Accelerator challenge: Could your AI startup help consumers and small businesses overcome financial challenges?

In times of disruption, innovation is born. Startups are at the forefront of this change and are always looking around corners to solve the problems challenging consumers and small businesses. As we move towards economic recovery and financial prosperity, artificial intelligence (AI) has the power to advance, improve, and find solutions for the lives of North Americans.

Enter the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator: AI program. The 2021 program is recruiting six to eight startups that can build AI-driven solutions designed to help consumers and small businesses unlock smart financial decisions, find more money, and gain complete confidence in their money choices. Backed by corporate and investor mentorship, it provides coaching for startups to help grow their business, and the opportunity for follow-on investment.

The virtual five-month program culminates in a public Demo Day, where the cohort will have the opportunity to demo their progress and gain exposure in the North American market.

See application details below. Applications close August 31.

“As we begin to emerge from an undoubtedly difficult year, enterprising startups will be the key to our economic recovery,” says David Marquis, vice president and Canada country manager at Intuit. “Given the success of the first Intuit Prosperity Accelerator during the pandemic, we’re excited about the opportunity to expand our network to include AI technology innovators and equip them with support to build a brighter future.”

Intuit has partnered with Highline Beta, a venture studio that specializes in corporate-startup collaboration. It will leverage the firm’s expertise in designing programs, sourcing and selecting the right startups, and ensuring meaningful mentorship and support.

“We’re excited to present this opportunity to startups across the globe that are eyeing the North American market,” adds Hussam Ayyad, chief accelerator officer at Highline Beta. “Our partnership with Intuit provides early-stage startups the ability to tap into the network of a world-leading tech company with approximately 100 million customers globally. This offers collaborators unmatched market intelligence as well as the remarkable expertise of Intuit’s committed team.”

The cohort will be selected based on a number of criteria, including fit with one or more of the program’s challenge and technology interest areas, stage of startup, product traction, and potential for scale in the North American market. International startups are invited to apply, but must demonstrate their value to the North American market.

The Intuit Prosperity Accelerator: AI is accepting applications until August 31st, 2021. Six to eight startups will be selected, with the program kicking off in October 2021.

Application criteria

This year’s program is looking for startups that use one or more AI technologies in the following areas:

  • Machine Learning: Building algorithms which progressively learn from data to automate tasks for customers
  • Knowledge Engineering: Turning rules, government regulations, and relationships about data into code to eliminate work and provide tailored experiences
  • Natural Language Processing: Processing, analyzing, and understanding human language to create interactions with customers and automate repetitive tasks

The selection committee will also look for startups that use AI for a high degree of engagement with customers through insights; provide scenario planning capabilities to enable advisory services; and offer AI-powered advisory capabilities to solve long-term financial goals.

Applicants should demonstrate how their solution addresses one or more program challenges:

  • More Money: Help consumers unlock smart money decisions and help keep more money in people’s pockets
  • Complete Confidence: Offer expert advice and give people the confidence they need to make informed financial choices
  • No Work: Instantly deliver value through frictionless interactions and eliminate manual processes.

Insights from alumni

This year’s accelerator builds on the success of the inaugural cohort, which brought together innovators, experts, technologists, and investors who share the same mission.

“The Intuit Prosperity Accelerator is different from the other accelerators we’ve come across,” says Jesse Abrams, co-founder & CEO at Homewise and program alumnus. “When you’re a growing company, it’s not very easy to get your foot in the door with such a global, well-established company like Intuit.”

This program was a strong proposition for them to not only find a way to learn from an innovative technology company and be part of an accelerator, but to continue to grow as a business in parallel, Abrams explains.

“They always say ‘two heads are better than one,’ but through this accelerator program, we got 50 heads on the job, supporting us and providing guidance to help us grow and improve our business,” he says. “It’s a massive opportunity, and we were lucky to be a part of it. As a startup, getting access to the minds and potentially game-changing opportunities with a huge company like Intuit is invaluable.”

 Don’t miss the August 31st deadline! For more information and to apply, visit intuit.com/ca/prosperity-accelerator.

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