(Europe) Paddle, the complete payments infrastructure provider for software companies, announces AI Launchpad, a new 6-week programme run by Paddle aimed at empowering ambitious software founders to build, launch and scale their AI-powered business ideas. Working with industry experts, participants will receive tailored guidance and actionable, practical insights, as well as the chance to win a $25,000 cash prize for the best offering, as judged by a panel of experts.
Founded in 2012 with the goal of helping software sellers grow their businesses as quickly and efficiently as possible, Paddle has witnessed rapid growth among AI software businesses, with a 337% growth in revenue in the last 12 months. More than 4,000 SaaS businesses rely on Paddle's payments, invoicing, billing, tax, compliance and metrics tools to sell into over 200 markets globally, including AI innovators such as Vidyo.ai, Kaleido AI and more.
Paddle's AI Launchpad will give the next generation of AI founders an opportunity to accelerate their company growth by offering masterclasses and interactive workshops from industry experts on the fundamentals of SaaS scaling, including product and go-to-market (GTM) strategies, finance & operations and industry positioning. 25 founders will be accepted on to the first cohort of the programme based on their AI business idea, their minimum viable product, and their ability to demonstrate market traction and growth potential.
As part of the programme, Founderpath, a $150m fund for SaaS founders, has allocated $10 million in funding for selected participants who successfully complete Paddle's programmes, providing additional opportunities and resources to further fuel their growth and success. Other partners and contributors for AI Launchpad will include AWS Activate, SaaStock, Toplyne, Banana, PartnerStack, Enablix, Kustomer, ArK Kapital, SaaS Launch, and Startup ROI.
Key elements and benefits of the AI Launchpad programme will include:
Expert mentorship - Participants will have access to mentorship from software industry leaders, providing invaluable guidance and insights.
Collaborative community - AI founders and innovators will have the opportunity to meet, connect, and collaborate, fostering a supportive ecosystem of like-minded individuals. There will be weekly peer coaching calls and Slack channels.
Cash Prize - The program will culminate with a cash prize of $25,000 for one founder. This substantial financial boost will catapult the development and market reach of the winning startup.
Additional benefits from partners such as free access to products, credits, and masterclasses.
In addition to the cash prize, runners-up will benefit from co-marketing events with Paddle and its partners, as well as complimentary tickets to industry events like SaaStock. To ensure that even those who do not secure a spot in the programme receive value, eligible applicants will be entitled to one calendar month of fee-free processing with Paddle, subject to meeting certain requirements.
Commenting on the launch, Christian Owens, Founder and Executive Chairman of Paddle, said: "2023 has seen a Generative AI boom, with companies in the space securing $1.3bn in the last few months. However, having a great product is just the first challenge in a very competitive space. No matter how smart your AI tool, you won't be able to scale your company to its full potential without the right growth strategies and infrastructure in place. That's why we're thrilled to unveil AI Launchpad, a programme aimed at upskilling some of the ecosystem's most ambitious AI founders. In line with our goal of helping software businesses everywhere scale, our programme - backed by $10m in Founderpath funding commitments - will equip the next generation of AI leaders with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve, and sustain, industry-leading levels of growth."