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Microsoft launches AI startup accelerator with Seedrs

Microsoft has launched a UK AI startup accelerator in partnership with London-based private investing platform Seedrs.

The Series AI programme aims to help participating startups build and integrate AI technology. The four-week accelerator, open to startups from Seed to Series A stage, will include mentorship, resource sharing and commercialisation support.

“Over the last few years, the UK has emerged as a world leader in artificial intelligence,” said Seedrs managing director John Lake.

“Our thriving ecosystem benefits from an excellent talent pool fuelled by some of the world’s best STEM universities and a sympathetic regulatory environment, so it’s no surprise it was the second most funded sector in the UK last year.”

Among the participating startups, six finalists will be chosen to pitch their businesses to VC firms Vektor Partners and SFC.

“We are excited to be working with Seedrs to help startups seize the AI opportunity,” said Microsoft UK general manager of partner business, Orla McGrath.

“By building their innovative AI solutions on the Microsoft Cloud, startups have the opportunity to utilise this exciting technology to transform every industry for the better.”

The Series AI programme will begin on 1 May.

The accelerator launch follows the announcement last week of a new AI hub in London from Microsoft. Mustafa Suleyman, Microsoft AI boss and co-founder of DeepMind, said the trillion-dollar company plans to “make a significant, long-term investment” in the UK, which contains an “enormous pool of AI talent and expertise”.

Microsoft in November pledged to invest £2.5bn in British AI infrastructure.