Eighteen finalists had the opportunity to pitch for the prize during the Thirteenth GFMD virtual Summit last week. The award was given to the tech start-up DignifAI.
The Migration Challenge Start-up Competition aimed at rewarding the most promising human resources, fintech, civictech and edtech start-ups with solution-oriented products to improve migration systems that respond to labour market needs and inclusive societies. The decision was made by judges Harshvendra Soin from Tech Mahindra, Valentina Primo from Startups Without Borders, Lisa La Bonté from the Arab Youth Venture Foundation, and Konstantin Hapkemeyer from Seedstars.
Roberto Suárez Santos, IOE Secretary General, said: "At IOE, we believe that this competition is in line with the need to promote innovations and solutions for well-managed migration. Start-ups like DignifAI are at the core of change, which is so important these days. They bring their personal experience, network, and skills; they are part of ‘building forward better’ in a post-pandemic world. We wish the winner every success in their endeavours."
Jury member Valentina Primo, CEO of Startups without Borders, said: "It was truly inspiring to hear the innovative pitches at the Migration Challenge. There were AI-powered solutions, Fintech innovations with massive impact, and plenty of solutions focused on employment from different regions around the world. To see the variety of ideas, the maturity of the start-ups, and their innovative approach is truly a testament to the potential of tech innovations to solve what is today one of humanity's most important challenges."
DignifAI is an impact sourcing start-up that offers outsourcing data-annotation services to organisations developing Artificial Intelligence software. The Social backbone of DignifAI is the recruitment, training, and distribution of tasks to the migrant population and their vulnerable host communities in the Colombian-Venezuelan and Brazilian-Venezuelan borders.
Winner Enrique José García, Managing Partner of DignifAI, commented: "This recognition is a great honour for our team, and we appreciate the trust and support that IOE and Seedstars is giving us. More than a celebration, we hope this award can help us spread awareness around the scale of the Venezuelan migration crisis, which remains one of the biggest displacement crises the world has ever known. With AI microwork, we are maximising the potential of migrants who are looking for more than just charity, and instead want opportunities to be productive members of society. DignifAI believes in the long-term multiplier effect their integration represents to the social and economic fabric of their host countries."
Our partner Seedstars also praised the winner: "We are proud to partner up with IOE in supporting promising high-growth companies like DignifAI. It is encouraging to see the strengthening of ties between the public sector and MSMEs through platforms like the GFMD. Turning towards innovation is central to the optimisation of the fields of migration and development. This is spot on what DignifAI embodies, through its microwork platform that offers migrants and host communities AI-annotation work and upskilling opportunities."
DignifAI will have the chance to take part in the Online Seedstars World Competition 2020/21 and will benefit from 3-months acceleration scholarship for the Investment Readiness Program (IRP). First and second runners-up – CasparCoding and Laowai Career – are awarded with 2 months acceleration scholarship for the IRP.
Find all the tweets on our official Twitter accounts in English, French, and Spanish: @ioevoice, @ioevoix, @oievoz. All videos, including the pitching sessions and the announcement of the winner, can be found on this playlist of our YouTube channel.