An intensive startup accelerator empowering the next generation of AI entrepreneurs.

The AI SuperConnector is a 6-month cohort-based programme supporting early career researchers to launch high-potential startups applying artificial intelligence to solve real-world problems.

Bringing together leading experts from industry and academia, the curriculum combines entrepreneurship fundamentals with AI capabilities to equip participants with the skills, knowledge, and connections to develop robust, ethical, and impactful AI ventures.

AI SuperConnector builds on the proven MedTech SuperConnector programme pioneered by Imperial College London. Expanding the horizons of over 95 early career researchers, 7 MTSC cohorts produced 14 spinouts, raised over £19.24m+ in VC and grant funding, and created more than 30+ jobs in the first 5 years.

By combining Imperial’s track record of bringing ideas to market with tailored AI venture building capabilities, AI SuperConnector aims to replicate MTSC’s success – empowering founders to develop robust, ethical AI innovations that drive economic and social progress.

Applications Now Open

Programme Highlights

Challenge-based learning focusing on developing AI solutions for sustainability, healthcare, smart cities, and other key domains.

Masterclasses on AI systems, data management, intellectual property, business models and fundraising pathways.

1:1 venture building support from experienced founders and investors

£20k non-diluted Seed funding opportunities to accelerate high-potential ideas.

Tap into extensive expert networks and establish valuable industry connections through strategic university and corporate partnerships.

Showcasing opportunities to present to investors and industry leaders.

AI SuperConnector

Join the AI SuperConnector (AISC) and embark on a transformative 6-month journey that brings together four leading institutions to supercharge the commercialisation of AI innovations. If you’re an Early Career Researcher (ECR) at Imperial College London, University of Liverpool, University of Leeds, or University of York, and passionate about turning your AI research into a thriving startup, AISC is your launchpad!

Why AISC?

  • Expert Tailored Support: Dive deep into a customised programme that tackles regulatory challenges, regional funding gaps, and infrastructure needs. Receive hands-on guidance on intellectual property, licensing, ethics, and leveraging technical infrastructure to turn your brilliant ideas into scalable AI ventures.
  • Equity-Free Funding: Get your venture off the ground with £20,000 in non-dilutive funding, fuelling everything from prototyping to initial market validation.
  • Masterclasses and Networking: Learn from the best with AI-focused masterclasses led by industry and academic pioneers. Expand your horizon and network with AI experts, industry leaders, investors, and policymakers.
  • Pitch and Propel: Hone your venture pitch with expert guidance, showcasing your commercial potential to a broad audience of investors, corporate leaders, and potential partners.

What Will You Achieve?

  • Market-Ready: Master the nuances of AI commercialisation, from regulatory landscapes to AI-specific business modelling, while gaining practical skills in product development, team building, and fundraising.
  • Communication Clarity: Articulate the value of your AI technology with confidence, navigating the commercial journey with ease.

Support on Your Terms:

  • Business & Innovation Coaching: Benefit from 1:1 support with innovation navigators, who offer strategic advice tailored to your venture’s needs.
  • Pitch Event Spotlight: Showcase your AI venture at an exclusive pitch event, attracting attention from a diverse range of influential stakeholders.

Google Cloud Support Offer

Credits
AISC will be part of an exclusive global ecosystem credit offer. Pre-Seed portfolio companies will get access to a $25,000 credit programme (valid for two years). Companies that then go on to raise automatically become eligible for GCP’s startup programme.

Talent

  • Technical support: 1:1 and office hours
  • Product support: Connections into specific Alphabet group PM’s
  • Exec Support: Exec Sponsorship of portfolio firms
  • 20% Projects: Ability to post projects / needs across alphabet group to have access to Googlers who can assist on specific requests

Go-To-Market Support
GCP will offer a white glove service to selected portfolio companies (against AISC agreed criteria) pairing them with a Startup Success Manager and Customer Engineer. The aim of this 1:1 relationship is to help co-create a joint GTM with the portfolio company.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Transform your AI research into a viable commercial opportunity. If you’re a research fellow, postdoc, or late-stage PhD candidate with an AI technology at a proof-of-concept stage or beyond, we’re looking for you!

AI SuperConnector is looking for applications from Early Career Researchers, including research fellows, postdocs, and late-stage PhD candidates, with an AI technology in development at one of the four partner universities.

  • AI technologies should be at a minimum proof of concept stage.
  • Researchers looking to explore the commercialisation or licensing of their AI technology.
  • Applications are accepted from both institutional and non-institutional IP.
  • Postdocs and PhD candidates must have support and approval from their Principal Investigator or research supervisor to participate in the programme.

Key Dates to Remember:

  • Application Deadline: Jun 9, 2024, 23:59 BST*
  • Panel Interviews: Week commencing Jun 17, 2024*
  • Invitation to Join: Jun 21, 2024*
  • Programme Start Date: Week commencing July 9, 2024*

Embrace this opportunity with AI SuperConnector and elevate your AI venture to the next level.

Apply now and redefine the future of AI innovation!

 

* all dates and times, and location are subject to change.

Information Sessions

We are holding information sessions for anyone interested in the programme and looking for further details. Please see dates below and links to the sessions.

 

Information Session: April 24th 1-2 pm (Online via Teams) Link here: AI SuperConnector Information Session

Information Session : May 22nd 1-2 pm (Online via Teams) Link here: AI SuperConnector Information Session

The AI SuperConnector will develop participants through the startup journey – from ideation to launch. Join the programme to unlock the power of AI to drive innovation, economic growth and social good.

Applications open April 2024.

FAQ for AI SuperConnector Programme

What is the AI SuperConnector?

The AI SuperConnector is a 6-month programme for early career researchers focused on transforming AI research innovations into viable commercial ventures. It brings together four leading institutions – Imperial College London, University of Liverpool, University of Leeds, and University of York – to provide tailored support, funding, masterclasses, networking opportunities, and pitch preparation to help researchers commercialise their AI technologies.

Who can apply?

The programme is open to Early Career Researchers, including research fellows, postdocs, and late-stage PhD candidates at the four partner universities who have an AI technology at a minimum proof-of-concept stage developed in their research.

What is the time commitment?

The 6-month programme runs from July to December 2024. It includes tailored support sessions, AI-focused masterclasses, networking events, and independent work advancing ventures outside of sessions.

What support is provided?

The programme provides:

  •  £20,000 in equity-free funding 
  • Expert support on regulatory challenges 
  • IP, licensing, ethics 
  • Technical infrastructure 
  • AI-focused masterclasses led by industry and academic pioneers 
  • Networking opportunities with AI experts, industry leaders, investors, and policymakers 
  • Pitch event spotlight to showcase commercial potential to influential stakeholders
How are participants selected?

Participants are selected through a competitive application process evaluating AI technologies and teams. Criteria include innovation potential, commercial viability, unmet needs matched, and applicant capabilities. Panel interviews will be conducted for shortlisted applicants.

Is there an application fee or programme cost?

No, the programme is fully funded, so there is no cost for accepted participants. Some travel may be required for in-person sessions held at the partner universities.

What happens after the programme ends?

At the end of 6 months, participants pitch at a showcase event attended by industry partners, investors, and academics. Teams can also access other entrepreneurship initiatives at the partner universities for follow-on support.

Who runs and delivers the programme curriculum?

The programme is delivered by experts from the four partner universities, with contributions from industry leaders and academic pioneers in AI. Participants also have access to networks and resources from the partner universities and their ecosystem.

How many ventures have been supported so far?

As a new initiative launching in 2024, this will be the first AI SuperConnector cohort. Programme impact and ventures supported will be tracked closely.

Can I get involved even if I'm not a participant?

The accelerator may have some public events, but core programme elements are focused on hands-on support for participants. Please check the website for updates on ancillary events. Inquiries on other engagement opportunities can be directed to the programme administrators.

Do you take any equity in my venture?

No, the AI SuperConnector does not take any equity or ownership stake in the ventures participating in the programme. As a non-equity model accelerator, our goal is to equip researchers and innovators with the skills, expertise, and connections to advance their technologies, not seek financial return.

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