The Sound of AI Accelerator

From idea to music AI startup.

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The Sound of AI Accelerator is a 12-week startup accelerator programme focused on music, audio, and voice AI. It’s the only accelerator run by audio AI leaders, with the goal to help build the next batch of audio AI companies.

Participants join as individuals, without a team. They don't need to come with a business idea. During the programme, they acquire the skills to build startups, they build a team, identify a viable business idea, validate the idea, and implement a minimum viable product.

By the end of the programme, they have a startup team ready for pre-seed funding or to continue operations via bootstrapping.

Dates and location

The first iteration of the accelerator ran from April 11th to July 2nd 2023. The accelerator is held online. You can participate from anywhere in the world.

Dates for the second iteration (2024) are still to be decided. Stay tuned!

Who’s the accelerator for?

The Sound of AI Accelerator is ideal for everyone interested in founding a music, audio, or voice AI company.

We accept people with different types of backgrounds (e.g., engineering, AI, product, business, marketing, music, design …). We believe that the best founding teams are interdisciplinary.

How we help

Startup school

Learn about the lean startup, business modelling, customer discovery, agile, bootstrapping, investors, and how to build and evaluate an audio AI product.


Each team will get a business- and a tech-oriented mentor. Mentors are industry and academic leaders in audio tech.

Industry connections

Teams can leverage the organisers' and mentors' network to connect with key audio and music tech players in the industry.

Exposure to investors

Teams will present their startup idea in front of a selection of investors with an interest in audio and music tech.

$25K coumputing credits

The Sound of AI Accelerator is an AWS Active Provider. All the startups formed during the accelerator will receive $25K credits in AWS computing.


The programme is free. There are no fees for participants. The accelerator doesn’t take any equity in the newly formed companies.



The accelerator is articulated in 12 weeks. We expect you to commit full-time (ca. 35 hours/week).

During the first three weeks, you will form a team, develop a business concept, and gain knowledge on how to operate your startup. The initial phase will consist of several all-hands sessions. Following the initial three weeks, your daily routine will involve working with your team members in an asynchronous manner, interacting with customers, and participating in occasional mentor sessions and all-hands meetings. Mentors will provide keynote talks and share their expertise.

Weeks 1-3

Networking sessions, team building, business ideation, startup school, office hours.

Weeks 4-11

Build MVP, networking sessions, weekly checkpoints, mentorships, mentors' keynote talks, office hours, pitch rehearsals.

Week 12

Mentorships, office hours, demo day.


How to apply

We no longer accept applications for 2023. Applications were open February 15th - March 15th March 18th 2023 (until midnight Central European Time).

Applications for the next cohort of the accelerator will open in March 2024.

Portfolio companies

These are the startup companies founded during the inaugural edition of the accelerator (2023).

AI Sound Engineer

AI Sound Engineer optimizes business performance by creating copyright-free AI-generated soundtracks to shape customer behavior.


DataMxr provides on-demand licensed audio datasets to AI companies, ensuring copyright compliance and custom processing.


Echolair transforms music samples into countless unique variations, empowering music creators to break the constraints of their sound libraries and discover endless inspiration.

Evolving Voices

Evolving Voices is an AI hardware company creating intelligent audio synthesis for musicians.


Hotshot is a solution for content creators seeking to reach new audiences through content repurposing.


MusicMind is a fully customizable music tagging platform. We empower catalog owners to search their music faster by adapting to their own way of describing it.


Nootone is a smart music sketchbook app that connects people to their creativity. Record and develop musical ideas easily, anywhere, in seconds.


SonicSentry is an audio AI predictive maintenance platform for manufacturers.


SoundsWise is an AI-powered speech therapy coach that enhances communication skills through personalized exercises, gamification and progress tracking, resulting in improved therapy outcomes.


Starchild is a new dynamic medium for music listening. With one simple control, we enable real-time personalized engagement with your favorite albums.

Management team

The Sound of AI Accelerator is organised as part of The Sound of AI Ecosystem. The Sound of AI is the largest online hub for people active at the crossroads of AI, music, and audio. The Sound of AI is made up of many tracks: YouTube channel, community, academy, hackathons, open research projects, consulting, and recruitment agency.

Valerio Velardo

Valerio is the founder of The Sound of AI Ecosystem. He works as an AI (music) consultant, and recruits audio AI talent for tech companies through The Sound of AI Recruitment. He co-founded and led an AI music company (Melodrive), that developped a generative system for video game music. Valerio leads the MLOps team at Utopia Music. He holds a PhD in music AI.

Fernando Garcia
Assistant Director

Data engineer, audio developer, guitar player, and audio-AI enthusiast, Fernando has worked with The Sound of AI Ecosystem, contributing to projects such as Open Source Research, and the 1st The Sound of AI Hackathon as a project manager and developer. He also enjoys working on creative projects including music production and photography.

Simona Spinelli
Marketing & Communication Manager

Simona is a marketing manager with experience in communication, interdisciplinary research, and storytelling for digital and interactive media. She aims to make AI technology capabilities understandable to a diverse audience. Simona worked as a content strategist for promoting the 1st The Sound of AI Hackathon, and is responsible for the marketing strategy and social media communication of The Sound of AI ecosystem. She holds a PhD in Communication & New Media Studies.


The programme is intensive. We expect participants to commit full-time (ca. 35 hours/week).

We have had the luck to work in the music AI field for a long time, as founders, engineers, researchers, and consultants. We want to give back to the community.

Of course you can! We strive to create interdisciplinary teams. Non-technical skills (e.g., business, design, marketing, product) are as important as technical skills. We look forward to receiving applications from engineers, product managers, musicians, business people, and more.

Absolutely yes! As long as you can carve out enough time to invest in the accelerator (ca. 35 hours/week), you are welcome to apply. This programme will provide you with invaluable skills to move from academia to the startup world.

It's probably easier to attend the programme for people with a part-time job than for those who work full time. However, as long as you can carve out enough time to invest in the accelerator (ca. 35 hours/week), you are welcome to apply.

No, we accept only applications from individuals.

No, for now we don't invest money in companies. Our goal is to provide you with the necessary knowledge, guidance, and connections to succeed with your startup.

We're interested in everything at the intersection of music, audio, DSP, and AI. A few (non exhaustive) example themes: generative music systems, AI-based music plugins, intelligent music search and analysis, music recommendation, speech processing, voice cloning, environmental sound classification, ... you get the gist.

For the first iteration of the accelerator, we intend to form 10 startup companies. Each founders team will comprise three people. Therefore, we'll accept 30 people.

We'll consider the experience and interest of candidates in audio AI (both technical and non-technical aspects). Have you already worked in the field? Do you have a relevant degree? The motivational letter will have great weight in the selection process.

No, we aren't fans of certificates.


If you have any questions, would like to become a mentor, or enquire for a partnerhip, please send an email to