Google launches equity-free AI startup accelerator

Brandon How

Australian AI and machine learning startups can now apply for Google’s new accelerator program, offering free access to Google cloud and tailored advice.

The AI First accelerator program opened on Monday and will support 8-15 seed and Series A stage Australian startups over 10-weeks without an equity investment from Google.

The Google for Startups Accelerator: AI First program offers lessons on using AI tools and infrastructure, a global AI startup collaboration network, mentorship from Google AI experts, and free access to Google cloud credits for eligible participants.

Workshops on product design, marketing, sales, leadership, and objective setting will also be available.

At the end of the program, participants will present their products through a Demo Day to Google senior leaders, the investor mentor network, and other teams under the Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Applications to the program close on July 31, with the program to run between September and December this year.

The program is a part of the multinational tech company’s $1 billion Digital Future Initiative, a five-year commitment announced in 2021 to build digital infrastructure in Australia and to develop local technology startups and skills.

The tech giant has forecast AI could add $290 billion in economic, cyber and climate benefits to Australia by 2030 with widespread adoption.

The federal government has launched AI adoption service centres around the country to encourage funding but is facing criticism for a lack of direct industry investment and a slow pace on regulatory reforms.

Google’s new Startups Accelerator builds on other programs launched under the initiative, including the Google Career Certificates microcredential courses and the AI Sprint innovation challenge.

The Sprint challenge is a three-month competition for small to medium-sized enterprise run in collaboration with the federal government’s National AI Centre.

Between 2016 and 2023, Google says its accelerator programs have supported more than 1,100 startups who have gone on to collectively raise $30.7 billion following program completion. It also flags that participating firms tended to have a survival rate of 96 per cent.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

Leave a Comment

Related stories