Y Combinator kicks off vertical focus for AI startups

Y Combinator is creating an industry vertical dedicated to artificial intelligence companies with the hope of sparking innovation at AI startups.

The first-time move, which the accelerator describes in a blog post as an “experiment,” applies to its upcoming batch of companies. The focus will offer perks, including office hours with experienced machine learning engineers, extra cloud compute credits for taking advantage of GPUs processing cores and talks by leaders in the field.

The goal is to ensure innovation doesn’t get locked up in large companies, like Google or Facebook.

If the experiment works out, it will expand to include things like access to proprietary datasets and computing infrastructure.

Y Combinators said its funding is agnostic to industry and that it hopes to fund AI companies in every industry vertical, as long as teams have sufficient ML experience.

The accelerator also said it intends to fund companies focused on job re-training to help offset the possible job losses AI might bring.


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