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Real-world challenges, unreal solutions
Applied AI is Tech Nation’s first growth programme for Artificial Intelligence to help the UK’s most promising founders who are applying AI in practical areas and to create real-world impact. We do this through peer-to-peer support and the shared experience of later-stage founders, all curated under the values of honesty, intimacy and trust.
We know that scaling an AI company comes with its own set of unique challenges. This is a network that will unpack the AI-specific scaling journey, led by those who have done it and with the support of like-minded peers.
Our six-month programme focuses on providing founders and leaders of the sector with invaluable skills, a powerful network – including peers, investors and potential clients – and the ability to implement changes that will help their companies grow.
It’s free to join, and we don’t take an equity stake in your business. To determine who gets a place on the cohort, we’ve put together a panel of expert judges.
Take a look at our very first Applied AI cohort!
Cardiff | Artificial Intelligence
Antibodies are a very successful and valuable class of drug. But discovering and developing them into new drugs is a laborious and unreliable lab-based process. Antiverse's in silico models discover and optimise new antibody candidates faster, meaning only better targeted and further optimised candidates are included in expensive clinical trials. With the top-selling antibody bringing in sales of $19.9bn in 2018, the potential is huge.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @AstroscreenHQ
Astroscreen uses AI to protect brands and defend democracy from harmful social media manipulation campaigns, also known as astroturfing. Social networks have become the new cybersecurity attack vector and Astroscreen is building the solution.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @Bibblio
Bibblio helps content owners navigate the attention economy by matching the right content to their audience through AI, thereby increasing engagement and maximising the return from content. Bibblio's AI engine runs across three tools: Circulation, Syndication and Promotion. Each targets important metrics for content owner teams.
Cambridge | Artificial Intelligence | @BIOShealth
BIOS is a leading neural engineering startup, creating the open standard hardware and software interface between the human nervous system and AI. Improving the quality of life for millions of people affected by chronic disease, they combine applied materials, machine learning, software, neuroscience with the experience of surgeons, clinicians and patients.
- C The Signs
London | Artificial Intelligence | @CtheSignsTool
C the Signs is an award-winning platform founded by doctors. Using artificial intelligence mapped with the latest evidence, the tool is used by Doctors to identify patients at risk of cancer at the earliest and most survivable stage of the disease. Covering the entire spectrum of cancer, C the Signs can identify which cancer(s) a patient is at risk of and, what test, investigation or referral they need in less than 30 seconds. The tool is currently being used by over 1000 doctors in the NHS and trials to date have demonstrated a 30x improvement in cancer detection rates.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @Calipsa_io
Calipsa is on a mission to make the world a safer place. By building technology that transforms the detection and prevention of crime, Calipsa is empowering security professionals worldwide to make better decisions, in real-time. It uses cloud-based AI technology to identify the cause of a CCTV alarm, filtering out over 85% of false alarms and forwarding only true alarms to human operators to review.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @CausaLens
causaLens is building the next generation of autonomous predictive technology for complex, dynamic systems and presence in key global markets. With a team that consists of scientists and engineers at the top of their game, their technology processes data to understand how the global economy will develop.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @CervestEarth
Cervest helps businesses, governments and growers adapt to climate volatility. They use machine learning to generate real-time streamed ‘climate signals’ to answer questions linked to climate uncertainty, land, and natural resources. It informs decisions that help mitigate risk, safeguard food and economic security – and protect our planet.
- Chosen AI
London | Artificial Intelligence
Chosen AI is a people analytics platform that uses advanced Natural Language Processing and Deep Learning to help employers identify and optimise the potential of their existing employees. They have built a global contextual skills knowledge base that connects with existing HR systems to generate predictive insights that help align people strategies to business strategies.
- ClinSpec Dx
Glasgow | Artificial Intelligence | @clinspecdx
ClinSpec Dx uses artificial intelligence to analyse blood for early detection of cancers and other diseases and have developed the world's first cost effective blood test for the early detection of brain tumours. Studies have shown that their technology can bring savings to healthcare service providers as well as improved quality of life for patients.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @codec_ai
Codec has built a platform that helps brands identify the audience networks that matter most to them, with rich insights into how they can win their engagement and grow. This is performed by real-time analysis of hundreds of millions of real content interactions.
Manchester | Artificial Intelligence | @DigitalBridgeHQ
DigitalBridge is a Guided Design platform that enables retailers to help their customers design and buy their dream bathroom or kitchen. Integrating directly into a retailer’s website, DigitalBridge guides their customers through the entire process, from concept to design to visualisation and completion. By reducing friction and difficult decisions, they enable retailers to shorten sales-cycles and increase conversion and revenue.
- Dream Agility
Manchester | Adtech & Marketing | Artificial Intelligence | @dreamagility
Dream Agility uses Machine Learning and Visual AI to manage every aspect of Google Ads. From using Visual AI to attribute rich data from images, to MLoD (machine learning on demand) to disrupt the agency relationship, pass on massive savings and increase uplifts.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @ flexciton_ai
Flexciton uses AI to optimise production scheduling for manufacturers. A factory production schedule dictates what should be manufactured, how and when. Creating a production schedule for just one week typically presents more than a trillion different options. Flexciton software searches through all of those options to generate the best schedule possible.
Bristol | Artificial Intelligence | @gapsquare
Gapsquare enables companies worldwide to track pay disparity, pay equality and pay gap data instantly and sustainably, building fairer workplaces and simpler processes around fair pay. Gapsquare offers AI insights around building an inclusive workplace, moving pay gap and equality analytics in-house and within the control of the company.
- Genie AI
London | Artificial Intelligence | @Genie_AI
Genie AI uses machine learning to curate and share relevant legal knowledge within a firm or legal team, empowering lawyers to draft with the collective intelligence of the firm. Their intelligent contract editor, "SuperDrafter," analyses thousands of variations of the same clause, deducing market standards so clients can negotiate the best deal every time.
- Grey Parrot
- Humanising Autonomy
London | Artificial Intelligence | @HumanisingAuto
Humanising Autonomy is setting the global standard for how Automated Vehicles interact with people. The company has developed an intent prediction technology that predicts the full range of pedestrians and vulnerable road use behaviour across different environments and cities. As a critical perception technology, the software integrates with driver assistance systems, autonomous vehicle stacks, and smart infrastructure systems for real-time accident and near miss prevention, improving the safety and efficiency of Urban Mobility Systems across cities worldwide.
- Latent Logic
Oxford | Artificial Intelligence | @Latent_Logic
Latent Logic ensures that autonomous vehicles can coexist and interact safely with humans in the real world, at scale. A spin-out of the award-winning Computer Sciences department at Oxford University, they use machine learning to build realistic simulations of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians - critical for the development, testing and certification of autonomous vehicles.
- Monolith AI
London | Artificial Intelligence | @Monolith_AI
Monolith AI is a team of engineers, data scientists and software developers that work together to accelerate engineering through the use of AI. They have developed a software that combines AI, tailored visualisation tools and high-performance computing to enhance the productivity and knowledge of engineers, predict results ahead of time, and accelerate product development.
- People Matter Technology
Ringwood | Artificial Intelligence | SaaS | @peoplematterltd
People Matter Tech’s mental wellness platform is a safe online space that measures and improves mental wellness at work, without surveys. Their AI learns who you are and how your digital environment impacts your burnout risk, offering personalised recommendations.
- Plural AI
London | Artificial Intelligence | @pluralAI
Plural AI is building a computational engine or data science platform for finance. Their systems mine web data to help business users answer complex, business relevant questions. They are working towards becoming the default interface for knowledge work, allowing business users to access complex data science without knowing how to code.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @PredinaLtd
Predina is the new upcoming leader in automotive spatio-temporal risk. It uses AI to build a dynamic risk map platform (STARI) that predicts and prevents the risk of road crashes based on contextual (spatio-temporal data) and historical accidents. STARI makes road users aware of contextual risk and provides the safest route from A to B in real time. They license their core technology to automotive mapping partners for ADAS and AV use cases and insurance telematics.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @SenSat_AI
SenSat builds digital simulations of the real world to help computers solve complex problems. Their simulated reality platform Mapp® allows companies operating in physical domains, such as infrastructure construction, to make more informed decisions based on real site data.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @Synthesizedio
Synthesized accelerates data-driven projects with high-quality synthetic datasets that mimics original data, thereby unlocking deep insights whilst keeping original data locked down. Synthesized datasets allow partners to carry out practical analytics and research faster and more efficiently without ever needing to deal with sensitive data.
London | Artificial Intelligence
ThinkSono is an ultrasound AI company. AutoDVT is the world's first software that enables nursing staff to detect 'deep vein thrombosis' (DVT). DVT is a blood clot in the leg and is considered the number one cause of preventable hospital death.
London | Artificial Intelligence | @wluper_
Wluper is building Conversational AI at the intersection of Natural Language Processing, Dialogue, and Knowledge Bases, aiming to bring them together by leveraging deep learning. Existing voice-based assistants can only understand one-way commands, not conversations, so developing goal-driven dialogue systems is required to achieve significantly improved user experiences.
Our cohort in numbers
Tech Nation is proud to have so many industry leaders support our Applied AI programme.
We focus on getting in the best and most knowledgeable people to lead our sessions. The following speakers, mentors and insight peers have been confirmed.
We want to do things differently
Artificial Intelligence is making waves. With countries around the world investing heavily in grand plans and strategies for the technology, it has never been more important to support AI that is solving real-world problems in the UK. Dame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton and a member of the Applied AI judging panel, explains that more impactful changes and initiatives are continuing to be actioned for AI
The UK has continued to make strides as an international leader in Artificial Intelligence, since the recommendations of the AI Review that I co-authored in 2017. From the launch of the bespoke AI & Data Sector Deal, to the recently announced AI Council, we are seeing impactful initiatives announced to continue this important work. I am therefore thrilled to see that Tech Nation has created a tailored, nationally-focused growth programme for entrepreneurs in the Applied AI spaceDame Wendy Hall, Regius Professor of Computer Science at the University of Southampton
Looking past the hype
Our conversations with founders and VC’s have told us that scaling an Applied AI company is particularly tough, and the pool of companies post-series A is relatively small, despite the hype. Some of the key issues founders have reported are:
- Demonstrating sufficient traction for series A
- Proving the higher valuations we tend to see at seed
- Taking algorithms from the lab and applying them to solving real issues
- Complex procurement and regulation
- Talent acquisition
- Their strengths are in their tech rather than commercial and marketing
- Customer readiness, particularly with non-technical buyers. Find out how Tech Nation is working to change this.
Tech Nation has chosen AI companies that have the ambition to grow, are looking at solving wider problems, have an ethical sense and want to contribute positively to the sector. Angie Ma, COO of Faculty and one of our Applied AI judges, perfectly describes what we’re trying to achieve:
Angie Ma, COO of Faculty
“AI is the transformational technology of our time, but for society to see the benefits we need to apply it in the real-world enhancing products, improving services and saving lives.”
Supporting the future of AI
A big part of supporting the future of AI involves democratising and diversifying the workforce, which is why Tech Nation’s Applied AI programme is collaborating with Teens in AI, an Acorn Aspirations initiative. It aims to increase diversity and inclusion in artificial intelligence by engaging with young people aged 12 to 18 years and providing them with early exposure to AI for social good.
This initiative was launched at the AI for Good Global Summit at the UN in May 2018. The aim is to create opportunities for underrepresented talent through a combination of hackathons, boot camps, accelerators, expert mentoring and networking opportunities.
Originally founded by Elena Sinel, Founder of Acorn Inspirations, the initiative is a huge opportunity for children to positively impact the AI of tomorrow and diversify the future workforce of AI by creating opportunities for children from diverse backgrounds.
“It’s vital that young people from all backgrounds have a chance to participate in our programmes. The real societal impact can only be achieved when technology that powers the world is representative of the diverse societal makeup of the world and this is exactly what Teens in AI is attempting to achieve: offer opportunities to all young people, irrespective of their gender or background, to express their voices through technology for social good.”Elena Spinel, Founder of Acorn Aspirations & Teens in AI
Want to support the Teens?
Teens in AI are constantly looking for experts supporters, mentors, judges and people who can give opportunities to the teens involved in the programme. If you’re interested, you can ask more questions and register for mentoring or speaking here, or email Elena directly for more information about sponsoring a teen and supporting the programme.
How does the programme work?
We’ve already chosen this years cohort, but you can still register your interest in the programme for next year. Your company could focus on anything from mobility to manufacturing, from e-commerce to healthcare, but to be eligible, your product must help a business or industry solve an identified, real problem.
To apply for the programme your business must:
- Have headquarters in the UK
- Have Artificial Intelligence at the core of your value proposition and your key product, not an excess feature
- Seed to Series A* (or no more than £1.5m annual recurring revenue)
- Take into account ethical considerations
Founder-focused sessions delivered by world-leading scale coaches covering core issues.
Intimate networking sessions designed with the wider leadership team in mind and the challenges you face.
Several trips, including one international trip co-organised with DIT, to showcase companies at home and overseas.
The chance to share experiences, problem-solve and learn from industry leaders.
What happens in the application process?
You can apply online. We will ask for some basic information about your company and why you wish to join Applied AI. If you have questions or need assistance, please get in touch.
Your application will be passed to our expert panel of judges, and they will make the final decision on which companies are chosen to join. The final judging round is at the end of July.
If successful, you will be contacted by Tech Nation and asked to join our very first Applied AI cohort. The programme will be kicking off on the 12th and 13th of September.
Unsure if your company should apply?
If you would like to discuss whether your business is right for the programme, please don’t hesitate to contact us, or feel free to get in touch with the Entrepreneur Engagement Manager (EEM) in your area:
We’re working with the UK Government Office for AI as part of the AI and Data Sector Deal, to help scale the UK’s most exciting AI companies.