Google to Support AI Startups Through Developers Launchpad Studio

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Googleplex - The corporate headquarters complex of Google, Inc. and its parent company Alphabet Inc., located at Mountain View, Sta. Clara County, California | CC Google

On Wednesday, Google announced its latest program which focuses on rendering support to AI and machine learning startups around the world.

A few weeks after the tech giant admitted that it is already running its own machine learning investment fund, it now announced to the public its hands-on Launchpad Studio program which aims to provide support and resources to hungry AI startups.

In the company’s Google Developers Blog post on Wednesday, Google claimed that the program’s mission is to “enable startups from around the world to build great companies.”

“In the last 4 years, we’ve learned a lot while supporting early and late-stage founders. From working with dynamic startups—such as teams applying Artificial Intelligence technology to solving transportation problems in Israel, improving tele-medicine in Brazil, and optimizing online retail in India—we’ve learned that these startups require specialized services to help them scale,” a part of the post read.

#Google extends support to startups through its #LaunchpadStudio program.Click To Tweet

The Developers Launchpad Studio and its Purpose

The Launchpad Studio is another initiative from Google that shows the company’s commitment to artificial intelligence and machine learning studies.

The AI Studio will enable its members to gain access to valuable Google services such as:

  • Applied AI integration toolkits: Datasets, testing environments, rapid prototyping, simulation tools, and architecture troubleshooting.
  • Product validation support: Industry-specific proof of concept and pilots, as well as use case workshops with Fortune 500 industry practitioners and other experts.
  • Access to AI experts: Best practice advice from Google’s global community of AI thought leaders, which includes Peter Norvig, Dan Ariely, Yossi MatiasChris DiBona and more.
  • Access to AI practitioners and investors: Interaction with some of the best AI and ML engineers, product managers, industry leaders and VCs from Google, Silicon Valley, and other international locations.

    Inside Google Launchpad Space | CC Google
    Inside Google Launchpad Space | CC Google

According to Roy Glasberg, Global Lead of Google Developers Launchpad, it does not matter whether the applicant is a “3-person team or an established post-Series B startup applying AI/ML to their product offering,” Google will always be happy to connect with them.

Aside from that, startups admitted to the Launchpad Accelerator program, a 6-month long program for mobile AI application developers, will receive the following assistance from Google:

  • Equity-free support
  • 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training at Google Headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley
  • Access to Google engineers, resources and mentors
  • To work closely with Google for 6 months
  • Credits for Google products
  • PR training and global media opportunities

Launchpad is now operating in major parts of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. Countries, where the program is running, includes Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria, Czech Republic, and many more. According to Glasberg:

“Launchpad, to date, operates in 40 countries around the world. We have worked with over 10,000 startups and trained over 2,000 mentors globally.”

Other AI Support Program

Apparently, the Launchpad Studio is not the first initiative which focuses on extending support to AI startups. The idea has been attempted for several years now until Andy Rubin’s Playground Global made it happen.

Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, and his Playground Global offers services to top talent startups, give them access to dial-in products and help them compete with large tech companies. It was said that his program was backed by a $300 million USD fund.

Another AI incubator, Element AI which is based in Montreal, provides the same support needed by AI startups. Last month, the company announced its Series A round of $102 million USD.

What differentiates Launchpad Studio from these two startup incubators is that Google’s Studio does not have any capital to deploy. Studio sits on top of Google Developers Launchpad network and has been operating an accelerator for a while now on a global scale.

Potential applicants are required to submit a 15-page pitch deck until August 31. Launchpad Studio will be headquartered at Launchpad Space in San Francisco, with offices in Tel Aviv and New York.

With many tech companies venturing into the study of artificial intelligence, what are some potential AI breakthroughs in the years to come?

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