Pakistani Female-led AI startup gets selected for Startup Chile

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June 3, 2019
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Startup Chile’s “The S Factory” (TSF9) pre-acceleration program is specifically designed for startups led by female founders. For the 9th Generation of TSF, a total of 23 projects have been selected from 153 applications received from around the world. These projects represent 13 different countries with the Pakistani startup Civixa being the only project selected from South Asia. Each of the selected startups will be granted an equity free fund of CLP 10 million, a work visa for one year, full access to national and international networks, and a 4-month pre-acceleration process to develop their business ideas.

Civixa is a Pakistani AI startup that provides fully managed data annotation service to facilitate AI based organizations. Apart from this, Civixa also provides training for machine learning models, apply them to specific business problems and provide a solution using AI models. Founded by Alveena Sohail, Javeria Jabbar, Talha Yasin, and Hassan Kamal in September 2018, Civixa aims to put humans in the loop of AI and its role in machine learning while maintaining quality using various AI and machine learning tools.

AI is the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity, and industries around the world are adopting an AI approach for product development and services. However, gathering, curating, structuring, and labeling data remains the biggest challenge as it requires either the development of neural networks or training algorithms. It is this very problem that Civixa is addressing, by providing a service that completely takes over the hassle of data management and all other problems associated with it, enabling organizations to focus entirely on algorithms, models, and business problems.

The founders at Civixa have also made the inclusion of women part of their mandate and have designed their business model around employing women from less-privileged communities for data-related tasks that can easily be done using home computers. They aim to empower women who are unable to leave home due to social or cultural limitations by giving them an opportunity to become financially independent.

“We want to accelerate the AI transformation by facilitating the process of adopting AI and machine learning for organizations, but we also want to make our startup inclusive for women belonging to less-privileged communities who would otherwise get left behind in the AI revolution,” commented Alveena Sohai, Co-Founder and CEO Civixa.

At the end of the pre-acceleration program, the selected startups will have an opportunity to apply for extensions of CLP 5 million to continue working in Chile and CLP 3 million for triple impact results.

“We are very excited to be a part of Startup Chile. It’s a big achievement for us to be selected for such an amazing program within a year of founding our startup. We are very proud to be representing Pakistan at Startup Chile and have many mentors and supporters to thank, including The Nest I/O,” commented Talha Yasin, Co-Founder, and Director Strategy and Outreach Civixa.

The Nest I/O is a technology incubator set up in Karachi in January 2015. Both Alveena Sohail and Talha Yasin are alumni of The Nest I/O’s incubation program and this is their fourth startup. The other startups are also in operation.

 
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