Boosting AI/ML based startups

Challenger AI is an intensive acceleration program, focused on AI/ML-based solutions. We are an international team of ecosystem builders, entrepreneurs, investors, and ML experts themselves. We’re offering you a tailor-made 3-month equity-free online/offline program with 30+ mentors and 300+ hours of coaching to boost your startup. Get ready to accept the challenge!

Contact: challenger@civitta.com  

What we offer:

Workshops

Workshops from the top-notch experts in AI/ML, design, business, sales, marketing, investment attraction, etc

Access to investors

Getting feedback from investors during startup grilling events

Matchmaking with corporations

1on1 meetings and getting feedback from corporations

Mentoring and coaching

1on1 mentoring with the world-class lead and on-demand mentors

Networking

Speed dating and networking events to get connections with leading corporates, investors, and other ecosystem players

Demo Day

An opportunity to present the solution to international investors, large corporations, and ecosystem players

Equity free

Our acceleration program is "equity-free" (we take 5% from investment attracted within 12 months after graduation from the acceleration program)

Challenger AI program:

21-th of December

Kick-off event

Join the Kick-off event, we will tell you more about program specific details, introduce our partners and key experts

1-st of March

Applications deadline

Make sure you submit your Application by Tuesday, 23:59. Within a week, you will learn whether you are selected to attend preacceleration bootcamp

15-th/16-th of March

Preacceleration bootcamp

During this 2-day event you will pitch your solution, participate in the workshops from top-notch trainers and meet world-class experts while speeddating. Top 10-15 startups will be selected within next week to become a part of our acceleration program.

Middle of March - June

The Acceleration program

The program consists of 3 intensive 2-day bootcamps. Our weekly online workshops will help you improve the understanding of product/market fit, scalability of the product, company building, sales and marketing and other processes essential for growing a successful startup. You will have biweekly check-ins with lead mentors and on-demand meetings with experts and corporate partners. Other perks include meeting founders of successful AI/ML startups and hearing their stories, getting feedback from investors and corporate partners during startup grilling events.

9-th of June

DEMO DAY

Pitch your startup to the jury of international investors, potential clients, partners and the media at the final event of the Acceleration program. Get the opportunity to stand out, raise awareness and find the partners you need!

June - August

Post acceleration support

The most active teams will receive biweekly follow-up mentoring, access to the international investors, etc.

We are looking for you

Team. We expect applying startups to have a team of 2-3 people or more, with crucial skill sets and necessary experience.  

Geography. We open for startups from all counties    

Idea. We`re looking for companies that have a tremendous social impact or the potential to be the next Unicorn!  

Motivation. We expect participating teams to have the passion, energy, willingness and drive to make their startups come to life.  

Stage. Your startup should ideally have MVP/demo.

Technology. Your startup should be based on AI/ML technologies or is planning to use them.  

Funding. Startups who are raising or planning to raise the funds will benefit the most from our program.  

Mentors

Harri Tallinn

Co-founder Challenger accelerator, Associate Partner, CIVITTA Estonia

Program design, fundraising, investor relations

Chris Brown

Inception Program Partner Manager, NVIDIA


Startup support, go-to -market, investor relationships

Iurii-Volodymyr Blavt

Co-founder Challenger accelerator, Associate Partner, CIVITTA Ukraine

Funding attraction for startups and startup support programs

Oleksandr Komarevych

Acceleration Program Manager, Bocconi for Innovation


Providing support for startups

David Clark

Product Lead, Data&AI solutions


Business mentor, optimization, GDPR issues

Markus Lippus

MindTitan, Co-founder, Data Science lead

Machine learning, AI expert

Oles Dobosevych

Vice Dean of the Applied Sciences Faculty, UCU

Expert in Machine Learning and Artificial intellligence

Liubomyr Bregman

Visiting Lecturer UCU, Data Science Lead Amazon

Data Science

Eva Simekova

Associate Partner, CIVITTA Slovakia, Business Angel

Legal, financial and organizational structures

Adam Blascik

Data Science team lead DataSentics, ex. PwC

Data Science

Sergey Shelpuk

Vice President of Data Science, Shelf

Data Science

Helen Kokk

Co-Founder Made By


UI/UX Industry & Service Design, Currently Digital Product Design Lead

Yrjö Ojasaar

Investment Partner at Change Ventures

Finance

Terje Ennomäe

CEO, Feelingstream


Customer Experience Management, People Management

Mariia Romanova

CEO, Radar Tech


Startup relationship, Sales, Project Management

Oleksandr Romanko

Head of Financial Risk Quantitative Research, SS&C Technologies

Financial risk management, business analytics, optimization and operational research

Andrii Begunov

CIO, PUMB



Digital transformation, development of Agile and Devops practices

Sergii Karaulov

Director of CVM (Customer Value Management), PUMB


CRM, customer analytics, data performance, customer strategy, cross-selling, segmentation

Dmytro Brovchuk

CDO (Director of Data and Analytics), PUMB


Data management and analytics

Iurii Milovanov

Director of AI & Data Science, SoftServe

Strategic Advisor, Enterprise AI Consultant

Mykola Maksymenko

R&D Director, SoftServe



Volodymyr Karpiv

R&D Science Lead, SoftServe


AI, Machine Perception, Quantum Computing and Life Science

Andrii Ryzhkov

Expert Data Scientist, Cluster Lead, SoftServe

AI/ML for Financial Services and Education, NLP, AI Product Management

Oleksandr Chornohal

Head of Big Data Center of expertise, MHP

Data management

Frequently Asked Questions

In terms of the startup stage of development, ideally, you should have a team of at least 2 people and an MVP or demo of an AI/ML-powered product. We will also take into consideration startups that have an idea of how to implement AI/ML technology in your existing product.  

Selected teams will go through intensive 3-month acceleration and benefit from tailored 1on1 mentoring with the world-class lead and on-demand mentors, and attend workshops by the top-notch experts in AI/ML, design, business, sales, marketing, investment attraction, etc. The program will also feature speed dating and networking events for startups to get connections with leading corporates, investors, and other ecosystem players. Startups who are raising or planning to raise the funds will benefit the most from our program.    

Most of our workshops and mentoring happen online. Some events, such as Pre-acceleration Bootcamp, boot camps during the program, and the Demo Day are planned to be offline or in a hybrid format. It is hard to predict how the situation with the pandemic will unroll, but we are ready for all possible scenarios and will change to an online format if needed.

To participate in our online program, committing from 4 to 6 hours a week should be more than sufficient. You will have weekly workshops on different topics from product development to raising capital for your startup. Leed mentors will meet with you and your team biweekly to discuss your pressing questions or ambitious ideas and guide you through the whole acceleration to get the best results. But if you wish to receive more mentoring and guidance, we will help to pair you with on-demand mentors and experts. You are also expected to participate in 3 hybrid events that take up 2 days: Selection Bootcamp, Bootcamp 1 and Bootcamp 2. And as a grand finale, we will gather once again for a Demo Day in mid-June.  

Since we have many experts and partners from many different countries as well as expect some international startups among the participants, the program will be run in English. All participants need to have a comfortable language level to be able to engage.  

 Our application committee will carefully read all of your answers and access if your startup is a good fit for our program. Within a week you will learn whether you are selected to attend Pre-acceleration bootcamp where we will gather 20-30 best startups among our applicants. Only 10 to 15 will be selected to participate in the entire program.     

During this 2-day event, you will pitch your solution, participate in the workshops from top-notch local and international trainers and meet world-class experts during the speed dating exercise. You can already see some mentors and experts displayed on our website. Top 10-15 startups will be selected within next week to become a part of our acceleration program.

We are looking for companies that have a tremendous social impact or the potential to be the next Unicorn. When evaluating a startup we will look at the team, idea, market, and the progress you have made so far. We want to see teams with the passion, energy, willingness and drive to make their startups come to life.  

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions at challenger@civitta.com    

Supported by

Unicorn Partners

Growth partner

Partners

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The project is financed by Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the funds of development cooperation and humanitarian aid