Intel announces program to help Israeli AI startups

The company will provide 10 to 15 startups with mentorship from Intel and industry experts.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Intel on Sunday announced a new program in Tel Aviv to help Israeli startups develop artificial intelligence (AI) and autonomous systems.

The program, called Ignite, will provide 10 to 15 startups with a 20-week business and technical mentorship from Intel and industry experts. Intel also added that it currently has no plans to seek equity or intellectual property rights from the startups taking part in the program, but it may do so in the future.

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

"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."

The startup program will be headed by Tzahi Weisfeld, former global head of Microsoft for Startups.

If the program is successful, Intel has plans to expand bring Ignite to other countries.

See also: Intel's Mobileye bringing autonomous cars to Beijing by 2022 (CNET)  

Since Intel acquired Israeli autonomous vehicle technology company Mobileye for $15.3 billion in 2017, the company has been making big pushes in developing AI and autonomous systems. 

Mobileye in 2018 launched 15 autonomous driving projects across 14 car manufacturers.

In January, Mobileye commenced autonomous vehicles trials on the streets of Jerusalem and also inked various deals to bring its autonomous capabilities to China's public transport system, have its safety system adopted by Chinese companies and standards bodies, and to deliver autonomous driving solutions to Great Wall Motors.

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