A new startup factory focused on building artificial intelligence companies is launching in Hong Kong this November.
Zeroth, as the accelerator is known, will offer 10 startups $20,000 each (£15,000) in exchange for a 6% equity stake. Startups will also receive mentoring and office space.
The accelerator is being launched by Tak Lo, who was previously a director at accelerator TechStars London.
Speaking to Business Insider on Tuesday, Lo said that he plans to make Zeroth a success with the help of his AI connections in Europe.
“The UK is becoming a big AI centre with DeepMind and Magic Pony but AI is strong elsewhere in Europe too,” Lo said during a phone call with Business Insider. “I wanted to connect that type of expertise with some of the early-stage stuff in Hong Kong.”
The following European AI gurus are expected to fly to Hong Kong and provide mentoring to startups that get accepted onto Zeroth’s three-month programme:
- Skype cofounder and former Google DeepMind advisor Jaan Tallinn
- Weave.ai cofounder Rodolfo Rosini
- White Star Capital investor John Henderson
- Serial entrepreneur Azeem Azhar
- Playfair capital investor Nathan Benaich
The AI gurus will also make themselves available for video calls.
Lo described Hong Kong’s technical talent as “raw,” adding that entrepreneurs in the city have an exceptionally high work ethic.
“We’re looking for ambitious companies that are execution orientated with world-changing ideas,” said Lo.
He added that he’s focusing on AI because he believes that the technology has the potential to have a positive impact on society. In healthcare, for example, AI has the potential to help detect things like cancer and dementia, he said, adding that there are several other industries that AI could benefit.