TechInAfrica – Cortex Group, a Cape Town-based AI firm, has recently launched an AI-focused venture capital firm, Cortex Ventures, which aims at supporting African startups to grow and scale.
Cortex Group is the parent company for AI software and solutions, Cortex Logic. The company has six divisions; Asset Management, FinTech, Health, Ventures, Portfolio, and Logic. Each division focuses on the main parts of the AI ecosystem.
According to the company, Cortex Ventures focuses on AI-enabled startups that seek early or growth stage funding to scale up their businesses. It’s currently inviting startups to participate in its accelerator program called Click-2-Pitch Challenge.
Participants of the program will receive funding support and access into the Cortex Group’s technical advisory, AI-application development capabilities and co-working space.
Dr. Jacques Ludik, the Founder and CEO of Cortex Group, explained: “The AI market is so large, that we decided it would be beneficial to create a venture capital company focusing on companies, innovators and entrepreneurs working with AI-based technologies; specifically leveraging data science, machine learning or deep learning in their stack.”
“The world of AI is recognizing a global explosion of new companies seeking investment, and we intend to fill that gap; especially those seeking early-stage funding, traditionally dubbed high risk by more traditional VCs and investment entities such as banks, angel or private investors,” he added.
The Click-2-Pitch Challenge invites candidates to submit their applications and join the program. On the entry level, applicants’ proposals will be reviewed by the investment team using some key criteria.
“There has never been a better time to be a tech entrepreneur in the AI space. Things that could only be dreamt of two or three years ago are now possible,” Dr. Nick Bradshaw, Cortex Group’s CMO and Cortex Ventures’ Director, explained.
He continued, “This includes access to free and cost-effective resources via open source, APIs and cloud providers such as Microsoft, AWS, Google and IBM, which are propelling these possibilities. As a VC, focusing on both early and growth stage businesses, we are supplementing the traditional support VCs offer with unique access to AI developers and data scientists, product advisory services, and a free co-working space. This will allow us to remain close to and continuously guide the companies and partners we are working with, ultimately ensuring their success.”