Global innovation platform Omdena includes Alsessor among world’s top 11 AI accelerators as Altada program propels Irish startups to the next level
The ideas keep on coming. In Ireland, a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem has given rise to a culture of startup success that has become the envy of many other larger markets. The latest ranking of the EU’s biggest start-up city hubs puts Dublin in ninth position, while the highly respected StartupBlink’s 2020 report ranks Ireland ninth out of 100 countries worldwide.
Within the start-up scene, technology companies are leading the way. 10 or even five years ago, these were most likely to be cloud-based service or solutions providers. In more recent times, companies developing Artificial Intelligence (AI), AR/VR and Blockchain solutions have hit their stride.
One of the key advantages for early-stage AI startups is a network of support – mainly through Enterprise Ireland and its regional offices – that many other countries can only dream of. Another crucial advantage is a thriving system of world-class accelerator and incubator programmes: NDRC, Next AI, Alsessor, Digital Catapult, NovaUCD, LaunchBox, Nextgrid and more.
Accelerators are designed to provide early-stage companies with a range of critical tools – investment, office space, mentoring advice – to develop fully validated business propositions. Many startups that enter the accelerator environment need to undergo a process of refinement, polishing and perfecting a viable business product until it is ready for market launch.
Accelerator programs also provide vital emotional support and encouragement, not only from other participants but from those who have walked the walk: business founders who have been on the journey themselves. In this environment of turbo-boosting development, startups can pack several years’ worth of business knowledge into a few intense weeks.
With investors watching and ready to enter the business development process, accelerators are geared towards the real business world. This is hard-nosed stuff, with an end goal and series of target steps designed to get startups investor-ready by making sure the product is the right fit for the market.
Altada itself emerged from Ireland’s accelerator system, having undergone an intense 13-week program in 2018. Described as “a turning point” for the company by co-founder Allan Beechinor, the accelerator environment allowed Altada to focus its product offering and refine the investor proposition. At the end of the program, Altada was also voted Winner of the Most Investible Company.
Even as we have continued on our own journey, that accelerator experience was never far from the surface – so much so that Altada has created its own accelerator program: Alsessor.
Top AI accelerators of 2022 – Omdena
The brainchild of Allan Beechinor and co-founder Niamh Parker, Alsessor was recently named by the influential AI platform Omdena as one of the world’s 11 top AI accelerators in 2022. Taking place over five months, the program is designed to help business owners develop a stronger commercial edge as they move from prototype phase towards the commercialisation of their businesses.
Alsessor is geared towards providing a nurturing and inspirational environment to help AI entrepreneurs find their way in a crowded, competitive field. The program is designed for start-ups that have bleeding edge AI innovations for sectors including retail, digital health, fintech, insurtech, regulatory and compliance.
The inaugural Alsessor was won by Empeal, a SaaS health risk and productivity platform, while this year’s crop features 11 finalists and a diverse mix of cutting-edge AI solutions. The program is founded on an intensive series of workshops designed to equip entrepreneurs with real-world tools for success: domain expertise, mentorship and masterclasses.
Alsessor features an experienced panel of mentors and company founders including senior representatives of program partners including Tangent (Trinity’s Ideas Workspace), AWS for Startups, Clearwater, Altada, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP, Alldus and Granite.
The program features two stages, both designed to immerse entrepreneurs in an environment of collaboration and learning as they transform their ‘AI-deas’ into viable, concrete business propositions. Alsessor 2022 will culminate in an official closing demo day in June where the overall winner will be awarded a direct cash investment of €250,000.
While this year’s Alsessor line-up is now complete, the 2023 program is open for applications. If your start-up would benefit from the turbo-boost of an accelerator experience, you can find out more (and apply) here. We’d love to hear from you.
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