Intel is launching its early-stage startup acceleration program, Ignite, to Europe, based in Munich. This follows three successful cohorts of startups in Tel Aviv, Israel, with local startups.
Ten startups from across Europe will be selected to a 12-week mentoring program, with applications in March.
“This is a European play – there are advantages of starting strong locally but this is our European play,” said Tzahi (Zack) Weisfeld, General Manager of Intel Ignite (above centre). “When we looked at expanding globally we wanted to see deep technology that can help drive change in Intel with strong engineering and that’s Munich,” he said. He also points to the many European headquarters of technology companies in the city as potential customers as key.
The scheme is particularly looking at companies working in next generation computing, artificial intelligence, autonomous machines, cyber security, IoT, programmable logic or other deep technology field.
“This is different from Intel capital which is one of the best corporate funds around Series A and B, this is about ecosystem development,” said Weisfeld, who came up with the Israeli scheme after having run the startup accelerators for Microsoft. “The purpose of Ignite is to connect Intel to the disruptors – we don’t invest directly,” he said. “We are looking for the best deep tech startups to do three things: to make Intel more relevant and engaged on areas that matter, help drive the culture change in Intel to a growth mindset so we are taking top business and tech people from Intel and getting them to work alongside startups, and open innovation.”
“Every one is doing AI today and we are highly interested in anything that is data centric and the AI part of it, how do you do significant learning and inference and how do you accelerate Industry 4.0. I say deeptech fairly loosely – when we say AI we do not mean e-commerce, we look at scenarios where you have significant amounts