Global financial platform company Intuit, along with venture studio and venture capital firm Highline Beta, recently announced the launch of a new accelerator for artificial intelligence (AI)-focused startups.

Intuit Prosperity Accelerator: AI is an equity-free and challenge-based virtual five-month accelerator program designed for high-potential seed-stage startups based in North America, who have AI-driven solutions with products in the market that aim to solve financial challenges. 

Applications are open until August 31, 2021, and the company says it will be selecting six to eight startups this year. Applicants who have an AI-driven solution that fits into at least one of the following three challenge areas specified by Intuit are eligible to apply:

  • More Money: Unlock smart money decisions and help keep more money in people’s pockets.
  • Complete Confidence: Access 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.

Intuit says applications from pre-seed or later stage companies will also be considered based on the fit with the program’s themes and interest areas which include machine learning, knowledge engineering, and natural language processing. Additionally, international startups that can demonstrate their value to the North American market are eligible to apply.

Selected startups will have access to a corporate and investor mentorship network, dedicated coaching, and an opportunity for follow-on investment from Highline Beta. It will also provide exclusive access to AI experts, business mentors and an alumni startup community, the company noted on its website.

Erin Bury, co-founder and chief executive officer at the Canadian do-it-yourself online will platform Willful, and an Intuit Prosperity Accelerator alumni, told ITBusiness.ca that they learned a lot about Intuit’s Design for Delight methodology and that Willful hopes to form some kind of partnership with Intuit in the future. 

“Our mission at Willful is to provide simple, affordable estate planning tools to Canadians, which is very similar to Intuit’s mission of simplifying the process of filing taxes through its software package TurboTax. We loved being part of the Intuit Prosperity Accelerator because we learned more about how Intuit partners with small companies, and we also learned about their Design for Delight methodology, which helped us to get closer to our customers and launch experiments to improve their experience. It was a great opportunity to learn from a world-class brand, and to meet other startups who are going through the same challenges we are,” Bury said.

Kicking off on October 4, 2021, and set to culminate with a demo day in February-March 2022, this will mark the launch of Intuit’s second annual program, building on its inaugural 2020 Intuit Prosperity Accelerator. The program’s first cohort included eight startups and culminated with a demo day event in partnership with TechTO.

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