Y Combinator, a Mountain View, CA-based seed accelerator, has announced that it will prioritize applicants that are using Atomwise’s Artificial Intelligence software for drug discovery. Atomwise is a YC alum that utilizes Machine Learning to suggest drug compounds which could be used to treat small molecules chosen out by researchers as possible drug targets. Academia researchers can receive free access to Atomwise’s service through the Artificial Intelligence Molecular Screen (AIMS) Awards program, the Y Combinator’s new initiative. Through AIMS participants will have an accelerated route to applying for a spot in the accelerator, along with help from Y Combinator itself during the application process.
Once the participant startups accepted into the program, they will receive investments, help with incorporating and guidance through the commercialization process from Y Combinator, plus continued no-cost access to Atomwise’s algorithms. Founded in 14-years back in the year 2005, Y Combinator is consistently ranked at the top of U.S. accelerators. In the same year, the company built a new model of startup funding and invests a small amount of capital in a large number of startups twice a year. In September last year, the company, to keep up with the growing sizes of early-stage funding rounds, had declared that it will increase the size of its investments to USD 150,000 for 7 percent equity starting with its winter 2019 batch.
Since 2014, Y Combinator has invested USD 120,000 for 7 percent equity in its companies, as well as increased the size of its investment before a YC standard deal, in 2007, which was just USD 20,000 but the amount of equity the accelerator takes in exchange for the capital has been consistent.