Amazon Web Services (AWS) and venture capital firm Accel are announcing ML Elevate 2023, a six-week accelerator program aimed at empowering startups that are building generative artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
Generative AI applications have captivated developers and enthusiasts alike with their ability to comprehend and generate realistic conversations, stories, images, videos, and music across diverse domains. Generative AI is powered by Machine Learning (ML) models—very large models that are pre-trained on vast amounts of data and commonly referred to as foundation models (FMs). Today, ML models built on AWS provide tangible value by removing friction from supply chains, personalising digital experiences, and making goods and services more accessible and affordable.
According to a recent study by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) called Generative AI startup landscape in India — A 2023 perspective, generative AI startups in the country have raised over US$475 million in private investments from January 2021 to May 2023.
ML Elevate aims to support generative AI startups by providing them access to impactful AI models and tools, business and technical mentorship, curated resources, the AWS Activate program, and up to US$200,000 in AWS Credits. Other benefits include peer support from a community of leading AI and ML startup founders and the opportunity to scale production-ready generative AI applications on Amazon SageMaker JumpStart.
Generative AI startups that have already developed a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and intend to seek funding in next 12-18 months are eligible to apply. Selected startups will undergo live virtual masterclasses, including fireside chats and panel discussions by investors, industry leaders, and AWS experts. The panel of speakers includes Tom Mason, Chief Technology Officer, Stability AI; Vishal Dhupar, Managing Director, Asia-South, NVIDIA Graphics Pvt Ltd; Poonacha Kongetira, SVP Engineering at SambaNova (US); Anupam Datta, Co-founder, President and Chief Scientist, TruEra (USA); Apurva Kalia, Senior Researcher, Tufts University (USA), and others. The cohort will also have a fundraising opportunity through a dedicated Demo Week to pitch leading VC funds, angel investors, and industry leaders.
“Generative AI offers an unprecedented opportunity to revolutionize and transform businesses globally. Through ML Elevate, our aim is to support generative AI startups to develop industry-focused solutions and innovate to drive the digital economy. We are excited to collaborate with Accel to invite applications from builders with big ideas and support the growing community of generative AI startups in India,” says Vaishali Kasture, Director of AWS India and South Asia at Amazon Web Services India Pvt. Ltd.
“Generative AI heralds a new era of innovation and productivity in all spheres of life. We are witnessing an ever-increasing pace of innovation in LLMs, LLMOps, ML models and GPU compute. ML Elevate offers a robust opportunity to entrepreneurs and startups building in the generative AI space. It was great to collaborate on ML Elevate last year, and we are looking forward to working with AWS and selected startups this year too,” says Prayank Swaroop, Partner, Accel.
Amazon’s 25 years plus experience in ML enables customers to build flexible, secure, and cost-effective generative AI applications on AWS. AWS recently announced innovations such as Amazon Bedrock, and the general availability of Amazon CodeWhisperer, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) AWS Inferentia2 (Inf2) instances and Amazon EC2 Trn1 instances powered by AWS Trainium chips. These innovations make generative AI available to customers of any size, lower the cost and energy required to run AI applications, and make coding faster and easier for developers. Leading startups such as Stability AI, Anthropic, and AI21 offer models that run on AWS, and are driving innovation and greater adoption of generative AI technology.
ML Elevate builds on AWS’s long-term commitment to India, demonstrated by investments in local infrastructure and support for local startups to drive innovation and digital transformation. AWS has committed to invest US$12.7 billion in India by 2030. This planned investment will contribute US$23.3 billion to the GDP of India by 2030, and support approximately 1,31,700 full time jobs annually at local businesses.
Be part of a robust community of AI/ML startups
Since 2020, over 50 early-stage AI/ML startups in India have accelerated their growth journey through previous editions of ML Elevate. Today, ML Elevate has an active community that includes leading Indian AI startups such as AarogyaAI, Dubdub.ai, Vitra.ai, NimbleBox.ai, and others.
Interested startups can find more details and register for the program here. Applications for ML Elevate 2023 are open until 25 August, 2023. Results will be announced in September 2023.
 Full form of abbreviations: LLMs: Large Language Models; LLMOps: Large Language Model Ops; ML Models: Machine Learning Models; GPU: Graphics Processing Unit