AI for Good

Innovation Factory

Start-ups, Scale-ups, Ideas

At the AI for Good Global Summit 2020, we understand the importance of innovation and social entrepreneurship success in achieving the SDGs throughout the world. That’s why we’re working to explore and help the innovators with scalable AI ideas, start-ups, or scale-ups towards achieving the SDGs to be recognized and have a global impact – by providing them the opportunity to pitch their projects at our unique international and inclusive platform of AI innovators, sustainable development experts, UN partners, and public and private sector leaders.

The AI for Good Innovation Factory is a pitching platform for AI startups, sounding boards for AI ideas that help advance the SDGs, and an event platform for AI for good crowdsourcing webinars and hackathons. The purpose is to identify the most innovative and practical AI applications that accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and scale those application for a global impact.

Innovation Factory Playlist

Watch the Innovation Factory Playlist, available now only on AI for Good YouTube. With 36 episodes featuring promising AI startups working towards the Sustainable Development Goals and full livestreams, discover for yourself the next big solutions that could improve our quality of life and the world we live in.

The Innovation Factory as a pitching platform for startups:

This process will evaluate promising AI focused startups, and the best solutions will be presented as outcomes of the 2020 AI for Good Innovation Factory on the Startups Grand Finale on the 19th of November. There are four steps to overcome, increasing successively in difficulty, to reach the annual Grand Pitching Finale:

Step #1: Fill out an application form here – the best teams will advance to Step #2

Step #2: Submit a 3 min video – jury will evaluate the best teams to advance to Step #3

Step #3: Give a 4 min presentation live in the AI for Good Innovation Factory to a worldwide audience – judges will ask questions and evaluate the best teams to advance to
Step #4

Step #4: The best teams of step #3 will be pitching live in the Grand Pitching Finale taking place on the 19th of November 2020.

2021 Start-ups













2020 Start-ups








EQ4ALL Co., Ltd.


Welthungerhilfe / Project Child Growth Monitor


Justice Chatbot Limited










Mendel Health

thumbnail_AVA Logo



intello labs


BioTrillion, Inc.




Hawa Dawa




Warden Machinery


Gotodigital The Learning Company


Aalia Tech


Village Data Analytics (VIDA) TFE Energy


































Hawa Dawa




Welthungerhilfe / Project Child Growth Monitor

Crowdsourcing is often associated with the darker side of AI: clickworkers in sweatshops filtering out illegal content from social media sites, to help train bots that will ultimately make the clickworkers redundant. In this session, we look at some of the more positive synergies between AI and crowdsourcing, through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meet the Jury

Senior Technical Officer
United Nations Office for Project Services

A major focus of Zhi Zhen Qin’s job is in the interface between digital health innovations (deep learning neural network, molecular diagnostics, drones, etc) and public health, particularly in the context of human tuberculosis. Therefore, while she manages the innovation funds (TB REACH initiative) at Stop TB Partnership/UNOPS through regular grant management, Zhi Zhen also evaluates innovative digital health solutions with early adopters to provide evidence and experience to policy makers, medical community and patients. Zhi Zhen Qin is trained in epidemiology and biostatistics (MSc McGill University 2015) and fluent in R & Python.

Speaker, Advisor, Digital Platforms & Ecosystems Expert
World Economic Forum

Vera Futorjanski is a highly experienced innovation expert who advises both corporates and governments and helps them build thriving ecosystems. She is part of the Expert Group on Digital Platforms and Ecosystems for the World Economic Forum. She is also a Board Member and a Senior Advisor for LEAD Ventures, the office of His Excellence Sheikh Sultan Bin Abdullah Al Qasimi, where she oversees all Venture Capital and investment related activities of the Group. Most recently, she was Director of Innovation for the global Venture Capital firm 500 Startups in charge of corporate innovation and ecosystem building in the Middle East and Russia.

Co-founder & Board Chair

Alex Tsado is passionate about technology, business, and expanding access to the next billion.
Beyond leading go-to-market for Nvidia’s fastest-growing business channel, cloud AI computing, he founded Alliance for Africa’s Intelligence to ensure African innovations get the chance to change millions of lives, and the continent is never again left behind during industrial revolutions.
He spends his time wearing multiple hats to drive change in organizations as small as groups in the grassroots, to engaging with country leaders to drive national and continental transformation.
He has spoken at the UN, top business school programs, multiple podcasts and National AI workshops to inform and evangelize about a future that can ensue when disruptive technologies are used to expand access to improved living in frontier markets.
Find more at

Startup Program Manager

Melissa Sassi is the Chief Penguin of IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator. Yes, she created her own penguin title! Melissa works with early stage entrepreneurs on digital and business transformation. Have you heard of Call for Code? It’s an IBM initiative aimed at preparing for and responding to climate change via tech innovation. Melissa is a Judge! Prior IBM, Melissa spent several years at Microsoft where she built internet and energy access networks and introducing digital skills to the newly connected.
Melissa is also the Founder & CEO of MentorNations, a youth-led digital skills movement in Africa that has taught tens of thousands of youth to code across twelve countries. Melissa is Chair of IEEE’s Digital Intelligence Working Group and is on the Steering Committee of the Coalition for Digital Intelligence with the World Economic Forum, OECD, IEEE, and the DQ Institute. She is also a Founding Member of and holds Board positions with TAKMIL, a nonprofit with 30 informal schools across rural Pakistan, and TechWomen.Asia, a Kabul, Afghanistan-based nonprofit focused on tech skill-building for Afghani women and girls.
Melissa holds two master’s degrees and is working toward her PhD. Her research focuses on the digital inclusion of under-represented communities. Melissa serves on a Round Table within the UN and has been a speaker in more than 100 in topics involving digital inclusion, community building, youth empowerment, imposter syndrome, and personal branding.

ACM Board member, past-chair; Board PDC Chair
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Stephen K. Ibaraki has been a teacher, an industry analyst, writer and consultant in the IT industry, and the former president of the Canadian Information Processing Society.

Currently, Ibaraki is a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, futurist and speaker. He is also a founding member of the UN ITU AI for Good Global Summit, founding chair of the Financial Services Roundtable Tech Advisory Council, and founding chair of the International Federation for Information Processing Global Industry Council. Ibaraki serves as an Advisor for the Business Development Committee of the IEEE Computer Society. He is the co-founder for the Technology Advisory Board at Yintech Investment Holdings Limited.

Digital Health Entrepreneur, Speaker, Expert
IBM Cloud Hyper Protect Accelerator

Sasha Cahill is a serial technology entrepreneur, speaker, and startup mentor. Professionally, Sasha is focused on bringing AI-enabled technology to the Healthcare market. She has built and brought to market solutions for provider, payer, pharma, medical device, self-insured and patients. Sasha’s latest remote patient management startup PX Pulse is focused on improving access to care, patient engagement, and reducing care costs overall. Passionate about diversity, inclusion, and patient rights she spends a lot of time volunteering at a number of organizations with global imprint. Born and raised in Russia, Sasha currently splits her time between the US and Switzerland.

World Wide Business Development Leader
IBM Watson

Neil Sahota (萨冠军) is an IBM Master Inventor, United Nations (UN) Artificial Intelligence (AI) subject matter expert, and Professor at UC Irvine.

With 20+ years of business experience, Neil works to inspire clients and business partners to foster innovation and develop next generation products/solutions powered by AI. Neil’s work experience spans multiple industries including legal services, healthcare, life sciences, retail, travel and transportation, energy and utilities, automotive, telecommunications, media/communication, and government. Moreover, he is one of the few people selected for IBM’s Corporate Service Corps leadership program that pairs leaders with NGOs to perform community-driven economic development projects.

In addition, Neil partners with entrepreneurs to define their products, establish their target markets, and structure their companies. He is a member of several investor groups like the Tech Coast Angels and assists startups with investor funding. Neil also serves as a judge in various startup competitions and mentor in several incubator/accelerator programs.

Related sessions:
Partner, Networks Development
Bamboo Capital Partners

Partner, Networks Development
An early enthusiast of Blockchain technologies and Crypto asset management, Enrique Alvarado Hablutzel is a Partner, Networks Development at Bamboo Capital Partners.

Passionate about impact entrepreneurship and innovation, Enrique worked as Strategy and Business Development Manager at Impact Hub Geneva and Lausanne. His main focus was the financial development of Accelerate2030 – a multi-stakeholder program co-initiated by Impact Hub Geneva and UNDP in 2016 which aims at identifying ventures with tested and scale-ready solutions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today, Accelerate2030 is implemented in 20+ developing and emerging economies, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It involves over 1 million people and more than 500 entrepreneurs worldwide.

His strong interest in entrepreneurship also led him to work at SeedStars – a Swiss-based group with the mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.

Prior to that, he was part of Virgin Group’s strategic management and corporate development team, working on business analysis, M&A, and financial modeling in different industries across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Enrique holds a Master’s Degree in Management and Corporate strategy (HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne) with a specialization in Innovation and Technology (EPFL, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business, Trade, and Commerce (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico).

He is fluent in Spanish, English, and French.

Founder & CEO
Merantix Labs

Nicole Büttner is the CEO of MerantixLABS, a leading AI solutions provider, and sits on the board at She has been building technology driven solutions for clients for over 6 years.

She looks back on 12+years of business experience and 6+years implementing machine learning solutions for Fortune 500 companies and governments globally.

She sits on the board of Digital Leaders for Europe of the World Economic Forum, serves on the board of alumni of the University of St.Gallen and selected as Young Leader by the Aspen Institute. Nicole is a volunteer mentor at Startup Teens to encourage young adults to found their own companies.

Nicole trained as an economist and econometrician at the University of St.Gallen, Stockholm School of Economics and Stanford University and holds a MA in quantitative economics and finance. Previously, she worked as an alternative investments portfolio manager at OFI AM in Paris.

Head of Mobile for Development (M4D)

Max Cuvellier is the Head of Mobile for Development (M4D) at GSMA. M4D is singularly positioned at the intersection of the mobile ecosystem and the development sector to drive innovation in digital technology to reduce inequalities in our world, enabled by partnerships with forward-thinking donors and a team of 130 passionate professionals. Max joined GSMA in 2012 and held positions within various programmes. He initially helped mobile operators and partners design solutions to ensure women in emerging markets do not get left out of the digital economy as part of the Connected Women programme. He later headed the Ecosystem Accelerator and M4D Utilities programmes which have allocated a combined $22 million in grant funding to 85 ventures in 40+ countries across Africa and Asia; these ventures had since collectively raised $450+ million in additional funding and impacted more than 10 million citizens as of January 2020. Prior to joining GSMA, Max worked in the Middle East and Africa innovation unit of mobile operator Orange for 3 years, based in Jordan and in France, and as a telecom strategy consultant with Altai Consulting, where he focused on projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Max holds a Masters in Management from HEC Paris, and a Masters in International Management from ESADE Barcelona, and is one of the Young Leaders of the French-African Foundation, placed under the high patronage of the French and Ghanaian Presidents. Max is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, and their combined impact on our Planet, our societies and our economies.

Head of Ecosystem Development
Hatch CoLab

Lorenzo gets his hands dirty with impact tech ventures and impactful projects 🌳 that can solve the Humanity’s Grand Challenges as well as drive social change, working closely with different stakeholders to foster equality and better humanity 🤝
He supported 200+ entrepreneurs and brings a financial/analytical background & experience in operations and community management in both the startups’ ecosystem and international cooperation 🌏 Member of the Global Shapers Community, Former Startup Grind Milan Co-Director & ex Aiesecer too.
Passionate about impact tech and frugal innovation, coffee lover ☕, former rugby player 🏉 & true love for snowboarding in the Alps 🏔

Women in AI

Born in Iran and based in Paris, Moojan is a serial entrepreneur and an advocate for women’s rights. She is the co-founder of Women in AI, which is a global nonprofit organisation on the mission to close the gender gap in AI by educating the youth and fostering female role models.

She has run several businesses and nonprofit initiatives across the globe. She has worked in various industries from Corporate Banking, to IoT and AI in five continents.

She is an advisor to the GreenTech Alliance and a contributor to Grit Daily news. She has also advised ARCEP, UNESCO and European Parliament on the future of Technologies, Gender Diversity and Inclusion in AI.

She was ranked as the Top 50 Europe’s most Influential Women in startups & VCs in 2020 by EU Startups, Top 10 Pioneering Women in AI and Machine Learning in 2019 by Enterprise Management 360, 4 inspiring women who count in AI by ADN,19 Inspiring Women in AI, Big Data, Data Science, Machine Learning by Kdnuggets.

She is a marathon runner, a certified scuba diver and passionate about space and new frontiers.

Senior Managing Partner at The IPRESTIGE Emerge Fund LLC and CEO, Fallingst Technologies LLC

A thought leader in AI, authentication and security technologies, Joseph K. Hopkins leads an innovative emerging technologies firm that serves as a proprietary first-mover advantage IP incubation model that concentrates on growth opportunities in digital identity protection, security and advance encryption technologies to mitigate the exploitation of data privacy and data rights breaches. Mr. Hopkins authored key patent applications about network security, identity verification, content security, as well as network tracking/use verification.

Additionally Joseph K. Hopkins serves as an AI SME with City.AI where the group identify needs which apply to AI ecosystems globally and set up various initiatives that foster the democratization of the design, development and use of AI. Contributing also to the UCI CDT Digital Innovation Forum which aims to become a vital center of influence, advancing the competitiveness and productivity of businesses in the digital economy and drive innovation.
Prior to his AI and digital identity security work, Mr. Hopkins served in key executive management roles for Fortune 500 companies, including Kaiser Permanente, 3M, GSK, Allergan, and KPMG. His experience represents over 20 plus years of entrepreneurship, technology, global operations management and business development responsibilities largely within the Healthcare and Life Sciences industry.

Co-founder and CEO
The Nest
Gary Stewart is the CEO and co-founder of “The Nest”, a mobile app that could be called “Masterclass for founders” and has raised more than $1m from a high net worth prior to launching. From 2014-2019, Gary was the Director of Wayra UK, a corporate accelerator backed by Telefonica (O2), where he invested in 185 start-ups that raised $265m and were valued at more than $1bn. From 2010-2014, Gary was an associate professor at entrepreneurship at IE Business School in Madrid in addition to being the CEO of Wayra Spain. He launched his first start-up in 2005, which was a property search engine that raised $4m before eventually being acquired by a publicly listed company. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Gary worked as a lawyer in NY, London, Madrid and Barcelona. He graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale College and was the executive editor of The Yale Law Journal at Yale Law School. He is a Governor of the University of East London and has been twice on the Power List of the most influential black people in the UK.
Tech Entrepreneur & Startup Advisor and Mentor

Arun Shroff is an entrepreneur, startup advisor and mentor who has founded and grown multiple technology ventures in USA and India. Arun is founder of XTend.AI, a startup using AI to solve global challenges in various domains including health, education, energy and business. These include using AI for detecting diabetic retinopathy, chest X-ray analysis, and health risk prediction. Arun is also a topic driver at ITU/WHO’s Focus Group on AI for health. In addition, Arun is co-founder and CTO at, a leading website, with the mission to provide personalized information and tools to everyone for better health. Arun is also Director and advisor with several companies including STAR Associates, Startup Tribes, FrontPoint Systems and has been a speaker at the AI for Good Summit, ITU/WHO meetings, Rutgers University, NJIT, and TiE NJ.
In addition, Arun advises and volunteers with several non-profits, including MOHAN USA and MOHAN Foundation, promoting ethical organ donation, and IIMPACT, an NGO providing free primary education to girls in India’s villages.
Arun has a B.Tech from IIT Madras, an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad, a M.S. in Computer Science from Pennsylviania State University, and certifications in Machine Learning, Deep Learning and AI for Medicine.

CEO and Co-Founder of BigchainDB GmbH; Co-Founder and Board Member
Ocean Protocol

Bruce Pon is the Founder of BigchainDB and Ocean Protocol, blockchain startups focused on bringing data and AI together since 2013. Previously, Bruce co-founded Avantalion, a consulting firm that helped to build 20 banks around the globe for companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi & Jaguar LandRover. He has an Advanced Executive Certificate from MITSloan, a B.Sc in Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan and has given guest lectures at Oxford, MIT Media Lab, Columbia
University and the European School of Management & Technology. In addition to being in the 2020 full-length documentary Cryptopia , Bruce was featured in Oxford University and Saïd Business School’s online Blockchain course as a guest expert

CEO, Gorilla Corporation and Founder of Tortora Brayda™ Partnership Excellence™
Gorilla Corporation

Carlo Tortora Brayda di Belvedere born in Rome, Italy in 1969, is the founder and Executive Chairman of Tortora Brayda™ Partnership Excellence™, a global Think Tank to promote collaboration. Mr. Tortora Brayda is also Chief Executive Officer of Gorilla Corporation which has its roots in several companies he founded in the 90s and re-acquired thereafter.
Gorilla Corporation is a leading provider of vendor partner marketing services and technologies for the IT channel. Gorilla enables next generation partnering and helps technology vendors to measure, grow, enable, and manage their partner channel, responsible for the successful collaboration of hundreds of significant technology companies and household names.
Gorilla’s headquarters are located in San Francisco, USA with local offices in Europe, MEA and APAC regions.
In the ongoing spirit of Public to Private Partnerships, Mr. Tortora Brayda signed Gorilla Corporation to be a Sector D Member of the ITU to be at the forefront of internet policy making and standardization.
The Tortora Brayda™ Partnership Excellence™ Think Tank is an International Organization for Partnership Development. The organization engages business, cultural, government and thought leaders worldwide to reshape and develop collaboration and partnering practices with a view to improving and securing business and economies. It is established as a not-for-profit entity and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

In 2012, Mr. Tortora Brayda was invited by the World Economic Forum to be an expert contributor to a panel in support of the G20, to explore Global Risks. Ever since then, his only focus has been on supporting Partnership Excellence in all its forms within all areas of technology growth, including the Think Tank’s core tracks: Cybersecurity, Cloud/Data Center, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
Mr. Tortora Brayda, an information systems engineer with focus on Artificial Intelligence, and with his subsequent companies, has won numerous business awards including the Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year, South East of England, Shell Livewire Greatest Employment Potential, Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award presented by Boris Johnson, Guildford Mayor’s Cup, and was honored to join Queen Elizabeth II Golden Coronation private event at St James’ Palace in London.

AI for Good Innovation Factory Partners