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Fuel AI and Machine Learning Accelerator to Launch August 3

By Startup Junkie
January 25, 2023
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Cohort of 10 U.S. and international startups to relocate to Bentonville for 12 weeks

Fuel, Arkansas’ premier artificial intelligence and machine learning accelerator will launch August 3, with the goal of helping a cohort of startups within these fields connect to regional enterprise partners. 

The Fuel Accelerator, in its third iteration, will provide regular, hands-on education and workshops to a cohort of 10 companies from across the United States and India. The program will welcome the group with a reception and kick-off event in Bentonville Aug. 3.

These companies will make their way to Northwest Arkansas for a 12-week, enterprise-ready accelerator that will provide them with access to other startup founders, industry experts, institutions of higher education, and public policy officials.

“We are excited to welcome 10 outstanding new cohort participants focusing on Artificial Intelligence to Northwest Arkansas for the 2021 Fuel Accelerator program,” said Startup Junkie Foundation Executive Director Taylor Hasley. “Throughout these 12 weeks, they’ll be exposed to industry leading enterprises, mentors, and the wonderful quality of life our region has to offer. Our curriculum is designed with the ultimate goal of winning revenue and growing their business in hopes of establishing permanent roots in Northwest Arkansas.”

Fuel launched in late 2018 with eight startups participating in a supply chain-focused, 16-week program. The program helped its first cohort nurture relationships with key Fortune 500 companies through feedback sessions, training, pilots and demos. The accelerator is funded in part by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) as a part of the state’s ongoing efforts toward promoting data science.

“This accelerator is a wonderful example of why we need to continue support for Startup Junkie Foundation, said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “Breakthroughs in every sector come when like-minded people join together to solve challenges and test the norms with innovation and collaboration.”

The third Fuel cohort will be the program’s second year to focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning. This year, the program will also receive financial support from the Walton Family Foundation.

The companies included in this year’s Fuel Accelerator, along with location of operation: 

o   GraphLI – San Jose, California 

o   Simporter – Atlanta, Georgia 

o   Fountain9 – Mumbai, India 

o   3DIMO – San Francisco, California 

o   SwiftGo Inc. – Houston, Texas

o   CXO Nexus, Inc. – New York, New York

o   ClearOPS – New York, New York

o   Junction AI – Dallas, Texas

o   Moment AI – Arlington, Virginia 

o   Rocketmat – Southlake, Texas

“These 10 cohort companies have technology ranging from automated insight discovery, vendor risk and spend management, inventory planning, market research, last mile and supply chain optimization, AdTech, HR, and the future of in-store retail.” said Hasley.

“Although the pandemic presented a challenge to our recruiting efforts, we are confident this cohort will bring exponential gains to our enterprise partners from the efficiencies created in these areas,” he added. "The diversity and geographic reach of this cohort echo the level of opportunity and lifestyle Northwest Arkansas has to offer on a global scale.”

Fuel is led by Startup Junkie Foundation and Catapult Consulting, with curriculum for the accelerator developed by GrowthX and RevUnit. RevUnit, a longstanding Fuel partner, will return to the program for its third year. Catapult Consulting, led by Tom Douglass, former Director of Emerging Technology at Walmart Stores Inc., will provide deep domain experience in business strategy to bring companies and ideas to the forefront and create the next generation of disruptive businesses.

Startup Junkie Foundation announced the collaboration with GrowthX in June, and the Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund will incorporate their Market Acceleration Program (MXP) into the Fuel curriculum. GrowthX’s MXP online platform enables founders, and the organizations that support them, with that same go-to-market expertise in the form of a virtual accelerator that combines live coaching, on-demand training and interactive playbooks to deliver real results.

“GrowthX is excited to lock arms with these organizations to multiply the impact of Fuel on these incredible cohort companies. We all share the core belief that entrepreneurism can fuel the economy and create jobs when capital is combined with go-to-market expertise,” said Andrew Goldner, CEO and Founding Partner of GrowthX. 

Read the full coverage here.

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