Accelerate your AI startup

with other AI founders

WAI Accelerate

Are you an aspiring female entrepreneur based in the Netherlands at a very early stage of starting your business? Do you have an idea that needs evolution or validation? Want to start a business, but don’t know how? Want to build and challenge your business model? Do you need help crafting your pitch message?

Kickoff your AI startup

With our WAI Accelerate program we can help you to create and kickoff your AI startup. Learn how to start building your business, which steps to take and how to take them. Get valuable feedback along the way from inspiring founders on how well you perform. Get a rigorous entrepreneurial framework and set of tools, test your start-up’s business model and … pitch it!

Networking within the WAI NL Community

About the WAI Accelerate program

The program is designed to support aspiring female-led or female co-led startups that apply Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Data Science solutions in a way that promotes ethical leadership and social impact. It aims to encourage more women to step into the field of AI. It is a well-paced program that allows participants to get the most out of networking and think through their ideas.

What we offer

5 Modules Over 12 Weeks

With a flexible entry point, join the program at the stage that best suits your startup’s current phase.

Blend of offline and online events

Offline events facilitate peer connections and insights from fellow AI founders, while online sessions focus on educational content and crafting a robust business model

Expert Mentorship

Not just theory! Receive practical, hands-on guidance from seasoned experts in both technical and business domains.

Demo Day Exposure

Conclude the program by presenting your service or product to an audience of investors, industry leaders, and the press, propelling your venture to new heights.

The 5 modules include:

Module 1 – Foundation & Ideation 
Module 2 – Development & Prototyping
Module 3 – Business & Product Refinement 
Module 4 – Investment & Scaling
Module 5 – Demo Day & Beyond

Click on the different modules shown in the white drop-downs for more details.

*Please note that the content of workshops and dates may be subject to change. However, our aim is to preserve the overall outcome and quality of the program.

Week 1-2

OKR Workshop: Translate your startup’s vision into measurable objectives and key results.

AI Fundamentals: Gain essential knowledge of AI concepts, empowering informed decision-making, even for non-techincal founders.

Problem Identification: Pinpoint a specific pain point that AI can address effectively, ensuring real need solving.

Market Validation: Validate the existence of a viable customer base for your proposed AI solution.

Technical Workshop: Equip your team with cloud project setup skills, laying a critical foundation for product development.

Ideal outcome: Transform a vague concept into a well-defined problem with a clear AI-based solution, grounded in customer demand.

Week 3-5

Dataset Exploration: Explore relevant datasets and understand ethical data use considerations.

AI Model Selection: Choose the right algorithms or pre-trained models tailored to your problem and data.

MVP Development: Build a basic, functional version of your AI product with technical mentorship and cloud support.

Design Thinking: Ensure user-friendliness and alignment with user needs.

Prototype Feedback: Gather user insights and iterate on MVP design.

Ideal outcome: Develop a functional MVP with a strong foundation for further development.

Week 6-8

Go-to-Market Strategy: Develop optimal pricing models, customer acquisition channels, and AI-specific marketing techniques.

Responsible AI: Address bias, explainability, and trust-building, ensuring compliance with the EU AI Act.

Storytelling & Pitching: Refine presentations and pitches for investors and customers.

Ideal outcome: Craft a polished, investor-ready business plan and go-to-market strategy for your AI product, transforming the concept into a market-ready opportunity.

Week 9-11

Investor Readiness: Prepare for due diligence and understand VC expectations to increase funding chances.

Legal & Intellectual Property: Gain legal knowledge specific to AI startups, protecting intellectual property and mitigating risks.

Team Building & Hiring: Attract top AI talent and build a strong team crucial for growth.

Ideal outcome: to be primed for successful investment and scalable growth.

Pitch Event: Showcase your startup to investors, industry leaders, and the press.

Alumni Network: Establish ongoing mentorship and community post-graduation.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content of workshops and dates may be subject to change. However, our aim is to preserve the overall outcome and quality of the program.


The kickoff of the first wave of the WAI Accelerate program has started on June 7th. Depending on how many people are still interested to join, we might be starting a second wave later this year. Make sure you keep an eye on our page to see if there will be a next wave of our Accelerate program.

What do people say?

Here are some testimonials from last WAI Accelerate Program to give you an idea of what to expect. Our program will be tailored based on the needs of this year’s Women in AI Accelerate program participants.

As a startup founder in the Women in AI accelerator program, I was immersed in an environment that fosters innovation while simultaneously promoting diversity and empowerment. The program has not only provided me with essential skills and insights, but it also connected me with a network of inspiring entrepreneurs and mentors.
- Florina, Founder of Level Up
Opportunity to network, getting to know fellow team and getting first hand understanding of everyone’s experiences, ideas and having a awesome inside detour of the venue locations.
- Shweta

What’s in it for you?

As an aspiring female entrepreneur at an early stage of starting your business the WAI Accelerate program can help you kickoff your AI startup. It gives you an opportunity to network with peers and meet other AI founders to learn from their experience.

Female startups within the AI


Access to the network of entrepreneurial like-minded women in the field of AI with possibility to find co-founder and validate product ideas.


Build and validate your idea. Get strategic support during the development of your AI ideas. For the go-to-market preparation this is enabled via the Mentorship track of WAI.

Business model

Understand how to think like an entrepreneur. Get to be able to visualize technology stacks and business models, and turn community problems into feasible and sustainable solutions.


Create a vision for success. Learn from speakers and industry experts by spending individual sessions with mentors align it with particular topics and expertise. Eventually you will be participating in entertaining activities.


Test your start-up's business model and pitch it! Fine-tune your investors pitch and present ideas and models to the jury and field experts.

Frequently asked questions

The program is designed for female entrepreneurs and founders of AI startups. Whether you’re at the ideation stage or in the early phases of developing your AI product, our program offers flexible entry points to best suit your startup’s current phase.

We welcome start-ups from the Benelux countries to apply.

The first kick-off event is scheduled for June 7th, where we will introduce and make an overview of the program.

We strongly encourage you to attend all the events for your own benefit, therefore, we kindly ask to consider time commitment when applying for the program. (See progam outline above.)

Events will be held in either Amsterdam or in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Women in AI Accelerate does not take any equity.

There is no application fee for our program. However, a fee will be applied if you are selected to participate in the program. As a non-profit organization, WAI relies on the dedication of our volunteers who contribute their spare time to make this program possible. We are asking for a fee to offer drinks and snacks during the offline meetings and ensure commitment to the program.

The fee for each module is 50 euros, VAT excluded. As a special offer, if you enroll in all 5 modules, you’ll only be charged for 4, totaling 200 euros, VAT excluded.

Demo Day is the culmination of the Accelerate Program where you’ll have the opportunity to present your product or service to an audience of investors, industry leaders, and members of the press. This event is a fantastic opportunity to propel your venture by gaining visibility and attracting potential investments.

Why we need more female-led AI startups

Unfortunately, women are still very underrepresented in VC-backed startups and in the AI field. That is a shame, because private technology companies led by women are more capital-efficient, deliver higher revenue and are more likely to prioritize socially responsible initiatives and care about underserved communities. The goal of Women in AI (WAI) is to help eliminate the potential biases in AI by encouraging diverse teams in algorithm, product, and business development.

higher ROI
1 %

Private technology companies led by women achieve 35% higher ROI.

 The Kauffman Foundation

higher revenue
-10 X

Companies founded by women deliver more than 2 times as much revenue (per dollar invested).

MassChallenge and Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Meet our program team

Andreia Dos Santos

Accelerate Program Lead

Elena Persidskaia

Accelerate Program Manager

Aleksa Jasiulionyte

Startup Manager

Illeana Geueke

Investor Manager

Care to partner up or need more information?

Would you like for your business to partner up with our program? Partnering with WAI Accelerate is a great way to show your commitment to supporting women as essential stakeholders in the development of emerging technologies, from data scientists to business leaders. By partnering with the program you are able to connect with future changemakers. Would you like to partner with WAI Accelerate? Please contact our Accelerate Program Lead Andreia with the button below.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the details of our program, also feel free to contact our program lead, Andreia, by clicking on the button below.

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