The MIT-Pillar AI Collective is a one-year pilot program providing seed grants for projects in AI, machine learning, and data science.

Supported by a gift from Pillar VC and administered by the MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, the mission of the program is to advance research towards commercialization.

Next round of applications in the Spring
1 year program
grant capital
access to experts

Program Benefits

The MIT-Pillar AI Collective will support a select group of faculty, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students through access to grants, expert advice, mentorship, and customer discovery.

Program resources:

Access to seed grants

Support in identifying key milestones

Advice from experienced founders

Guidance from product managers

Feedback from customers

Insight from early-stage investors

Founder Talks & community events

Co-founder matching and team-building

Graphic showing our accelerated 12 month path to an MVP through rapid iteration and customer feedback.

Program Structure

2x/month.

Bi-monthly meetings with Program Lead to review milestones & progress.

Required.

1x/month.

Monthly meetings with industry advisors for guidance.

Required.

4x/year.

Quarterly founder talks and community events.

Optional.

periodic.

Feedback sessions with prospective customers.

Required.

ongoing.

Advice from product managers and enterprise sales leaders.

Optional.

as interested.

Introductions to co-founders and team members.

Optional.

Questions? View FAQ.

Prospective Customers

Each team has access to prospective customers across a variety of industries who are actively interested in leveraging new AI-enabled solutions. Teams will conduct customer interviews to identify promising new applications, iterating in response to feedback.

Customers will be tailored to program participants. New customers will be added once the program launches.

WayFair

consumer

Rapid7

enterprise, security

Thrive

SaaS, healthcare

SimpliSafe

consumer, hardware, SaaS

Jellyfish

software, enterprise

Asimov

biotech, healthcare

PathAI

biotech, healthcare

TripAdvisor

consumer

Algorand

crypto, enterprise

Additional customers coming soon

Program Timeline

Graphic showing two students planning our goals for each quarter with sticky notes.

Program begins Fall 2022

  • First round application deadline: October 28, 2022.
  • Apply now.
  • Contact us with further questions.

Ready to commercialize your
AI research?

First round application deadline: Oct. 28, 2022