Hero House AI Incubator Program Unleashes Innovative Power of Startups In Emerging Markets

Narine Emdjian
3 min readJan 25, 2021

Artificial Intelligence | Incubators | Startups | Technology

Emerging markets showcase a massive potential for technology success. Markets, such as the CIS, Southeast Asia, Latin America, India, and Africa live a startup boom in many ways.

In fact, venture capital in emerging markets has more than doubled (in dollar terms) to $27.4 billion in 2019 compared to $12.6 billion in 2014, according to a recent report by EMPEA.

Hero House has been on the front line of the tech scene in Armenia and Southern California. This startup hub transforms entrepreneurship, technology, and capital converge into an unstoppable force. From deep tech, AI, Robotics, to aerospace, bioscience, advanced transportation, Hero House has successfully using accelerator programs to unleash the innovative power of the startup ecosystem in Armenia, and boost startups’ potential for raising growth capital.

Empowered by the EFSE Entrepreneurship Academy and SmartGateVC, a Silicon Valley pre-seed venture capital, Hero House is getting ready for the second batch of the AI Incubator Program.

Hero House AI Incubator is a 26-week program designed to bring together:

(1) companies having AI implementation potential,

(2) leading ML research supervisors from universities and industry,

(3) students (chosen by supervisors) researching machine learning or adjacent disciplines.

The program creates synergy between higher education and industry via hands-on, market-relevant learning experiences for university students and young professionals. It also creates strong links among students, researchers, scientists, and professionals while fostering innovative and entrepreneurial culture among science, industry, and university.

The program targeted startups with a solid volume of data and matched them with student research groups supervised by leading professionals from the industry and academia. This initiative nurtures the growth of deep technology companies in the region by supporting the emerging wave of companies.

Overall 12 companies, 24 student-researchers, 7 AI research supervisors, and 2 leading chief scientists worked on creating AI solutions to increase the scalability of the participant startups and introduce new business models for them. Simultaneously, the students involved in the research groups gained practical experience while working under the supervision of experienced AI professionals․

The research projects varied from computer vision (CV), neural networks, robotics, speech processing, and project planning to natural language processing (NLP) and other research for companies in the entertainment, medical, fitness, gaming, and other industries.

For instance, one of the raising “startup stars” in Armenia 3dzook converts portraits into illustrations and uses AI in the illustration generation process also in real-time video conversion. Throughout the research, their team concentrated specifically on creating a new algorithm that produces more realistic/hand-drawn results while keeping the dzook style. Additionally, the team has had noticeable success in real-time video conversion. The team had exceptional results also in diversity recognition which was an additional task throughout the research.

If you’d like to learn about 11 other such research projects, register and join Hero House AI Incubator Demo Day on January 27.

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Narine Emdjian

Founder at iFund Lab | Federal Funding Expert helping startups & tech entrepreneurs to raise non-dilutive funding through SBIR & other federal funding programs.