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Atoms 3.0: Accel Invites Applications From Early Stage AI & Industry 5.0 Startups

SUMMARY

Accel has started inviting applications for its third cohort under the early stage accelerator programme, Atoms

Scheduled to commence in September 2023, Atoms 3.0 is a six month cohort-based programme curated to offer industry-specific guidance to startups operating in the AI and Industry 5.0 sectors

Apart from mentorship, selected startups will be eligible for investments of up to $500K initially. Accel may consider investing up to $2 Mn in follow-on funding rounds

While investors are taking a more cautious approach to funding, trends suggest that they are still open to investing in early stage startups that have the potential to make a big impact.

This can be further substantiated by the fact that approximately 50% of the total seed funding, at nearly $6 Bn, raised since 2014 has been raised between 2022 and July 2023 alone, according to Inc42’s latest data. 

However, there is a catch here. Even though there is no dearth of funding options for startups with great ideas, just having a groundbreaking plan is unlikely to guarantee any long-term success. Therefore, to turn their vision into a viable business, startups need mentorship, guidance and resources.

To give a much-needed boost to the great Indian startup dream amid the ongoing funding winter, VC firm Accel, which counts the likes of BookMyShow, Browserstack, Flipkart and Swiggy among its portfolio companies, has announced the third edition of its accelerator programme, Atoms. 

Scheduled to commence on 20 September 2023, Atoms 3.0 is a six month cohort-based programme curated to offer industry-specific guidance to startups operating in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Industry 5.0 sectors.

Under this programme, Accel is set to select three to seven early stage startups each for its two cohorts from India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. In addition to mentoring, the accelerator programme will invest up to $500K in each startup. 

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In Focus: AI & Industry 5.0 

Since completing the programme, Atoms cohort companies across diverse sectors such as SaaS, Web 3.0. healthtech, ecommerce and more have raised $160M+ from both Accel and other funds. However, this time around, the accelerator programme is taking a thematic approach. 

“Based on the feedback from our founders in Cohorts 1 and 2, we launched Atoms 3.0 as a thematic cohort programme. We have also observed that companies targeting a similar industry and at a similar stage of evolution get to learn from each other a lot,” said Prayank Swaroop, a partner at Accel.

Atoms 3.0: Accel Invites Applications From Early Stage AI & Industry 5.0 Startups

The VC firm revealed that the decision to choose Industry 5.0 and AI as core sectors was driven by a combination of strategic foresight and the lessons gained from previous funding experiences.

Accel has invested and closely worked with the likes of Zetwerk, Detech Technologies, Ripik, Facilio and Haver Water – giving it a ringside view of how AI, robotics and other emerging technologies are revolutionising manufacturing, improving automation and minimising the need for manual labour. 

Besides this, the en mass adoption of generative AI has created a lot of excitement among investors for startups exploring this segment. Therefore, Accel is actively seeking visionary founders from Indian and Southeast Asian regions who aspire to shape the future of AI.

Why Early Stage Startups Should Apply

Much like the past editions, Atoms will bring in its community of experts to give early stage founders actionable insights into building sustainable business. The programme will also offer personalised mentorship tailored to each startup’s unique needs. 

“Zero-to-one is the most challenging journey for an entrepreneur, as it sets the foundation for the business. This is what Atoms 3.0 hopes to accomplish for its founders,” Swaroop said. 

As Atoms is primarily targeting startups in the pre-product or pre-revenue stage, its mentors will help these businesses identify the right product-market fit (PMF), gain customer loyalty and achieve sustainable growth. 

Once selected, cohort members can also access perks worth over $5 Mn from Accel’s network partners including AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, Airtable, Carta and more. Besides this, they are eligible for investments of up to $500K initially, and Accel may consider investing up to $2 Mn in follow-on funding rounds.

Atoms 3.0: Accel Invites Applications From Early Stage AI & Industry 5.0 Startups

As AI takes centre stage, Indian startups find themselves in a favourable position when it comes to receiving funding support. According to NetBase Quid, India is among the top ten countries in terms of AI funding and startups in this industry collectively secured $7.73 Bn between 2013 and 2022. 

With a well-established track record of working with AI startups and providing tailored assistance during their early stages of growth, Accel can prove to be an ideal partner for innovative businesses looking to script their success stories. 

Apply Now
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