Quoting Microsoft Ventures:
We’ve been thrilled at the strong response to our Innovate.AI Global Startup competition, and I’m pleased to announce that we’ve finished selecting the finalists for each region. It’s been exciting process, and I’ve personally enjoyed working across our team and with our VC partners to bring this competition to life.
In North America, we’ve been collaborating with Madrona Venture Group, a VC in our own backyard that has a strong focus on tech being developed in the region. In Europe, we’re working with Notion Capital, a VC with deep experience in enterprise tech. And in Israel we’re partnering with Vertex Ventures Israel, a VC known for finding entrepreneurs who are tackling fundamental challenges. This competition has been a great way to see the breadth of startup innovation that exists.
It has also been inspiring to see all the ways that companies around the world are applying artificial intelligence (AI) to innovate industries and improve people’s lives. While we received applications across hundreds of problem areas, a few consistent themes and focus areas emerged across regions. These include, but are not limited to:
- Healthcare: personal and mental health assistants, drug research and diagnosis, and computer vision to spot patterns and abnormalities.
- Financial Services: research summaries and insights for investment professionals.
- HR: understanding people’s strengths, skills, and networks to properly match them to jobs and schools.
- Sales: optimizing leads and focusing sales people on top opportunities.
- Retail: Using computer vision to automatically recognize and tag items in images and video, enhanced advertising & shopping experiences.
Another interesting tidbit: the applicant group for Europe included 32 different countries, speaking to the vibrant startup ecosystem across the continent. France and the UK led with the highest number of applications, followed by the Netherlands, Germany, and Spain.
Israel was another surprise in that we received roughly half as many submissions as the total for all of North America (despite having ~2.5% of the population). I think this underscores the incredible density of startup talent and innovation that we see coming out of the region.
With that said, I’d like to congratulate all of our finalists who now move on to the final judging portion of the competition. Expect to hear more about our ‘AI for Good’ finalists in a separate blog. Winners for each region as well as for the ‘AI for Good’ category will be announced later this spring.
In the meantime, here’s a closer look at our finalists:
North American Finalists
- FunnelBeam: a customizable sales intelligence platform.
- Wallarm: an adaptive, intelligent, application security platform.
- Envisagencis, Inc.: uses artificial intelligence to unlock cures for hundreds of diseases caused by RNA splicing.
- Alpha Vertex: cognitive systems for the financial services community.
- ConceptualEyes: accelerates the speed of pharmaceutical research and discovery with artificial intelligence.
- Waygum, Inc.: intelligent IOT platform and mobile app for manufacturing.
- TARA Intelligence Inc: a SaaS application to scope projects, assign developers, and monitor ongoing performance to build software faster.
- ID R&D Inc: next-generation authentication solutions including voice, behavioral, and fusion biometrics.
- Uru: fusing computer vision and artificial intelligence to create better ad experiences for video.
- Ground Drone: developing a universal software framework for making mobile machines intelligent.
- Connecterra: building an artificial intelligence that will grow food sustainably to feed future generations.
- True AI Ltd: software that provides automatic, intelligent response recommendations for customer support agents.
- Kepler Vision Technologies: vision-based body language understanding software
- Case Law Analytics: quantify and visualize judicial risk.
- Humanising Autonomy: developing a language for autonomous vehicles.
- Deepomatic: a platform that enables businesses to develop their own image recognition systems.
- Zelros: turn legacy enterprise data into transparent and interactive messenger conversations.
- Anon AI: enables secure sharing of data using a workflow tool that automatically anonymizes and adapts to changing datasets.
- Travel Appeal: AI powered insights to boost reputation, revenue and operations in the travel industry.
- Presenso: uses artificial intelligence for predictive asset management.
- examPAL: offers an adaptive, customized and ultra-personalized online learning experience.
- Sense Education: enables instructors, schools, and e-learning companies to provide students with personalized and scalable feedback.
- ZenCity: a platform for understanding people in a city on a wide scale.
- AbiliSense: offers a way to analyze sounds in home, work, city and transport environments.
- CognitiveID: a cyber security company that provides the ability to detect the real user behind the screen.
- ai: transforms people’s work into actionable data streams, improving scheduling and distribution of workers in the physical world.
- Donde: turns product images into data that can be used to improve merchandising, personalization, and search across e-commerce platforms.
- TheWhollySee: educating the artificial brains that drive autonomous cars.