GitHub Accelerator: $400K Funding for AI Open Source Startup

GitHub created GitHub Accelerator to help build more careers and companies in open source. The program is designed to provide financial support, mentorship, networking, training

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Stormy Peters, VP, Communities at GitHub

Stormy Peters, VP, Communities at GitHub

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GitHub, the world’s leading AI-powered developer platform, announced that the applications for the next cohort of GitHub Accelerator are now open, offering $400K in funding for 10 open source developers building AI-based solutions.

GitHub created GitHub Accelerator to help build more careers and companies in open source. The program is designed to provide financial support, mentorship, networking, training, and visibility to help participants take the next step in their open source journey – whether that's securing funding, launching a product, or turning an idea into an invention. 

Stormy Peters, VP, Communities at GitHub, said: “AI is rapidly changing the way we work and live, and open source collaboration is at the core of AI innovation. We’re seeing developers across the globe use GitHub to innovate and share openly at every level of the AI stack, from training frameworks, to models, to responsible AI and evaluation tooling. And beyond a significant spike in the total number of generative AI projects, these projects are entering the top 10 most popular projects by contributor count.

 “But building a successful AI business in the open comes with its challenges. On top of the time and funding obstacles we’re already familiar with in open source, the heightened expenses and ethical, security, and legal considerations are daunting. We see these challenges as a risk to global innovation and are hoping to help,” Peters added. 

 This Accelerator cohort will focus on funding the people and projects that are building AI-based solutions under an open source license to improve the world around them. Program curriculum will include guidance on building a sustainable open source business, with a particular focus on navigating the complexity of making AI advancements.

 Program Details 

The 10-week Accelerator program will begin from April 22, 2024 and will include a mix of 1-to-1, group sessions, project work, and mentorships. Participants will also receive: 

  • $40,000 per project in non-dilutive funding
  • 5-10 hours per week of live instruction, workshops, and homework
  • Office Hours with GitHub team for security reviews
  • Q+As with enterprise Sponsors, community members, and GitHub leaders
  • Introduction to, and at least one office hour with, M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund 
  • Free access to relevant GitHub products, including a full year of GitHub Copilot
  • Eligible projects will receive up to $350k in free Azure AI infrastructure including preferred access to high-end GPU virtual machine clusters.
  • A shared slack channel with your cohort to collaborate and support each other

 The program will conclude with a virtual Demo Day where projects will get to share their progress with the community, cohort-mates, GitHub leaders, potential funding partners, and members of the community. Alumnus of the program are provided ongoing opportunities for networking and support from GitHub. 

 Project Eligibility 

GitHub Accelerator is designed for early-stage open source projects and products looking to take the next step in development, and open source-first companies up to Seed stage. 

 While GitHub invites any stage of idea or project to apply, all projects must have the following prior to program kick off:

  • Clear open source license 
  • Clear governance strategy
  • Deep focus in AI, machine learning, and AI infrastructure
  • Commitment from core leaders to participate in and engage in the required programming
  • A plan for utilizing the funds 

 The application is free of cost. Applicants will need to supply a few details about their project,  a link to their project's repo and website, a list of all founders, and an email address. 

 See more program benefits and details in the blog, here.


AI startup GitHub Accelerator