business partners and student interns. Successful applicants will also have access to CeADAR’s EDIH services which include AI technologies and research support.

The accelerator will also give participants access to a wide range of funding opportunities such as venture capital firms, angel investors and various grants.

The accelerator was announced by Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Dara Calleary, TD, who said Ireland’s entrepreneurs have “the talent, the creativity and the drive to seize the opportunities of AI”.

“My ambition is for Ireland to become a leading country in using AI to the benefit of our citizens, through a people-centred and ethical approach to AI adoption and use,” Calleary said. “I encourage all interested AI start-ups to consider applying and be part of Ireland’s AI ambitions.”

Entrepreneurs that are interested in applying for the AI Ecosystem Accelerator can do so on the UCD website. The closing data for applications is 16 February 2024.

Last year, CeADAR was formally selected to be the European Digital Innovation Hub for AI in Ireland. This means the EDIH will provide €14m in funding over seven years including an initial funding boost of €6m over three years, which allowed the Irish research centre to create new roles.


Full story: UCD gets new accelerator for disruptive AI start-ups

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