On October 10th 2017, StartupAmsterdam gathered members of its Corporate Network for the 3rd time. Unlike prior events, this particular one had a central theme: Artificial Intelligence.
For the past couple of months, Amsterdam has been doubling down on projects and initiatives that facilitate a further and deeper conversation on AI and Machine Learning. From Rockstart launching the very first AI-themed startup accelerator and Growth Tribe announcing the world’s first AI for Marketing & Growth course to the inevitable sensation that was WorldSummitAI. As Wired once said “They are really going gangbusters” in response to Amsterdam becoming a vibrant startup hub, now we are really going gangbusters to make Amsterdam the center point for AI.
With an aim to make the Dutch and international corporates join us on this mission, StartupAmsterdam hosted an AI-themed event and invited its Corporate Network, as well as five startups and five initiatives working with AI technology. The main objective was to discuss the latest developments in Amsterdam’s AI scene, create a bridge between the parties involved and once again establish a knowledge-sharing environment.
The event was divided into three parts (expert keynotes, peer-to-peer roundtable sessions and networking) and took place at Startup Village’s newly opened Venture Studios. Or as moderator and tech-entrepreneur Jim Stolze said in his opening remarks: “Where else does one host an AI-themed event if not at the heart of Amsterdam Science Park?”
The first expert keynote was held by Marcel Worring – Director of the Informatics Institute and a key figure from the Amsterdam Data Science initiative. He gave insights into the latest academic developments and trends in AI, as well as how companies can leverage that knowledge. During his Q&A session, Marcel was asked why he considered Amsterdam THE place to be for AI enthusiasts and practitioners. To which he said that Amsterdam is definitely paving the way in AI research: globally, there are not that many universities that offer AI degrees, while Amsterdam has 250 of them (both Bachelor’s and Master’s), offered under one roof at the Amsterdam School of Data Science, including other Computer Science and Data Science courses. He also highlighted that the number of students that want to study AI has been steadily increasing.
Out of the 5 peer-to-peer sessions that followed, the most popular topics were moderated by Colin Meulema from NVIDIA on GPU Computing “What can deep learning do for your business?” and Marije Ferwerda from IBM on the importance of AI (Augmented Intelligence) to innovate your business.
The second speaker of the day was an international guest from New York and a thought-leader on Artificial Intelligence, Oliver Christie. As an ambassador for digital transformation, Oliver stressed that companies should reinvent their businesses in such a way that AI is not just an integrated part, but a main driver of business. He continued that it is necessary to do so for every company that strives to be at the frontline of technological advancement and not fade into abyss like Kodak or Blockbuster.
The five startups that took part in the event were: Applyr, Aiir Innovations, SightCorp, My Reputation Lab and Artifam. The five initiatives were ACE’s Innovators Tribe, Rockstart, Amsterdam Data Science, Info Support and a newly announced collaboration between Startupbootcamp and ACE. Each of these startups and initiatives has had a chance to “pitch” themselves to the corporates present, make meaningful connections and explore potential collaborations. Fingers crossed for good news in the upcoming future.
On behalf of the entire StartupAmsterdam team, we thank all corporates, startups and AI initiatives that joined us for this event. Stay tuned for upcoming gatherings.
And if you’re an Amsterdam-based startup that would like to collaborate with a certain corporate, check out the corporate profiles and get in touch!