Microsoft Ventures to pump $3.5 million into AI funding with Global Startup Competition

Laurent Giret

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Microsoft Ventures has teamed up with Madrona Venture Group, Notion Capital and Vertex Ventures Israel to launch Innovate.AI, a global startup competition to find the best startups currently working on artificial intelligence. Starting today, AI-focused companies based in Europe, Israel and North America can join the competition if they have raised less than $4M in combined equity funding and/or loans at day of application.

Overall, Microsoft Ventures and its three partners will award $3.5M in venture funding and $2M in Azure credits to prize winners:

Beginning today, startups harnessing AI for intelligent apps, services or platforms are encouraged to submit entries via the Microsoft Ventures website to compete for a chance at one of four prizes. One million dollars in venture funding and $500K in Azure credits will be awarded to one startup per region — North America, Europe and Israel — with a fourth prize for the applicant that best leverages AI to better society. The AI for Good prize consists of $500K in funding from Microsoft Ventures and $500K in Azure credits.

Submissions will be opened through December 31, 2018, and you can learn more information about the contest on the Microsoft Ventures application page. “At Microsoft, the future is rooted in the advancement of AI technologies,” said Nagraj Kashyap, corporate vice president, global head of Microsoft Ventures. “We’re excited to launch this competition with a strong group of venture capitalists that recognizes the importance of leveraging these technologies to amplify human ingenuity and power innovation in AI forward.”