Edinburgh Uni accelerator has global aims after selecting 12-strong cohort

A body-sizing app to improve online shopping and a mental health early warning monitor are among a dozen innovations selected for a University of Edinburgh company accelerator.

The AI Accelerator is delivered by the university’s Bayes Centre, above, and Edinburgh Innovations, the capital institution’s commercialisation service, in partnership with Scale Space, the workspace dedicated to scale-ups, and supported by Edinburgh-based strategic design consultancy Nile. Picture: Mark K Jackson

Twelve teams of artificial intelligence (AI) entrepreneurs will begin the six-month AI Accelerator – part of a wider data driven entrepreneurship programme at the university – on September 22.

The accelerator’s purpose is to help AI-driven start-ups with high growth potential to set foundations to become global concerns, creating jobs and “economic and societal benefit”.

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The cohort has been selected from 66 applicants worldwide. It follows previous successful AI accelerators, the last of which ran from February to July this year, during which the 15 companies taking part raised £6.3 million in investment and grants to develop their businesses.

The AI Accelerator is delivered by the university’s Bayes Centre and Edinburgh Innovations, the capital institution’s commercialisation service, in partnership with Scale Space, the workspace dedicated to scale-ups, and supported by Edinburgh-based strategic design consultancy Nile.

Charlotte Waugh, enterprise and innovation programme lead at Edinburgh Innovations, said: “Given the challenges our society faces in bouncing back from the impact of Covid-19, it has never been more important to support the best innovative companies to scale.”

Nile founder Sarah Ronald added: “Scotland’s size is its strength. We are small enough to create a thriving and connected ecosystem with wide reaching benefits to be gained across academia, entrepreneurship and investment.

“Programmes like this are an essential part of the overall ecosystem we build.”

Edinburgh-based cancer research pioneer Carcinotech is also among the latest accelerator cohort.

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