The MIT School of Engineering and Pillar VC today announced the MIT-Pillar AI Collective, a one-year pilot program funded by a donation from Pillar VC that will provide seed grants for projects in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science to support translational research. The program will support graduate and postdoctoral students through access to funding, mentorship, and client discovery.
Administered by the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, the MIT-Pillar AI Collective will focus on the market discovery process, advancing projects through market research, customer discovery and prototyping. Graduate students and postdocs will aim to emerge from the program having built minimum viable products, with support from Pillar VC and experienced industry leaders.
“We are grateful for this support from Pillar VC and for joining forces to converge the commercialization of translational research in AI, data science and machine learning, with a focus on identifying and training ‘potential entrepreneurs,’ said MIT dean Anantha Chandrakasan. School of Engineering and Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “Pillar’s emphasis on mentoring our graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and centering the program within the Deshpande Center, will undoubtedly foster big ideas in AI and create an environment for potential companies to get started.” and prosper.
Founded by Jamie Goldstein in 1989, Pillar VC is committed to growing businesses and investing in personal and professional development, coaching and community.
“Many of the most promising companies of the future live at MIT in the form of transformational research in the fields of data science, AI, and machine learning,” says Goldstein. “We are honored to have the chance to help unlock this potential and catalyze a new generation of founders by surrounding students and postdoctoral researchers with the resources and mentorship they need to transition from lab to industry.
The program will launch with the 2022-23 academic year. Grants will only be open to MIT faculty and students, with an emphasis on funding final-year graduate students, as well as postdocs. Applications must be submitted by MIT employees with Principal Investigator status. A selection committee of three MIT representatives will include Devavrat Shah, faculty director of the Deshpande Center, Professor Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the Institute of Data, Systems and society; the chairman of the selection committee; and a representative from MIT Schwarzman College of Computing. The committee will also include representatives from Pillar VC. Funding will be awarded to up to nine research teams.
“The Deshpande Center will be the perfect location for the new collective, given its goal of bringing innovative technologies from the lab to the market in the form of breakthrough products and new ventures,” adds Chandrakasan.
“For 20 years, the Deshpande Center has been guiding new technologies to commercialization, where they can have the greatest impact,” says Shah. “This new collective will help the center expand its own impact by helping more projects realize their market potential and providing more support to researchers in the fast-growing fields of AI, machine learning and computational science. data science.”
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