AI FOUNDERS
Your Startup's AI Journey in Just 12 Weeks!

Welcome to Europe's foremost rising AI Accelerator, where brilliant minds converge and limitless possibilities emerge.

Program Overview

Are you a visionary team leveraging AI to solve a real-world problem? Are you ready to fully commit and scale your idea to the next level?
AI Founders is your launchpad. The 12-week early-stage acceleration program in Heilbronn empowers founders and teams to build and scale their business towards success in the evolving landscape of AI and technology.

The AI Founders program is not just accelerator – it’s a game-changer, a collaborator, a mentor, and a facilitator of powerful connections that spark growth, inspire success, and accelerate progress.

Apply now & become a part of Europe’s rapidly growing AI ecosystem in Heilbronn.

Target Group

Early-stage founding team or venture that is comprised of one technical & one business co-founder. Single founders with high potential are also encouraged to apply.

SETUP

The program offers a dual-track approach: the "business track" for refining your business aspects and the "AI track" for leveraging and scaling your AI models.

GOAL

Empower & support ambitious founders leveraging AI to solve significant problems and provide them with resources, mentorship, and community to succeed.

DURATION

Batch 4
16 April - 26 June, 2024

Application Deadline:
17 March, 2024

Program Highlights

Discover the advantages of our program

Funding when it really matters

To get you off the ground, each selected team will receive a €25k* through our financial partners, based on milestones we create together that align with your entrepreneurial journey. The €25K will be payed out in 3 tranches, with a first installment taking place directly at the start of the program.

Free top-tier co-living accommodation

Our stunning apartments at Rosenberg Quartier are there for you, your team and the whole cohort to provide comfort, convenience, and an inspiring environment for you. This is a place where AI Founders go from strangers to friends, and create unforgettable experiences.

Access to our Campus Lab

Maximize your program experience with unrestricted access to our state-of-the-art working spaces, designed to create a stimulating and inspiring environment to boost creativity and productivity. Benefit from top-notch amenities, a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, all while being conveniently located in the heart of the city.

Game-changing network

To be successful, startups and innovators need a strong network. For that reason, we nurture an active and collaborative community of talent, entrepreneurs, regional and international startups, corporations, as well as large mentor, expert and investor network.

OUR NEW HOME FOR STARTUPS & INNOVATORS

This could be your new office. Imagine a space where groundbreaking ideas take shape, collaborations flourish, and networks expand. Set to open in 2025, our brand-new building, meticulously crafted across eight levels and spanning 7,000 square meters, will become the epicenter of the Heilbronn startup community.

Join our upcoming Q&A sessions to learn more about the application process, program structure, and the unparalleled benefits our program brings to inspiring entrepreneurs.

Program Process & Timeline

1

SEND APPLICATION

Deadline: 17 March 2024

2

PITCH INVITATION

25-26 March 2024

3

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTENCE

27-28 March 2024

12-Week AI Startup Transformation

EXPERTS

Business Track

AI Track

Meet the AI Founders Team

Samer Nabha

Program manager

Bojana Trajkovska

Program Coordinator

Saif Shaikh

PROGRAM SUPPORT

Irini Farag

PROGRAM SUPPORT

Roxana Irina Big

TUM Venture Labs

SOME OF OUR JURY MEMBERS

Jens Horstmann

Managing Director of Crestlight Venture Productions

Sebastian Pyzalski

Investment Manager

Günter Steffen

FORMER MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BORN2GROW & FM OF ZUKUNFTSFONDS

Testimonials
In the technical domain, our project has benefited from several critical improvements learned during the CF workshops. Our team’s understanding and management of machine learning operations have advanced significantly, marking a manifold increase in our capabilities. Working side-by-side on various tasks has not only strengthened our team’s cohesion but has also fostered an environment conducive to effective communication and creative brainstorming. This hands-on experience has been vital in building a more integrated and responsive team dynamic

Keyward is a B2B SaaS Deeptech startup applying AI in engineering

This close-knit community environment has fostered a collaborative atmosphere where we can share ideas, challenges, and insights, which has been incredibly beneficial for our growth and development. Furthermore, the program has introduced us to the Heilbronn AI ecosystem, including the IPAI (Innovation Park Artificial Intelligence). Getting to know this ecosystem has been pivotal in connecting us with local AI experts, businesses, and research institutions.

AmberSearch is building an intelligent and multimedia enterprise search engine.

Our participation in the AI Founders program has been a game-changer. We’re gaining invaluable resources, building new connections, and using these advantages to further grow Sylby and make our mark in the language learning space.

Sylby leverages cutting-edge AI technology and logopedic techniques to provide real-time, personalized feedback to language learners.

The AI Founders program is by far the best AI incubator program in Europe. People just haven’t realized this yet. The main differentiator to other incubators or ecosystems is the size of the vision. The vision of the program is global. I’m a prominent critic of many European startups aiming to become the XYZ Company of Europe or build the ABC Company with European values, whatever that might be. Which to me means they are settling for a second or third place and not aiming to become a global leader, let alone change the world. AI Founders gets this difference and aims for the moon.

PUNKU is working on an AI-powered sales prospecting solution.

FAQ

No, our program is specifically designed for founders and early-stage startups who want to leverage the power of AI to solve a problem. There are other more suitable programs available for your case. Check out other programs we offer, like our investment vehicle or startup workshops.

Usually, the most successful startups comprise at least two co-founders who can cover the technical and business bases. If you are an exceptional talent and believe that you have what it takes to start your own business we may make an exception. In addition, we may be able to match you with a suitable co-founder. Get in touch and let’s see if we can help you out.

What we expect from our founders is full commitment to the program and building their startup. If you are working full-time or in the midst of your studies, it will be difficult to keep up with the fast pace of the program. We require that at least one of your co-founders is fully dedicated to the business, ideally all of them.

Our program is designed for aspiring founders and early-stage startups working on AI -elated business. The maximum threshold for early-stage teams is: max. 6 employees (incl. co-founders), annual sales volumes of at most 50.000EUR, and at most 50.000EUR in equity investment. Grants do not count towards the investment.

As our curriculum is fast-paced and challenging, we expect you to focus solely on AI Founders full-time.

Yes, this is one of our requirements. In order to get the most out of the program, physical attendance is highly preferred During the program, we provide you with accommodation through a living stipend in case you do not live in Heilbronn or the vicinity.

We will be selecting 10-15 teams.

Our selection criteria revolve around the problem you are trying to solve with AI, your product/solution, the innovativeness of your idea and your competition, the size of the market you are addressing, the scalability of the idea, and your business model. Additionally, we will assess whether your team is comprised of a technical and business co-founder and has what it takes to build a successful business in this area. Finally, we will assess to what degree AI is relevant to your solution and whether we believe you are personally a good fit for the program and the community.

After the application deadline, all applications will be reviewed by a diverse team of evaluators. After the evaluation committee meets to discuss the applications, 30 startups will be invited to pitch their idea/startup. After all the pitches, the team will decide which 10-15 teams will be accepted to the program and will inform the teams accordingly by email.

Yes, absolutely! If you’re not selected this batch, don’t worry. Keep refining your idea, stay determined, and feel free to apply again in the future batches. Persistence pays off! Best of luck!

You will receive your first instalment of 5,000 EUR at the start of the program, your second tranche of 10,000 EUR will be paid out during the 7th week and the last instalment of 10,000 EUR will be transferred at the end of the program.

If you commit to the program by participating in our workshops and exchanging with our experts for example, we do expect you to reach your milestones. Depending on the agreement, you might or might not receive the instalment if you do not reach your milestones.

If you’re accepted into AI Founders, you will be provided with housing. We have fully equipped apartments at Rosenberg Quartier, with easy access to a range of amenities, including shopping centers, restaurants, and cultural attractions.

The program calendar will be filled with various components ranging from workshops, lectures, pitch practice and opportunities to connect with your program peers. If you are spending the day at the Campus Lab, we also expect many community members to drop into Campus Founders Lab at various times throughout the day, giving you opportunity to expand your network. There will also be a ton of community events going on. In general though, you’ll be working on your product each day, just like all of the other founders in the program.

We will be running a number of community events and Q&A sessions before the start of the batch. You may join us there to have your questions answered, so keep an eye on our upcoming events. Alternatively, reach out to samer@campusfounders.de for assistance.

The financial assistance of EUR 25,000 offered is a founder-friendly loan provided by our financial partners with limited repayment obligation. The key terms include a milestone-related loan amount, an interest rate of 1% per annum, and a maturity date of until the end of 2026. The loan does not need repayment if the project or business plan is abandoned if our financial partner participates in the next equity financing round, or if given the opportunity to participate but chooses not to.

Please note that these terms are determined by our financial partners and are subject to their modifications.

For additional clarifications, we recommend participating in our weekly Q&A or informational webinars.

AI FOUNDERS ALUMNI

Ready to REVOLUTIONIZE the world of AI?