From idea to scalable AI business in 12 weeks

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Welcome to Europe's foremost rising AI incubator, 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 idea-stage incubator program in Heilbronn, empowers talented experts to build scalable AI businesses that solve real-world problems.

We are committed to fostering a robust ecosystem of partners, providing unparalleled opportunities for collaboration and growth

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

Target Group

Idea or 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.


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.


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


Batch 3
October 2nd - December 20th, 2023

Application Deadline:
September 3, 2023

Program Highlights

We will support you with the following benefits, without taking equity

€25K per Team

Each qualified team may receive financing through our financial partners, based on milestones we create together that align with your entrepreneurial journey.

The purpose of the milestones is to give you important guidance during the program on what to focus on. The €25K will be payed out in 3 tranches, with a first instalment 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.

As our workshops and sessions are on-site only, we have your stay in Heilbronn covered during the program. This is a place where AI Founders go from strangers to friends, and create unforgettable experiences.

Located in the heart of Heilbronn, our apartments provide easy access to a range of amenities, including shopping centers, restaurants, and cultural attractions

Access to our Campus Lab

During your participation in the program you have access to our different working spaces.

Benefit from modern equipment, a vibrant community of like-minded individuals, all while being conveniently located in the heart of the city.

Thriving community with relevant stakeholders to accelerate your business

To be successful, startups and innovations need a strong network. For that reason we act as a connector for the startup and innovation ecosystem. Talent, entrepreneurs, regional and international startups, investors, mentors, experts and corporations are actively participating in our community, both physically and online

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Program Process & Timeline



Deadline: September 3rd, 2023



September 11th-12th, 2023



September 16th, 2023

12-Week AI Startup Transformation


Business Track

AI Track

Meet the AI Founders Team

Sascha Karstädt

Managing Partner

Samer Nabha

Program manager

Tristan Post


Saif Shaikh


Irini Farag



Jens Horstmann

Managing Director of Crestlight Venture Productions

Sebastian Pyzalski

Start-Up & Technologie

Günter Steffen

Managing Director of Born2Grow & FM of Zukunftsfonds


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 who have an AI related business idea as well as early-stage startups. 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.

Depending on the quality and number of applications we will be aiming to select an equal amount of teams in the idea-stage as well as the early stage. However, this is not set in stone and will purely depend on the applications we receive. In either case, you are not at a disadvantage, as long as you submit a strong application.

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.

For batch #3, we will be selecting 10-15 teams.

For idea-stage founders we will focus on the problem you are trying to solve, why you want to solve it, the severity of the problem, how many people you will impact with your solution, your relevant expertise in the industry/domain of choice and whether you have been affected / tried to solve your own problem. Finally, 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.

For early-stage startups we will similarly look at 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, your business model and the team.

In both cases, 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.

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 for assistance.


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