OpenAI Converge

OpenAI Startup Fund’s Converge Accelerator Starts Accepting New Applicants

The $100 million OpenAI Startup Fund has opened applications for the second cohort of its Converge startup program focused on entrepreneurs using artificial intelligence in innovative ways. The fund has more than $10 million to invest in between 10 and 15 companies selected for the six-week accelerator.

Converge AI

Participants in Converge-2 will each receive $1 million in equity financing in addition to exclusive speaker sessions, mentorship, and access to the fund’s network of AI builders. Prior experience working with AI is not required to apply. The OpenAI Startup Fund rolled out last year, backed by Microsoft and other investors. While operationally separate from research giant OpenAI, the fund aims to support founders incorporated in its mission to ensure AI benefits all of humanity. The fund counts legal startup Harvey and AI video editor Descipt among its investments.

“The OpenAI Startup Fund was founded on two core beliefs. First, new and powerful AI systems will give rise to a new wave of transformative startups. And next, these new companies will play a central role in making AI a force multiplier for human ingenuity and creativity. We launched Converge in December 2022 to accelerate startups working on the forefront of this evolution, doing our part to help push the boundaries of applied AI in important domains,” OpenAI explained in a blog post. “Founders from all backgrounds, disciplines, and experience levels are encouraged to apply. Prior experience working with AI systems is not required. We’re excited to hear from founders from underrepresented backgrounds and those based outside the United States.”

There is a Jan. 26 deadline deadline to apply for the fully-funded Converge-2 program, which will take place in San Francisco from March to April. The cohort will be granted special early access to OpenAI’s latest models and its software specially adapted for their kind of business model. Though most of the program can be done remotely, OpenAI plans to bring everyone together in person for the last week of the accelerator. Converge is one of the growing number of generative AI-centered accelerator programs formed as the technology has exploded in popularity this year. That includes Amazon’s AWS generative AI startup accelerator.

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