Last weekend, the three-month network accelerator started with 11 startups. The goal is to support these startups and their promising applications of artificial intelligence to become successful AI startups. As a part of the program, the startups are supported through individual workshops and other coaching formats. In the first part of the program the focus is on business topics while the second part focusses on technical questions in the artificial intelligence area. Each team gets a dedicated startup coach for the duration of the program, with weekly sessions and opportunities for feedback. Additionally, AI experts are available for dedicated feedback on technical questions. At the end of the program, the startups will present their ideas at the demo day to potential investors and customers on January 28, 2022. The participation is free for all participating startups.
At the two-day kickoff held online and at the Business Development Center (BDC) Heidelberg on October 15th and 16th the startups and coaches met for the first time. The startups were introduced to the program and experts conducted a first assessment of the status of the startups. This will help the coaches during the upcoming months to provide targeted feedback. The second day of the kickoff was held in person in Heidelberg, and it was the first time for the participants and all stakeholders of the program to meet in person. After the first meeting with their respective coaches in the morning, the startups got their first input focused on the lean startup method held by Thomas Hipp from MCEI. Every team then filled out its lean canvas with coaching support when needed. Some startups used this as an opportunity to refine their canvas while it was the first time filling it out for others. All in all, the kickoff was a huge success, and all teams are ready to work on their businesses throughout the upcoming months. We are looking forward to the journey and the development!
The KI-Garage started operations in early 2021 and will run for a period of three years. The core collaboration partners include University of Heidelberg, Technologiepark Heidelberg Gmbh, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the University of Mannheim. All institutions of higher education in Baden-Württemberg are invited to get involved in the project and KI-Garage is compiling a comprehensive network of partners in the AI space in the state.