Y Combinator, the American seed accelerator, announced its first “vertical” track exclusively for AI startups.
Daniel Gross, the ex-founder of Cue and current partner at Y Combinator, announced the news in a blog post.
Gross said, “In an effort to usher in more innovation with AI, Y Combinator is going to try an experiment in the upcoming batch: a vertical group in YC dedicated to AI companies.”
YC gathers founders from different industries together in each investment cycle, where they host interdisciplinary demo days. Daniel Gross will personally mentor YC AI startups.
The new “YC AI” track will include admitted startups along with all the others. YC AI companies will also get some additional benefits:
• Office hours with engineers experienced in ML to help overcome technical challenges.
• Extra cloud compute credits for GPU instances.
• Special talks by leaders in the field.
Gross also included an “RFS,” or request for startups, specifically seeking companies with AI to enable robot factories. He wrote, “Many of the current techniques for robotic assembly and manufacturing are brittle. Robot arms exist but are difficult to set up. When things break, they don’t understand what went wrong. As a result, humans are still leveraged to assemble products like an iPhone. We think ML (aided by reinforcement learning) will soon allow robots to compete both in learning speed and robustness.”
“We’re looking to fund teams that are using today’s ML to accomplish parts of this vision.”
If you’re starting an AI company or own one, you can apply here.