Presented by Intuit
After much intense deliberation, the 2021 cohort of Intuit Prosperity Accelerator: AI has been announced. The program, first launched in 2020 in partnership with Highline Beta, was originally conceived to support startups addressing the financial challenges Canadian consumers and small businesses faced in the wake of COVID-19.
This year, Intuit expanded the call to all of North America, and turned its focus to the power of artificial intelligence. The company searched for seven early-stage startups with the AI expertise to build solutions that help consumers and businesses unlock smart financial decisions, find more money, gain complete confidence in their money choices, instantly deliver value through frictionless interactions, and eliminate manual processes.
“The rise of AI is fundamentally reshaping our world, and as global economies continue to reopen, Intuit is committed to accelerating industry innovation,” said David Marquis, Country Manager at Intuit Canada and executive sponsor of the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator. “It takes a community to tackle a big problem, which is why we’re excited to bring together this promising group of AI innovators who share Intuit’s mission of powering prosperity around the world.”
Intuit has been investing in AI on its platform for more than 15 years, and in this accelerator program, participants will leverage that long-term expertise to unlock new strategies with AI to benefit their end users. They’ll also work with Highline Beta’s complementary network of industry experts in startup business development, fundraising, and investment.
Chosen from more than 150 competitive applications and from top technology hubs, the final seven startups were selected based on their fundamental AI expertise, as well as their mission-driven values, and their focus on delivering innovative products, ideas, and results for their customers.
Meet the 2021 Intuit Prosperity Accelerator: AI cohort
Adaptive Pulse (Waterloo, ON) helps businesses keep a pulse on every customer while predicting and prioritizing their retention efforts, reducing churn and increasing revenues.
Aphrodite (San Francisco, CA) is a plug-n-play data analytics platform intended to help users drive revenue by providing financial clarity and data-driven insights to small businesses.
Bankuish (New York, NY) is a marketplace that provides gig workers and freelancers a simple way to access affordable banking.
Beam.city Inc (Toronto, ON) is an advertising automation platform that helps businesses optimize their performance and increase profits automatically.
Boom (New York, NY) is on a mission to level the playing field for the 110 million renters in the U.S. by making housing more flexible, affordable, and attainable.
QuoteMachine (Montreal, QC) is a software that brings humans back to digital commerce by helping independent retailers close more deals through simplified and personalized sales processes.
Stamped AI (Quebec City, QC) is an AI platform that streamlines and automates accounting data certification, making small businesses year-end ready, all year round.
5 months of coaching, mentorship, and Intuit’s AI expertise
For five months, founders will work with a network of Highline Beta’s industry experts in startup business development, fundraising, and investment, and 17 of Intuit’s Innovation Catalysts (ICs) across a wide variety of roles, business units, and functional groups. Together, they will coach, facilitate, and teach to identify and test growth opportunities using Intuit’s long-term AI expertise and its design thinking methodology, Design for Delight (D4D), as the startups build their AI-powered solutions.
The strength of the time-tested methodology springs from Intuit’s approach to Customer-Driven Innovation (CDI), which the company has been using and refining for 38 years. CDI is about identifying and designing new products, features, and ventures by focusing on solving customer problems. Founders will learn to leverage the three pillars of this methodology:
- Deep Customer Empathy, which fosters shared understanding, insights, and motivation to improve the lives of customers.
- Going Broad to Go Narrow, which focuses energy on what is most important, exploring a variety of solutions to find a bold approach to delight customers.
- Rapid Experiments with Customers, which tests solutions with real customers, to iterate quickly and efficiently.
The founders chosen are eager to leverage the length and breadth of Intuit’s business and AI experience, said 2021 cohort member Daniel Dietzel, founder and CEO of Aphrodite.
“For our small team of five to be able to work with such a big company is a dream come true!” Dietzel says, “We’ll get to explore new ways of providing valuable insights to our customers that we never thought possible. We’re very much looking forward to working with Highline Beta and Intuit teams.”
The potential exposure to an enormous new market is also a tremendous advantage, said Bankuish CEO and founder, Jose V Fernandez.
“Bankuish currently helps thousands of people in underserved communities enter the formal banking system, but the key to reaching the millions more that await a solution is growing our AI risk analysis,” says Fernandez. “We know the key to this is partnering with the most experienced and talented organizations. We cannot think of a better partner for this than Intuit.”
The cohort will have the opportunity for follow-on investment from Highline Beta, as well as the chance to demo their work, progress and solutions, gaining exposure in the North American market.
“We are thrilled about what this cohort of founders and startups can bring to the world of small business and consumer financial well-being with Intuit’s support,” said Hussam Ayyad, Chief Accelerator Officer at Highline Beta. “The diversity of talent and businesses and its representation of leading tech ecosystems across North America – from San Francisco to Toronto – is truly inspiring. We believe that this cohort represents the future of innovation within the different industries represented.”
For more information on the program, visit: www.intuit.com/ca/prosperity-accelerator.
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