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ACE News: ABN AMRO joins forces with ACE’s AI Startup Lab

three young entrepreneureal looking people looking at the camera ABN AMRO ACE AI Lab

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Did you know that by 2021 AI tools are predicted to create nearly three trillion dollars in business value and will save six billion man-hours globally? (Deloitte 2020) About one year ago, ABN AMRO and ACE Incubator started their collaboration by joining forces at the AI Startup Lab, an AI driven lab where students can build beta versions of companies together with corporates.

The aim of this collaboration is to bridge the gap between corporates and academic based knowledge, as well as to serve as an opportunity for ABN AMRO to invest in the AI startup ecosystem. By means of this collaboration, ABN AMRO gets the opportunity to enhance their innovation capacity, build new businesses and bring synergy to their innovation portfolios. ACE initiated AI Startup Lab as an opportunity to deepen the relationship between students and corporates by having the corporates present validated problems to the students, to build new meaningful services out of. As the third challenge is about to start, the collaboration is in full swing.

Two examples of assignments carried out within this partnership

One of the assignments was dedicated to sustainability, which happens to be one of the three innovation themes at ABN AMRO: optimising supply in the Dutch energy market. The team of AI students taking on this project developed a web application that can predict energy supply and demand. They did so under the guidance of Dung Manh Chu, AI developer at ABN AMRO: ‘The bank provided the input for the challenge. The students had the knowledge and the fresh perspective to use an innovative approach to solve the challenge’. By providing data that predicts energy needs, the bank can help business clients make their properties more sustainable.

Another assignment from the bank has already resulted in an MVP (minimal viable product). ABN AMRO challenged the students of the Intrical AI startup to create company profiles for corporate finance using artificial intelligence. Currently, most things are still done by hand. The team created an automated platform that helps corporate finance save time creating and updating company profiles, while processing information faster and providing better advice. Gabriele Bani, co-founder of Intrical AI: ‘We were given the unique opportunity to understand what it takes for a large corporation to develop a better product. This is a great opportunity for us to develop technologies that address a real problem, while providing a competitive edge. We have already entered into a contract with ABN AMRO, which is now our first client’.

Win-win situation

Dennis de Reus, Head of AI at ABN AMRO, works with the AI Startup Lab to find the right innovation challenges. ‘The Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship launched the AI Startup Lab in 2019 in order to strengthen the relationship between students and large companies. Students learn from the challenges we present to them. And we get the opportunity to increase our innovation capacity and help build new companies. A win-win situation, in other words. We are all set to start our third challenge soon. So, as you can see, the partnership is in full swing.”


At ABN AMRO we have a clear purpose: Banking for better, for generations to come. The shift towards sustainability is one of the most important challenges of our time. Supporting our clients at times that matter has always been our role, our responsibility. Together, we aim high and work towards lasting relationships that are relevant and responsible. Now and in the future. We want to be the bank that leads the way.

About ACE Incubator
ACE Incubator empowers students, academics and professionals who are starting or growing their business. ACE is powered by the knowledge institutes in Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam (UvA), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) and Amsterdam UMC and aims to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and entrepreneurship.

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