© 2020, The Author(s). The team formation problem has existed for many years in various guises. One important challenge in the team formation problem is to produce small teams that have a required set of skills. We propose a framework that incorporates machine learning to augment a collaboration graph with latent links between collaborators. This is combined with the solution of Steiner tree problems to form small teams that cover a specified set of tasks. Our framework not only considers the size of the team but also the likelihood that team members are going to collaborate with each other. We demonstrate our results using data from the US Patent office covering two different companies’ inventor networks. The results show that this technique can reduce the size of suggested teams.