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Toyota looking to give $2 million to robotics startups

Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Toyota AI Ventures is participating in a series of events across the United States to meet promising entrepreneurs that are looking for funding.

As part of the “call for innovation” initiative that it unveiled this summer in partnership with the robotics group at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), the Toyota AI Ventures team will go on the road beginning this week to take part in several startup events.

The series kicked off at RoboBusiness 2018 in Silicon Valley where the firm’s managing director Jim Adler gave a presentation on the main stage on 26 September.

Robotics entrepreneurs interested in participating in the call for innovation can apply online, and can see members of the Toyota AI Ventures team in person at the following events:

Oct. 1, 2018 at Austin Startup Week in Austin, Texas
Oct. 9, 2018 at Investing in Robotics Innovation co-hosted by Innovation Works in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Oct. 10, 2018 at IEEE’s Robotics and Automation Society meeting hosted by TRI in Cambridge, Mass.

“One of the main goals of the call is to spur innovation by identifying key problems startups can help solve, and we’re looking forward to visiting regional startup hubs to spread the word about this opportunity,” said Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures.

“We’ll also be hosting office hours to spend time with local entrepreneurs and learn about the solutions they’re developing.”

The first call focuses on finding and funding robotics startups that are developing mobile manipulation technologies that can improve assistive robots to help people in and around the home.

Toyota AI Ventures is looking to invest between $500,000 and $2 million in one or more qualified startups. Eligibility criteria and guidelines are available on the Toyota AI Ventures website. Applications are currently being accepted online, and the deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2018.