Microsoft, suffice it to say, is a pretty massive business. But even with its huge assets, it can not go out and communicate to each developer functioning on the following massive issue.
“There are quite a few wonderful firms pushing the boundary of [artificial intelligence] that we can not access, even with our initiatives,” Microsoft Ventures head Nagraj Kashyap tells Organization Insider.
That provides us to today, as Microsoft announces Innovate.AI, a world wide contest to come across the small startup with the largest plan for how synthetic intelligence can resolve a actual difficulty. In full, this so-known as Innovate.AI contest will give a $3.5 million prize pool.
Here’s how it operates. Microsoft is teaming up with three enterprise money companies, symbolizing three areas all around the globe: North The usa, the European Union, and Israel. In North The usa, Microsoft is teaming up with Madrona Undertaking Team, the firm’s neighbors in Seattle.
Organizations can enter the contest via the conclusion of 2017. Ten finalists in each individual location will be picked to pitch in-particular person. One particular winner in each individual location will get $1 million, plus another $500,000 in credits for the Microsoft Azure cloud provider. One particular supplemental $500,000 funds prize will be supplied out to a startup utilizing AI for public good.
The massive plan, says Madrona’s S. “Soma” Somasegar, is to come across the “truly truly early startups” who today are toiling in relative obscurity, and give them a leg up with revenue and connections they can use to make it massive — “a thing like American Idol,” he states.
To enter, a startup demands to have raised a lot less than $4 million, which is a relative pittance in Silicon Valley phrases. In that mild, states Kashyap, Microsoft and its VC companions are wanting for a lot less of a finished merchandise, and a lot more for a truly massive plan from founders they can believe in. The only prerequisite is that it puts AI to perform in a simple way.
The actual objective, he states, is to force AI forward as a complete. They’re wanting for startups that are “not just good investments,” but that “make AI a lot more available,” states Kashyap.
And finally, the contest’s sponsors would like to see these startups force by themselves to new heights.
“You must be thinking massive,” states Kashyap. “Imagine massive, and aim on the difficulty space you are solving,” agrees Somasegar.