Emerging Trends
June 9, 2020

How to pitch your AI Startup: ITU’s AI for Good Innovation pitching session continues

By ITU News

ITU’s AI for Good Summit is looking for the most promising artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

Five emerging entrepreneurs presented their innovative AI ideas during the second AI for Good Innovation Factory Live Pitching Session last week.

Each one had just four minutes to showcase their innovative AI startups whose solutions can accelerate progress to meet one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to a panel of expert mentors.

What do investors look for?

To kick off the pitching session, mentors shared what makes an AI for Good solution successful and they look for before they invest.

“There was a time when you had to choose between doing well and doing good. And what I mean by that is now we can create solutions that make the world a better place, and still turn a profit,” said Melissa Sassi, Startup Program Manager at IBM, who is actively recruiting 30 startups in the fintech, healthtech and insurtech space for IBM’s accelerator programme.

She asks four key questions to startups before investing: What is the problem that you’re solving? Is there market opportunity? Do you have the right team? Most importantly, is your business model sustainable and strategic?

For Nicole Büttner, Founder and CEO of Merantix Labs, the key to building a sustainable and scalable AI venture starts with its structure, such as hiring diverse teams to help address implicit AI bias. “Make sure that you build an operating model, a business model that aligns well with others, and enables you to really build scalable data sets across multiple players in an ethical way,” she advised.

With that in mind, panellists agreed that the key to a successful AI for Good solution is to start with the people – not the technology.

“What I like about the pitches that we’re going to be hearing today is that the entrepreneurs are not using AI for the sake of using AI, but have identified a pain point for citizens or an inefficiency in the value chain, and they’re using technology to tackle it. In my opinion, that’s how the best solutions are born,” said Max Cuvellier, Head of Mobile for Development at GSMA

The panellists also touched on the impact of COVID-19 on reshaping and accelerating the need for AI investment.

“This crisis is opening up the door to really go faster on the digitalization of many different things… and artificial intelligence will be a key point of how we are going to define the next road for investments,” said Enrique Alvarado Hablutzel, Partner, Networks Development at Bamboo Capital Partners.

To that end, impact tech startups that use frontier technologies such as AI, blockchain, virtual reality and the Internet of Things, “will be considered, in the future, essential to foster better quality humanity and drive sustainable change,” said Lorenzo Niola, Head of Ecosystem Development at Hatch CoLab.

Let’s meet the teams

Lucinity provides human AI SaaS solutions to help financial investigators and regulators combat money laundering and fraud using a variety of behavioral, explainable and human AI as well as deep learning algorithms. To ensure data protection, Lunicity has a patent pending for a solution to enable pseudo anonymization of client data.

“We want to see elimination of exploitation of women, the reduction in illicit financial flows, corruption and bribery, and the ending of the scourge of human trafficking. At lucidity, we’re about using human AI to make money good,” said Dr Justin Bercich, Head of Data Science, Lucinity.

Pink Lion creates custom bundles of AI solutions to solve tech challenges for organizations, using humanized AI software to help app developers build, develop and deploy their technologies.

“What we are looking to do at Pink Lion is create the App Store for AI, a trusted market space with social impact at its core,” said Jennifer Bonine, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Pink Lion.

JusticeBot provides instant and remote legal information through an AI-powered chatbot available on Facebook Messenger and through their website, helping people to access legal service providers and expertise across Uganda. Using supervised and reinforced learning to train the system has allowed the company to expand to other countries in the region, with testing already underway in Congo.

“Our vision is to provide access to justice to six million people and provide job opportunities to 6000 lawyers across Africa by 2025,” said Magezi Sagesse Asiwme, Co-founder & CEO, Justice Chatbot.

AgShift provides AI-driven quality assessment across the food supply chain. AgShift’s Hydra device – a food quality analyzer- uses a patented cloud-enabled deep learning platform Hydra AI. The solution has been trained on millions of images and data points to give faster, objective and consistent quality assessment.

AgShift’s solution will help reduce bias and help producers find “tier two and tier three markets as opposed to incurring the loss of that entire shipment being rejected at the last mile,” said Miku Jha, Founder & CEO, Agshift.

Chatt & Praxis Concierge has developed Home Nurse, a telemedicine system that monitors patients with an AI-powered human-like phone call, providing remote patient monitoring and diagnosis for chronic disease. Medical personnel can check incoming results via an online dashboard and can take any necessary action.

“The low technical barrier can help increase outreach of primary care in areas with low access, for example no internet remote regions, while the efficiency gain can lead to more resilient healthcare systems,” said Simon Kuttruf, Product Lead, Chatt & Praxis Concierge

The best AI for Good solutions will be presented as outcomes of the 2020 AI for Good Summit towards the end of the year.

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How to pitch your AI Startup: ITU’s AI for Good Innovation pitching session continues

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