Artificial Intelligence as an Innovation Accelerator

There are various types of innovation programs that offer startup businesses an opportunity to grow and develop an impactful business model, in which innovation accelerator is one of them. You may be confused with the concept ‘accelerator’ and ‘incubator’. Both of them are complementary to each other, however, oftentimes they are misinterpreted as being the same thing. Though, they do have similarities, such as focusing on startup development and innovation that aims to achieve value chain benefits. Innovation accelerators, also known as startup accelerators, focus on a specific industry or market in the field of artificial intelligence.


What is an innovation accelerator?

Innovation accelerator is a program that provides support for a validated business idea to escalate. There are two types of innovation accelerators:

  1. Internal accelerator is a program sponsored by established corporations where they support early-stage startups through mentorship, funding, and office space for a pre-determined period of time.
  2. External accelerator is a program usually funded and operated by private entities. These are for-profit ventures in the business of making seed-stage investments in exchange for equity.


On the other hand, an incubator assists startups by providing time and resources to develop a sustainable business model. They form startups during the ideate process into a running business. Therefore, accelerators have an important role in stimulating innovation by providing programs to a group of participants so that their ideas can be realized and operated in the real world.

Figure 1: Defining Characteristics of Incubators and Accelerators

(Dempwolf, Auer, and Fabiani 2014)


Artificial Intelligence as Startup Accelerator

First of all, artificial intelligence is a way of knowing and modelling human thought processes and designing machines to mimic human behaviour. How does artificial intelligence help startup businesses? An artificial intelligence accelerator is specialized computer hardware that speeds up AI applications such as machine learning and artificial neural networks. It can be used in a variety of ways, for example, AI could help predict market trends so that startups are able to shift their attention on the things that matter most. Startup accelerators generally work with technologies that present as a building block for future innovations. By being a building block, artificial intelligence is used to develop these innovations that could fulfil both human and other technology needs: the emergence of new technologies is changing the way businesses serve and meet customer needs.

With innovation in the field of artificial intelligence, startup businesses could shift away from their focus from analytics strategies towards deep learning strategies. The various benefits of AI-based technology are that they could help startups to remain competitive from a business perspective and would help them be sustainable.

Business Potential of Artificial Intelligence

The potential of artificial intelligence businesses in the future is expansive. AI is going to change the world more than anything made in history, including electricity (AI and venture capitalist, Dr. Kai Fu Lee, 2018). As of today, AI will continue to act as a technological innovator for the future. Based on McKinsey & Company’s “Automation and the Future of Work in Indonesia” data, automation has the potential to create 36 million jobs so that the level of market demand for AI technology will also increase.

In Indonesia, AI adoption is driven by five factors to create better customer engagement as the main driver, having a significant percentage difference compared to other drivers such as higher competitiveness and higher margins, acceleration of innovation, and increased customer productivity. This indicates that one of the triggers for technology adoption is to continue to be able to accommodate customer needs.

For example, following the pandemic today, AI is progressively being used in the health and medical sector to help analyze data on the coronavirus contamination. It is being used to help develop treatment and medical training. Therefore, with the adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, we can say that AI-based startups will continue to grow over the upcoming years as artificial intelligence could create technologies that could prevent these outbreaks in the future, and this increases the potential for new jobs to exist from artificial intelligence innovation.



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