Nvidia‘s GPU Technology Conference is all about highlighting companies using graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate artificial intelligence. To juice the ecosystem, Nvidia and its partners tonight gave away $1.5 million in prizes to the winner of the Nvidia Inception Awards for best AI startups.
The winners included hottest emerging startup Athelas, most disruptive startup Deep Instinct, and best social impact startup Genetesis. Each of these companies won a $375,000 prize, while $125,000 went to runners-up Focal Systems, Smartvid.io, and Bay Labs.
Nvidia, which had $6.9 billion in revenues last year, counts more than 1,300 AI startups around the world as participants in its Nvidia Inception program. A couple of weeks ago, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang hosted a Shark Tank-style event called Nvidia Inception to find the best AI startups. Huang and a panel of judges listened to pitches from 14 AI startups across three categories.
“It’s because of you that we did all this,” Huang said during the ceremony. “We’re an emerging company too. We built a platform. That platform is only as helpful, successful, and valuable as what you do with it.”