China / Across America

Techcode focuses on AI startups with global reach

By June Chang In San Francisco (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-23 11:06

Techcode, the China-headquartered global business incubator, announced in June 2016 that its US office in Silicon Valley would launch a startup accelerator with a focus on the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-based hardware ventures.

According to Luke Tang, general manager of Techcode US, the six-month program will take place in Mountain View, where the US office is located, with the first cohort composed of eight startups with working prototypes in areas that include connected car technology, robotics and wearable devices.

"AI has reached an inflection point and will be dominating the industry in the next 10 years, just as Google and Facebook did in the last decade," Tang said.

The goal of the AI accelerator is to help startups expedite the commercialization of nascent AI ventures partly by fostering connections with Techcode's international partners and investors on a broad scale, said Tang.

According to a Bank America Merrill Lynch estimate, the market for AI systems for enterprise applications alone will surpass $11 billion by 2024, up from $202.5 million in 2015. All told, the market for robots and AI systems across the board is expected to hit $153 billion by 2020, including $70 billion for AI-based analytics, the bank said.

Tech giants including Apple, Facebook and Alphabet have invested heavily in AI technologies in recent years. Open-sourced AI software systems have been getting released right and left.

Although the potential for AI technology to transform enterprises across all industries is huge, most companies have limited or no access to the opportunities, Tang said.

Which is where Techcode US comes in. With its global support network, startups in the accelerator program get access to resource sharing and value-added services, and are expected to land a significant round of funding - at least $10 million in venture capital - or find a buyer among larger competitors.

The accelerator will also provide participants with hands-on supply chain support, distribution, manufacturing and retail connections in the US.


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