26 July, 2017
AI Grant Aims To Fund The Unfundable To Advance AI And Solve Hard Problems
Artificial intelligence-focused investment funds are a dime a dozen these days. Everyone knows there’s money to be made from AI, but to capture value, good VCs know they need to back products and not technologies. This has left a bit of a void in the space where research occurs within research institutions and large tech companies and commercialization occurs within verticalized startups — there isn’t much left for the DIY AI enthusiast. AI Grant, created by Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross, aims to bankroll science projects for the heck of it to give untraditional candidates a shot at solving big problems.
Gross, a partner at Y Combinator, and Friedman, a founder who grew Xamarin to acquisition by Microsoft, started working on AI Grant back in April. AI Grant issues no-strings-attached grants to people passionate about interesting AI problems. The more formalized version launching today brings a slate of corporate partners and a more structured application review process.