October 15, 2017 | Microsoft Ventures is partnering with Israel’s Vertex Ventures, North America’s Madrona Venture Partners, and Europe’s Notion Capital to launch an AI startup competition in Israel, North America, and Europe. Winners will receive a total investment prize $3.5 million. The Innovate.AI competition will look at very early-stage AI startups in the above mentioned regions and award $1 million to one startup per region. This will be in addition to the $500,000 “AI for Good” prize. All prizes will come with $500,000 Azure credits. Microsoft’s Executive VP of Business Development Peggy Johnson says the competition isn’t about cash, but rather the fact that the partners will really invest into very early-stage startups that aren’t even on anyone’s radar yet. Startups can apply to the Innovate.AI competition until December 31. Microsoft Ventures is the venture capital arm of Microsoft, currently investing in technology companies (Series A and beyond).