BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fuel, Arkansas’ premier artificial intelligence and machine learning accelerator, will launch on August 2 with the goal of helping a cohort of startups within these fields connect to regional enterprise partners.

According to a press release, The Fuel Accelerator, in its fourth iteration, will provide “regular, hands-on education and workshops to a cohort of 12 companies from across the United States, South Korea and India.” These 12 companies will make their way to Northwest Arkansas for a 12-week, enterprise-ready accelerator that will provide them with access to other startup founders, industry experts, institutions of higher education and public policy officials.

“We are very excited to welcome all these companies to Northwest Arkansas in August,” said program director Matthew Ward. “We are confident that these companies provide valuable solutions, and I am pleased to be a part of this program that adds to the strong, existing ecosystem through collaboration with all the intelligent individuals we have involved with Fuel.”

Fuel launched in late 2018 with eight startups participating in a supply chain-focused, 16-week program. The program helped its first cohort nurture relationships with key Fortune 500 companies through feedback sessions, training, pilots and demos. The accelerator is funded in part by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) as a part of the state’s ongoing efforts toward promoting data science.

“Startup Junkie [Foundation] is a key partner in helping Arkansas lead the way in artificial intelligence and machine learning,” said Commerce Secretary Mike Preston. “Technological innovation is one of the state’s top economic priorities, and we’re excited to have Fuel and similar programs assist forward-thinking startups. The Fuel accelerator will provide participants with the tools they need to make even greater strides in data science while forming long-lasting public and private connections.”

The fourth Fuel cohort will be the program’s third year to focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The companies included in this year’s Fuel Accelerator, along with location of operation are:

  • Airy – San Francisco, California
  • Array – Austin, Texas
  • CloudInsyte – Buffalo, New York
  • Deeping Source – Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Instreamatic – Palo Alto, California
  • Optiyol – San Francisco, California
  • Open Sesame Media – Marina del Rey, California
  • Pickl – Long Beach, California
  • Quaeris – Charlotte, North Carolina
  • RiskKarma – Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Vacus Tech – Bangalore, India
  • Veriphix – Washington, D.C.

Fuel is led by Startup Junkie Foundation and Catapult Consulting, with support for the accelerator from GrowthX and RevUnit. Catapult Consulting, led by Tom Douglass, former Director of Emerging Technology at Walmart Stores Inc., will provide deep domain experience in business strategy to bring companies and ideas to the forefront and create the next generation of disruptive businesses.

For more information about Fuel Accelerator, visit fuelaccelerator.com.