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Intel announces accelerator program for Israeli AI startups

Intel Corp has announced on Sunday a new program in Tel Aviv to assist start-ups in developing artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems.

The program, called Ignite, will be headed by Tzahi Weisfeld, former global head of Microsoft for Startups and will see Intel provide 10 to 15 start-ups with a 20-week business and technical mentorship sponsored by the company as well as industry experts.

Commenting on the news, Intel specified that while they don’t currently plan to seek equity or intellectual property rights from the start-ups taking part in the program, they may do so in the future.

The tech-giant is one of the biggest employers in Israel, where many of its new technologies are developed, and this year said it was investing 40 billion shekels ($11b or £8.7b) in expanding its manufacturing operations there.

According to the cheap-maker, The 370,000-square-meter expansion will add 1,000 new employees to Intel’s workforce.

“Intel has always worked in concert with open ecosystems to scale new technologies so they can be transformational for our customers, business and society,” said Intel CEO Bob Swan. 

Two years ago, the company paid $15.3 billion to buy Israeli autonomous-vehicle technology company Mobileye.

Since then, Swan told reporters in Tel Aviv on Sunday, Mobileye had doubled its penetration into the high-growth industry of autonomous driving vehicles.

“Israel has the deep skill base in AI, autonomous systems, and the underlying technologies critical to these inflections that make it a natural choice to launch our Ignite program”, Swan explained.

Should the program be successful, Intel said they plan to bring Ignite to other countries.

Image via PXhere.

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