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OpenAI announces second round of AI startup fund


OpenAI has opened applications for the second cohort of its six-week program for artificial intelligence (AI) startups, Converge 2, through which it will invest $1 million into each of the 15 successful participants selected. 

The organization behind ChatGPT announced that the initiative, accessible worldwide, is aimed at individuals like engineers, designers, researchers, and product builders utilizing AI for innovative purposes. OpenAI founded the Startup Fund on the idea that robust AI systems will fuel a new era of groundbreaking startups.

The rapid proliferation of AI tools and solutions has ignited support from industry experts and investors alike. Generative AI startups have received considerable funding from various companies and organizations this year alone.

In November 2022, OpenAI initiated the first phase of the Startup Fund to support aspiring founders and companies creating innovative AI products. It provided $1 million in investment to each of the 12 chosen startups from the pool of applicants.

Announcing the program via a statement shared by its CEO, Sam Altman, OpenAI explained the initiative’s background and its impact on AI. The company stated that the startup fund initiative is OpenAI, doing its part to help push the boundaries of applied AI in essential domains.

The company said the initial and final weeks of the program will take place in San Francisco, with OpenAI covering travel expenses for these weeks. While participants can attend other weeks remotely, attending in person is highly recommended.

The company encourages founders from diverse backgrounds, regardless of their location outside the United States and at any experience level, to apply. It stresses that prior experience with AI systems is not a requirement.

Related: Is OpenAI about to drop a new ChatGPT upgrade? Sam Altman says ‘nah’

The application period, which commenced on Dec. 13, 2023, is set to conclude on Jan. 26, 2024.

Kasikornbank (KBank), a private bank in Thailand, introduced a primary fund of $100 million, named KXVC, to invest in artificial intelligence (AI), Web3, and deep tech startups, specifically concentrating on the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Mistral AI, a French AI startup, disclosed a funding achievement of $415 million in its funding round, which concluded on Dec. 1, to advance its technology and open-source software. The funding round was spearheaded by Andreessen Horowitz, along with support from the startup’s original backers, Lightspeed Ventures.

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