An intensive ___ week virtual program to empower startupsworking with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build, grow, and scale their venture  at all stages of their journey, with resources ranging from technical support by AWS, to 1:1 session with AWS experts and insights from masterclasses conducted by industry leaders.


What is the programme about?

An intensive 6-week programme to nurture and empower early-stage machine learning (AI-first or ML-core) startups. A cohort of top 30 selected startups will get access to high quality mentorship, curated resources and perks (including AWS credits upto $100k), community of leading AI/ML startup founders, exclusive passes for in-person events; and an opportunity to pitch to top-tier VC funds, angels, and industry leaders to accelerate their build, growth, and scale-up journey.

Who is encouraged to apply?

We encourage early-stage startups that are solving an industry use-case leveraging AI or Machine Learning to apply for this programme. While we do not have strict eligibility criteria, we will focus on early-stage startups that have raised <$3M and are incepted <3 years ago. Startups that are looking to help with hand-holding across product, technology, go-to-market, funding and hiring should definitely look to leverage this programme.

Who is an ideal candidate for the programme?

Startup founders who are curious, and interested in exploring the limitless possibilities of AI and ML to solve key operational and business challenges, who are energetic, focused and committed to building, growing and scaling their venture across key growth areas would make for the ideal candidate.

Is this a full-time programme?

This is a part-time programme. Nonetheless, the startups chosen for the programme will need to participate in rigorous technical sessions, masterclasses, and live ask me anything sessions across the program courses like ML Sprint (virtual mentorship by industry veterans, VCs, and successful founders), ML Tribe (hybrid meet-ups across cities in India with the community of AI/ML founders), ML Edge (upto $100k AWS credits, perks and 1-1 office hours), ML D-Day (hybrid format to Pitch to VCs, angels and industry veterans), ML Connect (ecosystem connects with founders, operators and experts) among others. These sessions require strong levels of commitment to avail maximum benefits from the programme. In fact, attendance for sessions will be mandatory and absenteeism beyond a few sessions may lead to disqualification from the shortlisted cohort.

Do I need to relocate to attend the programme?

No. The programme will be in the hybrid format, with a presence across major cities in India. We would require at least 2 startup founders (both from tech/product and business/GTM standpoint) to be wholly committed to attending the programme throughout its course to attain the maximum benefit. Selected participants will have the opportunity to attend offline meetups, networking and collaboration events hosted by AWS, Accel and Intel across major cities in India, as part of the programme.

  • ML Sprint (virtual mentorship by industry veterans, VCs, and successful founders)
  • ML Tribe (hybrid meet-ups across cities in India with the community of AI/ML founders)
  • ML Edge (avail offers and perks from AWS and partners like Accel, Intel)
  • ML D-Day (hybrid format to Pitch to VCs, angels and industry veterans)
  • ML Connect (hybrid networking events with alumni and industry experts)

What are the timelines for the programme?

  • Call for applications (4 weeks) – September - October
  • Cohort announcement and Inaugural meet-up (in-person) - October
  • Program duration (4 weeks of virtual sessions) - October - November
  • Demo Day and Wrap-up mixer (in-person) - November

Who from my team can apply and participate?

While we’d love to have your entire team participate, the program is designed for founding team members, specifically the CEO and CTO / technical lead.

Is the accelerator virtual or in person?

This is a hybrid program. The first and last weeks of the program will be in-person events, while weeks 2 through 5 will be virtual. If any participants cannot attend the in-person weeks, virtual accommodations will be made. Week 1 (Inaugural Week) will be hosted in Bangalore, where participants will hear from AWS, Accel and Intel leaders, set goals for the accelerator, understand in detail what they can expect in week 2 through week 5 and network with the accelerator cohort. Week 6 will also be hosted in Bangalore. In this final week, participants will have the opportunity to pitch to VCs, super angels, and industry leaders and onboard potential investors, advisors or customers. During the weeks in between, participants will convene virtually for a variety of curated learning topics, along with weekly check-ins and one-on-one expert guidance discussions.

Do I need experience with AWS to apply?

You can be new to AWS and still enhance your already-built startup in our program. AWS Startup Solutions Architects will teach you everything you need to know about how to leverage cloud-based tools and services. To get the most out of the program, you should have plans to build a product with a cloud-native architecture within a year.

What’s the time commitment?

Outside of the in-person weeks (Week 1 and Week 6), startups should be prepared to dedicate up to six hours a week participating in accelerator activities and business and technical mentorship.

What information do I need to submit my application?

Founders are asked to share multiple choice questions, details about your founding team, company and traction, program goals, and technology. In support of this application, you’ll also be asked to submit a link to a pitch deck and a link to a 2-min video about your team. It is optional to submit a 2-min video about your product. Preview the full list of questions here

Will the program cost me equity in my company?

No. The ML Elevate programme is completely free and will not cost you any equity in your company.

What can I expect to achieve after the program?

Our ultimate goal is for founders to leave the program ready to pitch, raise funds, or get into a seed-stage tech-focused accelerator program, and fast-track their business. Following the six-weeks, you’ll continue to have access to tools, resources, go-to-market solutions, AWS, Accel and Intel leaders, and program alumni who will help you scale your startup long-term. Additionally, you’ll have credits to further extend your runway.

I've got a question, who can I ask?

Got a question about the program and want to talk to one of the team? Email us and we'll get back to you:

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