Tech Nation reveal 29 new recruits to AI growth programme
Monday, September 9, 2019
The inaugural sector programme aims to support the AI founders that are making a positive and tangible impact on today’s society at a crucial stage…
Tech Nation has announced the 29 companies joining the UK’s first Applied AI growth programme, as it is also reveals that UK AI investment is reaching record highs.
The inaugural sector programme aims to support the AI founders that are making a positive and tangible impact on today’s society at a crucial stage of their growth journey. The companies will have access to support from the programme partners; CBRE, RSM and Talent Works International, whose expertise and networks are an added benefit of being on the programme.
The cohort were chosen on their ability to provide AI-driven solutions to real world problems, applying artificial intelligence to create a tangible impact on society. The cohort includes Glasgow-based ClinSpec DX, which uses AI to provide cost-effective blood tests for the early detection of brain tumours.
London-based Cervest utilises machine learning to answer questions linked to climate uncertainty, land, and natural resources. Bristol-based Gapsquare apply Artificial Intelligence to tackle gender and minority pay inequality.
Investment in AI technology grew almost six-fold from 2014 to 2018, with UK AI scaleups raising almost double that of France, Germany and the rest of Europe combined last year. 2019 is set to be another year of record funding growth in AI in the UK, building on four years of consecutive growth. In the first 6 months of this year, AI funding in the UK has already surpassed 2018’s figures (AI investment reached $1,021,642,595 in 2018 in the UK, but has already reached $1,063,012,777 in the first 6 months of 2019, source: Crunchbase).
As a result, the UK is currently third in the world for raising investment in AI, behind only China and the U.S. respectively (see Figure 1.0 with data from Crunchbase), and second in the world (behind the U.S.) for the number of AI companies in operation during 2019 (Source: Crunchbase).
The growth of AI is well documented, but a comparison of China and the UK’s AI ecosystem offers an interesting perspective. In the UK, 89% of the AI ecosystem is predominantly made up of startup companies with 50 or fewer employees. In comparison, Chinese AI companies tend to have larger workforces; 53% have more than 50 employees. The data speaks to a bigger issue: scaling an AI company still presents a number of unique challenges. From fundraising a ‘deep tech’ company, to hiring in-demand AI talent.
Tech Nation’s Applied AI programme aims to support companies as they move from the early stages of growth, subsequently fulfilling a critical demand facing the AI tech sector. The programme is also part of the Government’s AI Sector Deal’s ambition to make the UK the best place to start, grow, and scale an AI business.
The Applied AI programme is structured around sessions that focus on key scaling challenges which will be delivered by entrepreneurs, including Sarah Wood, Founder, Unruly; Dave Palmer, Co-founder, Darktrace; Husayn Kassai, CEO, Onfido; Mark Logan, former-COO, Skyscanner; Angie Ma, COO, Faculty; and Miguel Martinez, Co-founder, Signal AI.