Google Launchpad to Support Startups in AI, Machine Learning Space

Google says its goal is to make Launchpad Studio a hub for the best in fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Startup Launchpad

Google has committed to using machine learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies to make its products and services smarter and more intuitive in future. To achieve this goal, the company has invested substantially to build up its capabilities in both these areas in recent years.

Now it wants to help startups from around the world that are developing AI and machine language technology from around the world to do the same. The company this week rolled out a new initiative called Google Developers Launchpad Studio that will provide technical and product support along with investment opportunities to startups involved in machine learning and AI technology.

The offer is open to organizations that are just starting up in the space regardless of how small they may be and also to more established venture-funded startups that might be planning to integrate AI and machine learning capabilities into their products.

Startups that are selected for the program will have access to a variety of resources designed to address their specific requirements, according to Google. This includes datasets, testing environments and simulation tools, product validation support, use case workshops with representatives from Fortune 500 companies and access to leading AI experts.

Under the initiative, Google will also work on putting startups in front of investors and venture capitalists from inside Google, Silicon Valley and around the world, the company said.

To understand a startup's specific requirements Google will first conduct an assessment of the organization's goals and challenges. The long-term goal, according to Google, is to make Launchpad Studio the go-to-hub for the brightest and the best in the machine learning and AI space.

The headquarters for Launchpad Studio will be in San Francisco, but Google will host events and activities in other cities including New York, Tel Aviv and eventually London, Bangalore, Toronto and Singapore.

Such initiatives are not new for Google. Four years ago the company established an initiative dubbed Google Developers Launchpad to mentor developers and technology startups on how to get their efforts off the ground.

Under the program, Google has been offering a variety of mentoring and educational programs to both early and late stage founders. The company has established a physical facility in San Francisco where organizations that want Google's help can engage one-on-one with Google technology experts.

Startups that are selected to participate in a so-called Launchpad Accelerator program are eligible for equity-free funding from Google. They also receive two weeks of all expenses paid training at Google's headquarters and closer access to Google product teams, mentors, engineers and resources for a period of six months.

As part of the program, startups also receive training in public relations and opportunities to put their organizations in front of global media.

Google currently operates Launchpad Accelerator in multiple countries including Argentina, Brazil, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Poland and Hungary.

Among those that Google has worked with under the program is an Israeli team applying AI to addressing transportation problems in the country, a company working on telemedicine in Brazil and an Indian company involved in optimizing online retail shopping.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.