Microsoft, teaming up with VC firms across three regions to conduct an AI competition i.e., Innovate.AI with overall pool prize money worth $3.5 million. The announcement was made in a blog post by Peggy Johnson – Executive Vice President, Business Development.
Microsoft ventures was launched last year and till now it has invested in more than 40 AI startups including AI innovators like Agolo, Bonsai, Crowdflower and Livongo. Microsoft has also created AI fund to support startups focused on positive impact on society.
Up to 10 finalists from each region will participate in a live pitch-off in the spring where their ideas will be evaluated by a panel of experts from Microsoft Ventures and our VC partners. Only one of the 10 finalists per region will be awarded the $1 million prize.
Winner from each region will receive $1,000,000 investment USD split between Microsoft Ventures & VC partners, along with $500,000 USD in Azure credits for 3 years, 100 Office 365 licenses for 1 year, and an Azure Standard support plan.
One prize named The A.I. For Good Prize will be given to the top finalist globally that is responsibly harnessing the promise of A.I. to positively impact people’s lives and the world.
The A.I. for Good price will include A $500,000 USD investment from Microsoft Ventures, $500,000 USD in Azure credits for 3 years, 100 Office 365 licenses for 1 year, and an Azure Standard support plan.
Microsoft has defined some eligibility criteria for the competition, which includes the region (Since, competition is only for 3 regions), funding etc. Here are some eligibility criteria defined by them:
- Headquartered in North America, Europe (E.U.) or Israel.
- Have raised less than $4,000,000 USD (local equivalent using foreign exchange rates on dates of funding).
- Your company must currently offer or intend to release a product, service, or platform which utilizes A.I. and/or machine learning techniques.
Submissions are open now and you can submit until Dec 31, 2017 on the Microsoft Ventures website.