Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

We build AI-first startups. Join us, and let’s build a company around you.

The AI2 Incubator creates, launches and invests in AI-first tech startups. We are funded by the Paul Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence—a world-leading A.I. research institute with over 100+ A.I. PhDs, researchers, and engineers.

Each year, we invite world-class engineers and entrepreneurs to join our incubator on a rolling basis. We help them come up with ideas, find co-founders, engage pilot customers, define their product, incorporate the latest A.I. techniques into their technology, and raise millions of dollars in seed funding.

But more than anything else, this is a community. Our network includes some of the best VCs, some of the most accomplished entrepreneurs, and some of the best A. I. researchers—all working together to help each other succeed. And as your cofounder, we are with you every step of the way.

EXTRA: LEARN MORE ABOUT SEATTLE'S EXPLODING STARTUP ECOSYSTEM >>

  • $29Mfunding raised by our startups
  • $115.5Mcollective valuation of our startups
  • 100+employees now work for our startups

We help entrepreneurs and technical cofounders to form new teams and build AI-first startups.

  • Co-Found Icon

    Entrepreneur-in-Residence (CEO)

    We help business-focused founders to pair with technical cofounders that specialize in AI. We then help teams to come up with ideas, integrate AI into their products, build traction, raise VC funding, and more.

    Learn More
  • icon-brain-trust

    CTO-in-Residence Program

    We help skilled engineers to strengthen their AI capabilities and find a CEO/business partner. We then help teams to come up with ideas, integrate AI into their products, build traction, raise VC funding, and more.

    Learn More

World-class A.I. expertise, a collaborative community, remarkable business support, and $120K—for 9%

Our standard deal starts at $120K for 9% of the company. But some founders need additional capital to cover other salaries on the team, purchase hardware, and more. All said, we can invest up to $800,000 into your startup.
Included with our investment, we provide 12+ months of support in several areas:
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Recruiting
Support finding other co-founders
, Privileged access to our A.I. recruiting network
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A.I. Support
Coaching on integrating latest A.I. into product
, Mentorship from research paper authors
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Community
Private coworking space with fellow founders
, 50+ mentors, A.I. coaches, investors, advisors
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Introductions
Unique access to customer discovery contacts
, Help and support finding pilot customers
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Design
Support with v1 brand, product experience
, Support creating your v1 UX/UI design
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Business
Sounding board on business models, strategy
, Sounding board on sales, marketing, go-to-market
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Office
12+ months of free office/lunch for your team
, A stunning roof deck and event space
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Infrastructure
$200K in free cloud credits (AWS+GCP)
, Investment of laptops, hardware as needed
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Legal
Coaching on incorporation and patents
, Discounted access to leading law firms
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Fundraising
Support with fundraising strategy
, Introductions to venture investors in our network

The journey takes 12-18 months to go from an idea on the whiteboard to a multimillion dollar venture funding round
  • M1
  • M2
  • M3
  • M4
  • M5
  • M6
  • M7
  • M8
  • M9
  • M10
  • M11
  • M12
  • M13
  • M14
  • M15
  • M16
  • M17
  • M18
  • Validation Phase

  • Start receiving initial investment ($10K/month or more)
  • Explore potential cofounders and ideas (not required before joining)
  • Checkmark
    Checkpoint #1: Review initial progress with incubator partners
  • Checkmark
    Checkpoint #2: Meet with investors and get early feedback
  • Refine idea focus and begin more intense execution
  • Launch early prototypes and test customer segments/usage
  • Traction Phase

  • Checkmark
    Checkpoint #3: Pitch AI2. Get a check for up to $500,000 from us.
  • Hire key gaps on the team and launch customer pilots
  • Build out more robust AI-first product
  • Generate early revenue and/or key traction signals
  • Checkmark
    Graduation: Close multimillion dollar venture funding round

Beyond AI2 funding, incubated startups have raised tens of millions of dollars from the following venture capital funds.

  • vc-partner-madrona
  • Voyager Capital
  • vc-partner-norwest
  • vc-partner-founders
  • vc-partner-vulcan
  • vc-partner-autotech
  • vc-partner-ngp
  • vc-partner-tsingyuan
  • vc-partner-alexa
  • vc-partner-fantail
  • vc-partner-catapult
  • vc-partner-ascend

Our entrepreneurs build their startups inside of a leading AI research institute and get access to world-class technical experts.

  • icon-papers227+papers published by AI2 researchers
  • icon-brain-trust1,200+collective years of engineering and AI research experience
  • icon-phds25+PhDs on staff at our research institute
  • image of sound wave analysis
  • Speech & Acoustic Processing

    We train computers to artificially simulate human speech, to convert speech into text or text into speech, or to analyze an audio signal to extract insights and meaning.

    Key projects:

    • Blue Canoe Blue Canoe uses AI and speech recognition to increase business productivity by helping non-native English speaking employees communicate clearly with colleagues and customers.
    • WellSaid WellSaid creates life-like synthetic voice for next generation experiences, products, and content.

We surround our entrepreneurs with 150+ AI PhDs, researchers, engineers, and fellow founders—a support community like no other.

The proof is in the AI companies we help to build.

  • Xnor

    www.xnor.ai

    "AI everywhere, on every device."

    XNOR bridges the growing divide between AI models dependent on the cloud and devices running at the edge, on devices as basic as a Raspberry Pi Zero. The company’s patented technology has upended traditional AI, resulting in billions of devices and products being AI-optimized—from battery operated cameras, to complex manufacturing machinery and cars.

    FOUNDERS
    Ali Farhadi, PhD
    Mohammad Rastegari, PhD

    MILESTONES
    Raised $14.6M in funding

  • company-xnor
  • company-wellsaid
  • WellSaid

    www.wellsaidlabs.com

    “A voice for everyone.”

    WellSaid creates truly life-like synthetic voices for next generation voice experiences, products, and content. The company’s text-to-speech editor offers video producers an inexpensive, subscription-based alternative to costly voice actors, without the robotic-sounding voices of traditional software.

    FOUNDERS
    Michael Petrochuk
    Matt Hocking

    MILESTONES
    Raised millions of dollars in funding

  • Lexion

    www.lexion.ai

    “An intelligent Dropbox, for your contracts.”

    Lexion reads your contracts, extracts terms, and organizes them — saving you time and money. The product supercharges not just Legal teams, but everyone in the organization who touches contracts.

    FOUNDERS
    Gaurav Oberoi Emad Elwani James Baird

    MILESTONES
    — Raised $4.2M in funding
    — Backed by and partnered with Wilson Sonsini

  • Lexion Team
  • company-blue-canoe
  • Blue Canoe

    www.bluecanoelearning.com

    “It’s good business, spoken clearly.”

    Blue Canoe uses AI and speech recognition to increase business productivity by helping non-native English speaking employees communicate clearly with colleagues and customers. Productized into an engaging game experience, Blue Canoe teaches basic and specialized vocabulary and rewires the brain’s library of language sounds for better pronunciation and retention.

    FOUNDERS
    Sarah Daniels
    Tony Andrews

    MILESTONES
    — Raised $3.9 million dollars in funding
    — 2019 Winner, Qualcomm Ventures, Female Founder of the Year

  • KITT.AI

    www.kitt.ai

    “Conversational understanding as a service.”

    KITT.AI makes technology to enable voice interaction with digital devices and services, including a platform that allows people to “wake up” devices with a defined word or phrase, and systems for natural language understanding and dialogue management.

    FOUNDERS
    Xuchen Yao, PhD
    Guoguo Chen, PhD Kenji Sagae

    MILESTONES
    Acquired by Baidu in 2017

  • company-kitt

Behind every great effort is a great team, and the AI2 Incubator’s team is no exception.

  • Oren Etzioni Portrait

    Oren Etzioni

    Chief Executive Officer
  • Jacob Colker Portrait

    Jacob Colker

    Managing Director
  • Vu Ha Portrait

    Vu Ha

    Technical Director
  • Bryan Hale Portrait

    Bryan Hale

    Managing Director
  • Jen Dumas Portrait

    Jen Dumas

    Senior Legal Counsel
  • James Allard Portrait

    James Allard

    Chief Operating Officer
  • Julia Dallas Portrait

    Julia Dallas

    Director of Human Resources
  • Tran Luu Portrait

    Tran Luu

    Director of Operations
  • Jackie Moe Portrait

    Jackie Moe

    Community Manager