UChicago’s Transform Accelerator for Data Science and Emerging AI Startups Announces Inaugural Cohort

The accelerator kicked off with a networking event that brought together the three startups with students interested in learning more.

The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Data Science Institute today announced the inaugural cohort of its new accelerator, Transform.

Housed within the new Deep Tech Ventures initiative at the Polsky Center, Transform will provide full-spectrum support, including access to business and technical training, industry mentorship, venture capital connections, and funding opportunities, to early-stage companies utilizing advances in data science and AI. 

“I am excited for the three startups that are part of the inaugural cohort of Transform and represent healthcare/IoT, blockchain/cybersecurity, and cleantech,” said Shyama Majumdar, director of Transform. “I am confident that our fantastic lineup of mentors and networks will provide the startups the focused support and guidance they need at this stage to be successful.”

The startups will receive approximately $250,000 in total investment, including $25,000 in funding, usage of UChicago computing resources, credits for Amazon Web Services and Google for Startups, workspace in the Polsky Exchange on Chicago’s South Side, and access to industry mentors, technical advisors and student talent from the University of Chicago Department of Computer Science, Data Science Institute (DSI), and the Chicago Booth School of Business

“This initial cohort is a great example of the ways data science is disrupting industries across sectors,” said Michael Franklin, faculty co-director of the Data Science Institute. “As machine learning and AI continue to yield breakthroughs and push entrepreneurial innovation, we’re thrilled to provide support to the first cohort of startups.”

Transform Cohort 1:

// Blackcurrant is a B2B marketplace to buy and sell hydrogen and obtain market and other data for hydrogen products. Blackcurrant applies advanced machine learning to predict hydrogen pricing and demand growth.

// Drip is a sweat monitoring device that combines sodium concentration data from sweat with biometric information from wearable devices to provide a customized hydration plan to endurance athletes in real-time.

// Notoros is a distributed ledger platform for a new generation of zero-trust applications. Notoros decouples application and ledger state, allowing for a system that is both immutable and decentralized, yet customizable, making application development simpler due to its highly available data.

“Chicagoland is a global innovation powerhouse because of the critical work led by the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center,” said Abin Kuriakose, chief strategy and innovation officer for the World Business Chicago, the City of Chicago’s economic development organization chaired by the Mayor. “This inaugural cohort will thrive in our region’s startup ecosystem, driving advances in data science and AI applications across several industries.” 

>> Applications for Cohort 2 of Transform will be open April 17, 2023.

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