Transform Accelerator Announces Data Science and AI Startups Selected for Cohort 3

Following the success of its first and second cohorts, Transform adds seven new early-stage companies utilizing advances in data science and AI.

The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Data Science Institute today announced the seven early-stage companies accepted into the third cohort of the Transform accelerator for data science and AI startups.  

Powered by the Polsky Center’s Deep Tech Ventures, Transform provides full-spectrum support for the startups accepted into the accelerator, including access to business and technical training, industry mentorship, venture capital connections, and funding opportunities. 

The seven startups will receive approximately $250,000 in total investment, including $25,000 in funding, credits for 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.

Transform Cohort 3: 

“I am excited to welcome cohort three into Transform, this cycle was particularly competitive and we are delighted with the seven companies we selected,” said Shyama Majumdar, director of Transform. “We have a good mix of healthcare, construction, manufacturing, and fintech companies represented as we continue to see generative AI startups leading the way, which is reflected in this cohort. After the success of cohort 2, we are ready to run with cohort 3 and help pave their way to success.”

The accelerator launched in Spring 2023 with its inaugural cohort and those startups are already seeing success. Echo Labs, a transcription platform in the previous cohort, has scaled up, hiring software engineers to meet the demand of partnerships with 150 universities to pilot their product. Blackcurrant, an online business-to-business marketplace for buying and selling hydrogen and member of the first cohort, recently was awarded a $250,000 co-investment from the George Shultz Innovation Fund after participating in the program. 

“The continued success of Transform startups has been very encouraging,” said David Uminsky, executive director of the Data Science Institute. “The wide range of sectors this new cohort serves demonstrates AI’s increasing impact on business.”

Transform is partly supported by corporate partners McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd and venture partner, True Blue Partners, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm investing in early-stage AI companies, founded by Chicago Booth alum Sunil Grover, MBA ‘99.

“Transform is providing the fertile ground necessary to help incubate the next generation of market leaders,” said Grover, who also is a former engineer with nearly two decades of experience helping build companies as an entrepreneur, investor, and advisor. “Advancements in deep tech present a unique interdisciplinary opportunity to re-imagine every aspect of the business world. This, I believe, will lead to creation of innovative new businesses that are re-imagined, ground up, to apply the capabilities these new technologies can enable.”

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