Yolanda Redrup – Reporter
Artesian Ventures is spearheading a new artificial intelligence accelerator and venture capital fund for revenue-generating AI “scale-ups”, which is set to launch in Melbourne on Tuesday, with funding from the Victorian government.
The new program, called Boab AI, has secured $1.5 million in funding from the Victorian state government via its start-up agency LaunchVic, as well as $8 million in private capital, and will be supported by a planned $100 million VC fund for AI companies.
Boab AI will be run by former founder of agriculture tech accelerator SproutX and Deakin University venture director Andrew Lai, and will offer companies a tailored six-month program that will supposedly be designed to meet the needs of each company. Founder of agriculture tech accelerator SproutX Andrew Lai will lead the new program. Fairfax Media
“The Artesian crew have different thematics and they were quite interested in AI. It was great for me to re-enter the program and the VC space and this time at a bigger cheque size,” he said.
“Rather than small inception-level cheque sizes, we’re offering a minimum of $300,000.
“The companies we go for are a higher valuation, generally $5 million and over … [so] we’re investing into companies that have existing traction, mature products, have enterprise customers around the world and we’re helping create programs suited to them.”
Boab’s first round of participants include Victorian companies Pi.Exchange, Plaetos and Strongroom AI, and Australian companies Daitum and Remi AI.
Boab directors include Dr Catriona Wallace, founder and CEO of Ethical AI Advisory, Rosyln Hames COO of Clear Dynamics as well as Tim Heasley and Matthew Clunies-Ross, both managing partners at Artesian.