(L to R: Jeremy Fiance, Ion Stoica, Trevor Darrell, Dawn Song, Michael Jordan, Cameron Baradar, Pieter Abbeel, Kurt Keutzer)

Announcing AI@The House

The House
The House
Jan 17, 2018 · 4 min read

Today, we are proud to announce AI@The House.

AI@The House brings together top AI researchers, the best mature AI companies, and the best AI startups to build a new global center-of-gravity for AI activity in Berkeley. We aim to enable the development of AI talent and research to industry impact, and the utilization of AI towards improving people’s lives. Our first core initiative is a new AI focused startup accelerator program built on top of The House Residency.

Why AI@The House?

In late 2015, The House began working with startups and has since supported over 50 startups that have gone on to raise over $400M in venture funding. Roughly ⅓ of our investments have been AI startups, the largest single partition of our portfolio when splitting by any technology or industry. This came to our team as no surprise since UC Berkeley has a long history of academic excellence in computer science and machine learning. In working with these AI startups, we have developed extensive expertise and resources to support AI startups.

Having established deep relationships with leading AI faculty, first as students, then as founders and campus leaders, and now as colleagues, our founders Cameron Baradar and Jeremy Fiance were excited to do more — and so were UC Berkeley AI faculty. Together, we envisioned a new engine for AI innovation that closely couples academia, startups, industry, and education.

“We’re building an ecosystem for AI in which fundamental theoretical advances, innovative algorithms, and efficient system implementations can be brought to bear on timely problems that have high value and high-societal impact with the outcome of well-funded new startup companies that are positioned to deliver these solutions,” said Kurt Keutzer, a UC Berkeley Professor, entrepreneur, and Co-Founder of AI@The House.

Who We Are

Our first industry partner is Gradient Ventures, Google’s new AI Fund. We’re excited to be aligned with one of the world’s foremost AI companies and one with deep UC Berkeley ties. “We’re very excited to partner with The House and world-class faculty at Berkeley to create AI@The House” says Ankit Jain, Founding Partner at Gradient Ventures. “As a proud Cal Alum, I’m excited to help lay the foundation for Berkeley to become a globally recognized hub for Artificial Intelligence.”

We’re excited to share that we are expanding our team to execute on this vision.

Today, we welcome six UC Berkeley Faculty as Co-Founders of AI@The House and Faculty Partners at The House Fund.

Their professional and academic expertise spans across the full stack of AI — theory and statistics, computer vision, systems, robotics, security, algorithms, hardware, and more. We share a common belief that startup creation presents an incredibly efficient mechanism for translating academic research into the marketplace.

We couldn’t be more excited to share our founding team, which we believe sets the foundations for among the top AI teams worldwide:

  • Dawn Song is a UC Berkeley Professor and Security expert. A Co-Founder at Ensighta (acq. FireEye), one of her current interest areas is the intersection of deep learning and security. Dawn has also been awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.
  • Ion Stoica is a UC Berkeley Professor and highly cited Systems researcher. Ion is the Co-Founder and Founding CEO at Databricks and a Director of UC Berkeley’s RISE Lab.
  • Kurt Keutzer is a UC Berkeley Professor and Hardware & Design Automation expert. Prior to Co-Founding DeepScale, Kurt was former CTO at Synopsys and an active startup advisor. Today, he focuses on accelerating deep neural network training and deployment.
  • Michael Jordan is a UC Berkeley Professor and AI & Statistics expert. Ranked as the most influential computer scientist worldwide, Michael is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.
  • Pieter Abbeel is a UC Berkeley Professor and AI & Robotics expert. Formerly at OpenAI, he is a Co-Founder at Gradescope and Embodied Intelligence. Pieter was the Keynote speaker at the 2017 Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS).
  • Trevor Darrell is a UC Berkeley Professor and a Computer Vision expert. He led development of Caffe, a popular open source deep learning library. Trevor is a Director of BAIR (Berkeley AI Research Group) and a Director of Berkeley DeepDrive (autonomous driving research group).

First Steps

What started initially as casual conversations many months ago amongst AI faculty and The House about how to do more to support AI innovation, has since evolved into a vision for positively translating AI research and talent into societal and economic impact via AI@The House. Today, AI@The House is making the first step in building out that long-term vision.

For more details on this initiative as well as ways to get involved with the AI@The House accelerator, visit www.thehouse.build/ai.

– Cameron, Dawn, Ion, Jeremy, Kurt, Michael, Pieter, and Trevor

The House is a startup institute built for Berkeley, and home to Berkeley’s founders. We help build foundations for great businesses with a support platform providing founders at all stages with what they need, when they need it. We’re working with exceptional founders to build the next generation of Berkeley’s top startups through our affiliated venture fund (The House Fund), accelerator program (The House Residency), and student community.

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