A Betaworks Accelerator Program
AI Camp: Augment invested in companies using applied machine learning and generative AI to make tools that augment humans’ cognitive, creative, and collaborative activities. We were interested in foundational models and the opportunity they provide to give us new tools with which to build products that address timeless and universal needs - the need to think, the need to create, the need to share and communicate.
“Entrepreneurs have the opportunity to leverage this technology, in this specific moment of disruption, to democratize creation, collaboration and cognition in unique ways, and give superpowers to existing and emerging activities that augment people’s ability to work, play, and interact with one another. Unlocking that will also require fresh thinking around attribution, discovery, and revenue models.”
June 28, 2023
September 15, 2023
September 20, 2023
Armilla Assurance has built software and services that help businesses manage risk caused by AI. The company, founded by serial entrepreneurs Karthik Ramakrishnan (former VP at Element AI) and Dan Adamson (former Microsoft dev lead), offers three products – Armilla Verified assesses the quality and reliability of a company’s AI-enabled products; Armilla Guaranteed is a warranty on top of that assessment; and Armilla Insured is insurance coverage against any losses incurred by the non-performance of an AI model.
Bionic Health is an AI-driven preventative healthcare service founded by Robbie Allen (founder of Automated Insights, which was acquired by Vista Equity Partners) and Jared Pelo (founder of iScribes, acquired by Nuance Communications). Bionic is democratizing access to preventative medicine for health conscious adults. The company has established a clinic in North Carolina with dozens of patients to train their AI on actual, real-world practices, protocols and workflows of doctors, practitioners and patients via asynchronous telehealth. Bionic has built the first EHR backed by a vector database, utilizing embeddings for efficient searching and precise insights for both clinicians and patients. The startup has thus far raised $3.5 million in pre-seed funding.
Deftly is an AI/ML-powered platform that analyzes, aggregates and scales insights around product feedback for businesses seeking to better serve their customers. The company was founded by MIT alums, Christie (previously engineer/product manager at Retool, ArthurAI, Microsoft), and Fern (previously engineer at Calendly, Google) who both felt this pain at early growth stage start-ups, as well as large enterprises. Product teams are responsible for prioritizing features and fixes on the company's roadmap, but are unable to distill meaningful insights from troves of dispersed product feedback. Deftly synthesizes this data collected across various departments (Product, Success, Support, Sales) to help companies prioritize the customer. The company has raised $500k.
Globe is using LLMs to power software that allows teams to gather, exchange and understand complex information. Founders and University of Waterloo students Brian Machado (intern at GoogleX, Uber, Tesla, and Samsung) and Ivan Yevenko saw a gap in collaboration tools for intricate projects. Rather than focus on a single problem point of collaborative information sharing around a project, such as file flexibility (Notion), file insurance (Rewind.AI), or communication channels (Slack, etc.), Globe is tackling the vast amount of information associated with a project by making it as easy to navigate and understand as Google Maps, zooming in and out of whatever data one needs intuitively. The company has raised $510k.
GroupLang is building software that tackles the way that LLMs interact with groups of people, rather than individuals. Founder Nikete della Penna and Bruno Mazorra understand that alignment of LLMs to a single, well-defined set of preferences is challenging enough on its own, and that same alignment with a group of people requires serving less well-defined preferences and yields fundamental incentive constraints. The company is tackling the big questions of how an LLM can serve a group and learn from a group.
Open Souls, founded by Kevin Fischer, is an open-source software framework that enables developers to create conversational AI projects and products that autonomously think and behave like real people. The company’s open-source framework fundamentally transforms LLMs by instilling digital souls – artificial minds with their own thoughts, feelings, and personality. Developers building simulations, such as closing a sale or having a difficult conversation with an employee at work, can tap into OpenSouls to ensure those simulations mirror the real-life conversations between two humans, with emotional intelligence and motivations.
Pangaea is a game studio that is leveraging AI to build faster, quicker, and smarter. The first title in the roadmap is a rogue-like Battle Royale that uses procedural generation to ensure that the map, and the challenges that lie within it, are never the same. The primary costs of developing multiplayer, live-services games are driven by art and backend technology, accounting for roughly 75 percent of the total dev cost of a game. Pangaea tackles that with its proprietary backend tech and efficient use of third-party AI. Pangaea’s cofounders, Joe Scott and Chris Spears, have led development on big-name games in the past, including Star Wars The Force Unleashed, NBA Jam, Thor God Of Thunder, and the rest of the team includes industry veterans from such acclaimed games as Star Wars The Old Republic, DC Universe, Toontown Online, and more.
Plastic Labs aims to enhance the viability, stickiness and utility of LLM-based applications by securely managing the flow of intimate psychological data between users and models. The company, founded by Courtland Leer (educator & philosopher), Vince Trost (machine learning engineer), and Vineeth Voruganti (Systems engineer), is developing a framework for fluid personalization across the whole ecosystem of AI apps. It leverages theory of mind capabilities to power individually-aligned custodial agents able to operate autonomously and confidentially on each user's behalf.
Shader, a new AI-enhanced social camera. Shader app lets anyone develop AR filters that they can use across Shader’s social graph, or post to other apps like Instagram. Traditionally, developing an AR filter was a desktop activity, requiring coding experience and design experience. With Shader, anyone can create a filter using text, taps, or their voice. It provinces a new way to make videos with its AI-first video creation tool that anyone can use. Shader was founded by Darya Sesitskaya (AR Platform Design Lead at Snap). The app is currently in private beta. The company has raised $580k.
Unakin is building an AI workforce for every game studio, aiming to cut development time in half. The first product is a UI programming agent, which creates functional UI (including code) from text or design prompts. The ultimate goal is to build a network of autonomous agents, powered by custom models, that are capable of multimodal understanding, collaborative work and tackling highly technical tasks. Unakin’s founding team consists of Oliver Markham (second time founder), Gian Luigi D'Alessandro (PhD, Cern) & Ted Poncu (PhD AI).
Vera is a platform that accelerates the adoption of AI in the workplace by governing what goes into and comes out of generative models. Using Vera gives companies unprecedented visibility and control over how staff and customers interact with generative AI, supporting more than 1400 commercially available models out of the box, including custom models built by companies in-house. The Vera platform mitigates privacy, security, bias, and policy risks at scale. Vera was founded by Liz O'Sullivan, previously cofounder of Arthur AI and noted policy advisor to governments worldwide, and Justin Norman, who previously led AI at Yelp, ML Research at Cloudera, and was the first titled Data Scientist at Cisco.
Waverly is building a social network of ideas where users can employ generative AI to remix ideas and create great posts. The company, founded by Element AI cofounder and ex-Googler Philippe Beaudoin, gives users control over their feed via conversational AI. Beaudoin saw in his work on Google Chrome how algorithmically powered feeds can lead to unhealthy online spaces and aims to rethink this paradigm via Waverly. Beaudoin's cofounder Philippe Gagnon worked in the video game industry for 21 years as a technical architect at Ubisoft.