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Orange launches AI acceleration program in Silicon Valley

The new platform, dubbed Orange Fab, was launched in partnership with a group of investors and companies

 

French telecommunication group Orange has launched Orange Fab, a Silicon Valley acceleration program designed to identify and support early-stage startups with focus on smart connectivity.

The initiative is being carried out by Orange Silicon Valley (OSV), which is Orange’s subsidiary operating in the the San Francisco Bay area, in partnership with a group of investors led by Cathay Innovation, Iris Capital, Michelin Ventures, Total Energy Ventures and Homebrew.

Fab Connect is also being launched in collaboration with a group of partners, including Google Cloud’s Startup Program, NVIDIA’s Inception Program, Microsoft IoT & AI Insider Labs, LAB IX Flex Ventures, Publicis Groupe, Groupe Seb, Michelin, Valeo, Ping An Technology and Lumi.The program will run

Fab Connect will offer a combination of artificial intelligence, networking technologies, chipsets, and sensors to foster the development of different initiatives in several sectors such as intelligent enterprise, smart home, AI-driven factory, and smart city. The program will run in San Francisco from September until January 2019.

Orange said that all startups that participate in Fab Connect will have access to a network of seed-stage investors and corporations providing technical resources and real-world business challenges. The French company also said that each season of Fab Connect(ai) will focus on a different technology topic of strategic interest to all participants. The first season will focus on startups working at the intersection of AI and IoT.

“Fab Connect is one of the first accelerator programs to align capital with global growth opportunities sustained by such a network of partners,” said Georges Nahon, CEO of Orange Silicon Valley. “Our goal with Fab Connect is to identify the most promising startups in AI & IoT, a domain of growing importance for Orange and our Fab Force members.”

“Fab Connect(ai) is the only global initiative designed to empower AI with the benefits of smart connectivity, from a collaborative and global perspective, and with an extensive network of influential partners,” said Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation. “As a global venture capital fund deeply committed in the fourth industrial revolution, Cathay Innovation believes that this approach can be helpful for the rise of a super AI able to foster the next wave of digital transformation.”

Julien-David Nitlech, partner at Iris Capital said: “Fab Connect is a disruptive global acceleration experience. It connects the next generation of Industry 4.0, AI and smart connectivity startups with world class industry leaders to help them disrupt their space. Fab Connect is building bridges between startups and innovative corporates, which we are familiar with at Iris Capital, thanks to our Venture initiative built in partnership with leading corporate partners, and we look forward to supporting this unique accelerator.”

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