AI for Good Innovation Factory 2021 is an UN-led pitching platform to help start-ups grow and scale their innovative AI Powered and SDG-driven solutions, by connecting them to potential business partners, investors, governments, big IT companies and more.
For those who are seeking ground-breaking solutions from start-ups, it is an excellent platform to explore opportunities to meet promising start-ups, ventures and collaborators.
Innovation Factory Playlist
Watch the Innovation Factory Playlist, available now only on AI for Good YouTube. With 35+ 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.
How to apply
The Innovation Factory will evaluate promising AI focused startups, and the best solutions will be presented as outcomes of the 2021 AI for Good Innovation Factory Grand Finale in December 2021. There are three steps to overcome, increasing in difficulty, to reach the annual Grand Pitching Finale.
Fill out the application form – the best teams will advance to Step #2. Optional: Submit a 3-4 min pitch video or any additional material that you feel will enhance your chances of moving on to Step 2
Give a 4 min presentation live at the AI for Good Innovation Factory to a worldwide audience – judges will ask questions and evaluate the best teams to advance to Step #3
The best teams of step #2 will be pitching live in the Grand Pitching Finale taking place in December 2021
Hear from the top four startups that presented in the AI for Good Innovation Factory’s Grand Finale, as they describe their AI solutions and their experiences in the Innovation Factory. These four AI ventures have great scalability potential for global impact and are tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges with their innovative AI solutions to achieve the SDGs in the fields of waste management, air quality, children malnutrition, and agriculture. Over 200 applications were submitted to the Innovation Factory in 2020 and 36 startups presented throughout 7 pitching sessions.
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.
Facts and Figures
applied to be a part of
the Innovation Factory
were addressed at the Innovation Factory
at the Innovation Factory so far
for AI-powered solutions
Greyparrot has raised £1.8m seed funding from Speedinvest to tackle the growing waste crisis.
Intello Labs, an ag-tech startup, has raised $5.9 million in Series A funding for its AI powered fruit and vegetable quality certification technology.
During COVID-19, Citibeats has collaborated with the Inter-American Development Bank and the UNDP to detect the needs of the population, mainly in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Lucinity, an AML software developer, has raised $6.1 million in funding from byFounders and Karma Ventures.
Sentinel, a startup which develops a state-of-the-art AI detection platform for identifying synthesized media, has raised a total of $1.4M in funding.
“AI for Good Innovation Factory definitely helps with talent attraction. One of the big problems in AI is being able to attract this very unique and rare talent to these types of problems instead of going to very large companies.”
Innovation Factory Winner 2020
“It’s a really great experience to meet other companies providing solutions related to the AI in different scopes and fields”
Natàlia Grau Batlle
Marketing Manager, Citibeats
The Innovation Factory is proud to have top class investors, accelerators, SDG experts who will offer the startups consultation, professional advice, and access to funds, business partners and projects.
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.
John is a Tech Entrepreneur with over 20 years’ experience working in new market acquisitions across various technology verticals in Europe, America, Asia and Africa.
John is one of Africa’s leading experts on how businesses can leverage key technology trends, transform organizations and drive competitive advantage for impact in industries including finance, agriculture, health, education, gaming and startup enterprises.
He is a Pan African renowned business leader, entrepreneur, investor, consultant, mentor and public speaker holding multiple roles including Founder Adalabs Kenya – AI and smart tech lab accelerating and training entrepreneurs and developers in east Africa and Founder Afyarekod – AI led consumer driven medical record storage platform for consumers.
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 broadbandpolicy.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🏔
Melissa Tickle is an Investment Manager at FINCA Ventures with 7 years of experience in Impact Investing, SME Finance, and ESG management. FINCA Ventures is an early stage impact investor that supports social enterprises across sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to FINCA, she managed the Impact and ESG program for TriLinc Global, a fund sponsor that lends to SMEs globally. Melissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations.
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.
Dr Nick Bradshaw has 25 years experience in the tech sector taking complex technology propositions to market and helping customers deploy and mature Enterprise collaboration software & cloud platforms. Nick has worked in Europe, North America & Africa with a diverse set of Multi $bn global clients. Nick has consulted with multiple tech start-ups building Sales & Marketing Ops in the UK, Europe and Africa. In 2017 Nick launched the AI Media Group based in cape Town, SA, a new hybrid media, consulting & events company offering clients insights into the growing 4IR opportunity in Africa. AI Media are creators of Africa’s largest B2B AI innovation & trade focused community (AI Expo Africa), Africa’s first AI & Data Science Magazine (Synapse) and Africa’s first dedicated AI focused streaming channel (AI TV).
Gary is the founder and CEO of Founder Tribes in London, England, an innovative learning platform that provides entrepreneurs with access to qualified feedback, networks and investors. Gary is the former CEO of Wayra UK, where he built a portfolio of 185 start-ups worth $1.1bn and scaled Wayra UK to 7 cities. He’s also a former entrepreneurship professor at IE Business School and a Governor of the University of East London. Serial entrepreneur with a successful exit. Yale College and Yale Law School graduate, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Filipe is Managing Partner of COREangels Impact in Lisbon, Portugal, a pre-seed impact investment fund focussed on european social & environmental impact first startups. Previously Filipe worked with European Innovation Council (EIC) as Senior Investor Relations connecting the top 5% scaleups (from a €2B portfolio) with global top investors & was the South European Reg Director for Seedrs, the leader european equity-crowdfunding platform (+800 startups funded with +€750M). He graduated from University of Porto (MBA & MSc in Medical Informatics) and is an avid sci-fi fan, investor in alternative assets and a professional dreamer & optimistic.
Son Young Hong has impact investing experience in various asset classes and regions. Currently, she is an investment manager at Yellowdog, one of the leading impact investing VC firms in Korea. She invested in the European private markets at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and in the public market in the US at Eventide Asset Management, a Boston-based impact fund. Moreover, she has experience in working at startups in the US, focused on social problems and sustainability.
She holds an MBA from MIT Sloan, a Master’s degree in finance from Imperial College, and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge.
Yana is a Managing Partner at Pretiosum Ventures, a UK based venture capital firm with a focus on seed and Series A companies in AI, Fintech, and the Future of Work/Life sectors. Prior to Pretiosum Ventures, she spent several years working in a $1,5bn investment fund as well as advising startups that want to expand in the UK. Yana holds an MSc in Management from Cambridge University. She is also an ambassador for Tech Nation UK and an exceptional Tech Talent Visa holder. She speaks fluent French, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin which is quite helpful to build a wide network around the world.
Kayode Oyewole is a Partner at Ventures Platform where he spends most of his time making bold bets in early-stage companies building products that literarily push Africa forward and supporting portfolio companies as they find product-market fit and scale. He has led investments in >30 startups. He was an early employee at Metro Africa Xpress (MAX) Techstars NY(15) a mobility company, which pioneered motorcycle hailing and Electric mobility in Nigeria. He led and managed Labs by ARM, a fintech accelerator backed by Nigeria’s biggest asset managers ARM, and serves as a Mentor on several startup programs.