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.
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 that they are fully committed to the program and building their startup. If you are working full-time or in the midst of your studies, then 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 working fully on the business. Ideally all. This is also why we provide you with financial support to help you with your living expenses.
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 not more than 100.000EUR, no more than 100.000EUR 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 mandatory. For this, we will be providing you with free accommodation, in case you do not live in Heilbronn or the vicinity.
For batch #1 we will be selecting 10 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 teams will be accepted to the program and will inform the teams accordingly by email.
Due to the number of applications, we are unable to provide each team with specific feedback on their application.
Yes, absolutely! There are many reasons why you might not have been selected, such as personal circumstance or a strong pool of applicants. We may be able to provide you with some tips and ressources in order to continue work on your idea and with enough determination, a bit of luck and the right timing, you may be accepted to one of our future batches.
Each team will receive 25.000 EUR in funding. You will receive this in three tranches and in order to receive the money, you will need to meet your three milestone targets, that we will agree upon with you during your first week of the program.
1/3 of the money will be paid when the program starts. If the first Milestones are reached, another 1/3 will be paid. If the last milestones are reached, the remaining 1/3 will be paid.
No, you have to reach your milestones that were agreed with you during your first week of the program. Our intention is to help you to succeed. Therefore, we will agree upon achievable milestones, depending our your stage and idea.
We will be running a number of community events and Q&A sessions before the beginning of the batch. You may join us there to have your questions answered. Alternatively, you can reach out to the contact person listed at the bottom of this page.