Orange has launched a Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator programme specifically focused on AI.
Called Fab Connect(ai), it provides fledgling companies with access to artificial intelligence, networking technologies, chipsets and sensors, helping these companies turn their ideas into working, marketable solutions for the smart connectivity sector.
Companies will also have access to seed-stage investors and corporations providing technical resources and real-world business challenges.
Fab Connect(ai) is being launched in partnership with various big tech players, including Google Cloud's Startup Programme, Microsoft IoT & AI Insider Labs, Publicis Groupe, NVIDIA's Inception Programme, Michelin, and Valeo, among others. Big names from the investment community are also involved, including Cathay Innovation and Iris Capital, among others.
Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley, said: " Fab Connect(ai) is one of the first accelerator programmes to align capital with global growth opportunities sustained by such a network of partners.
"Our goal with Fab Connect(ai) is to identify the most promising startups in AI and IoT, a domain of growing importance for Orange and our Fab Force members."
Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation, said: "As a global venture capital fund deeply committed in the fourth industrial revolution, Cathay Innovation believes that this approach can be helpful for the rise of a Super AI able to foster the next wave of digital transformation."
Julien-David Nitlech, Partner at Iris Capital, said: " Fab Connect is a disruptive global acceleration experience. It connects the next generation of Industry 4.0, AI and smart connectivity startups with world class industry leaders to help them disrupt their space. Fab Connect is building bridges between startups and innovative corporates, which we are familiar with at Iris Capital, thanks to our venture initiative built in partnership with leading corporate partners, and we look forward to supporting this unique accelerator."