Zindi is using inter-university competitions to expose students in Africa to practical data science experiences, solving real-life challenges in the process
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Spotted: South African crowd-solving startup Zindi is using AI to solve real-world problems for companies and individuals. Presented with data-centred challenges by companies, NGOs, and government institutions, the company invites its community of data scientists to take part in a number of solution-finding competitions. Each winning solution bags its creator a cash prize. This novel business model is intended to provide an innovative alternative to traditional consulting firms in Africa.
The competitions create a win-win scenario. The participants learn skills and have the chance to win prizes, while the hosts are presented with a variety of solutions and get to choose and use the one that best fits their needs. Example solutions include an air quality monitoring project, which sought solutions for forecasting air pollution across Uganda.
The platform currently comprises a total of 33,000 data scientists from 45 countries across Africa, which will increase when the company hosts its third inter-university UmojaHack Africa challenge in March next year. Microsoft, IBM, Liquid Telecom, UNICEF, and the government of South Africa, are some of the organisations that have collaborated with Zindi
Zindi also has a jobs portal, and the startup is planning to introduce training material for budding data scientists.
Written By: Katrina Lane