GitHub has just opened up a new cohort for GitHub Accelerator, which is a program that provides funding and support for selected open-source projects. The theme of this cohort will be AI in open-source. 

“AI is rapidly changing the way we work and live, and open source collaboration is at the core of AI innovation,” Stormy Peters, vice president of communities at GitHub, wrote in a blog post.  “We’re seeing developers across the globe use GitHub to innovate and share openly at every level of the AI stack, from training frameworks, to models, to responsible AI and evaluation tooling … But building a successful AI business in the open comes with its challenges. On top of the time and funding obstacles we’re already familiar with in open source, the heightened expenses and ethical, security, and legal considerations are daunting. We see these challenges as a risk to global innovation and are hoping to help.”

GitHub Accelerator is a 10-week program that will include group sessions, project work, and mentoring. During the program, the time commitment is 40 hours per week, about 5-10 hours of which are live instruction, workshops, and homework.  

10 participants will be selected this round and will receive $40,000 in project funding, free access to GitHub products, free Azure AI infrastructure credits, and a shared Slack channel.

They will also get access to GitHub staff for security reviews; Q&As with GitHub sponsors, community members, and leaders; and an introduction to Microsoft’s venture fund M12 and at least one hour with them. 

At the end of the program, there will be a virtual Demo Day where participants share their progress with the community, including GitHub leadership and venture capitalists. 

In order to be accepted into the cohort, GitHub recommends presenting a project that already has a clear open source license, clear governance strategy, commitment from core leaders willing to participate in project growth, a plan for utilizing funds, and a deep focus in AI, machine learning, and AI infrastructure. The company says that projects with an active and growing user base are more likely to be selected. 

The deadline to apply is March 5 at 12 PM PT, and GitHub says it will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis. The cohort will officially begin on April 22, 2024.