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An Accelerator for AI-Native Startups

Conviction is a new venture firm purpose-built to serve AI-Native, "Software 3.0" companies, and to help them achieve their potential as the most important companies of tomorrow. If "Software 1.0" was about human-written code, and "Software 2.0" is about dataset labeling, "Software 3.0" will be about manipulating foundation models. We are extremely early in the translation of powerful AI models to powerful end-user products that transform industries.

Frontiers like this are exciting, weird and lonely places, and they lead to small but strong communities. To support these companies on the AI frontier, we're launching Embed, a highly selective, eight-week program for extraordinary early (pre-seed, seed-stage) founding teams. Embed harnesses a powerful network and tribal knowledge on software company-building, while creating a community for shared learning about AI-native challenges.

Embed is meant to be lightweight but powerful, giving great teams a Schelling Point and access, and leaving the rest up to them. Once a week, we will convene teams to share progress and challenges, and bring in friends and partners from the ecosystem to help (founders, customers, leading researchers, practitioners, model/cloud/tooling providers). Demo Day is open to the broader investor community.

Apply here by August 4th, 2023. Read more about why we're doing this. For those hunting for collaborators or jobs, we can help with matching. Curious about some ideas we're interested in? See some of our requests-for-startups.



What kind of founders are we looking for?

We have backed engineers, researchers, product folks, domain experts and dropouts. We gravitate towards technical teams who build with velocity and pragmatism. We're lucky to already be in business with extraordinary founders like Alex, Arthur, Ashish, Bret, Douwe, Gabe, Mustafa, Niki, and Sarah. We're excited to meet more like them.

When can I expect to hear back?

Applications will close 8/4. We'll get back to all participants with a decision by 8/18 (within two weeks).

I just got started/haven't incorporated/don't have a cofounder. Am I too early to apply?

No! We're excited to work with folks from very early on in their journey.

If you're a solo founder or actively looking for a cofounder, fill out the Embed application and check the box for looking for a cofounder or email us at embed [@] We'll be actively helping match participants before and during the program.

How will co-founder matching and recruiting work?

Send us a note with who you are and what you're looking for -- core attributes, capabilities, geo constraints, etc. Work with us (and our recruiter!), and we'll help you source candidates for both. Also, present at Hiring Demo Day!

I've already raised some money. Are we too late to apply?

No, we expect some of our class to have raised money already, but the focus of Embed is to create a community around extraordinary early teams and to allow them to use one another for support, motivation, and shared learning.

Do I have to be in person in San Francisco?

We don't require teams to be in person other than November 6-9th for the fundraising office hours, hiring demo fair, and investor demo day. All events throughout the program (i.e. dinners, discussions) will be hosted in person, but we'll offer opportunities to participate virtually as well.

How are weekly meetings structured?

Two parts: group office hours (cadence-setting, accountability for progress, asks for advice/help) and social Q&A over food and drinks with a founder/operator dinner guest. We get you out of there in under two hours.

I'm excited about AI, but not sure if I'm ready to found something. Can I work at one of your startups?

Yes! Please fill out this form & we'll circulate info to folks in the program & host a hiring demo day towards the end of Embed.

I'm a sponsor/mentor/customer who wants to help. How do I get in touch?

We'd love to have you! Please get in touch at