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Scottish Firm Akari Chosen for Microsoft AI for Good Accelerator

Dominique Adams

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Microsoft AI for Good Incubator

The Glasgow-based tech firm is the only Scottish company to have been selected to join the Microsoft’s AI for Good 2020 cohort. 

Female-led Microsoft Cloud specialist, Akari, has been selected to join a Microsoft programme that aims to develop artificial intelligence (AI) powered solutions to address societal challenges. The company’s inclusion makes it the only Scottish firm to join the cohort.

Akari CEO, Margaret Totten said: “We are massively proud to have been one of the companies selected for this year’s cohort. The programme built by Microsoft and the Social tech trust is a phenomenal boost to any company.

“Microsoft’s focus on accessibility has been a driving force on how we have been shaped as an organisation. I’m also overwhelmingly pleased that a third of this year’s cohort is female founded showing that their has been a huge shift in females getting involved in the world of cutting edge tech.”

This year’s cohort, which consists of 12 start-ups, will be based in London where they will be provided with access to Microsoft technology, resources and expertise that will help them develop and launch their products and solutions. The companies will also be given space to run their operations in the Microsoft for Startups office in Shoreditch.

Run jointly by Microsoft and the Social Tech Trust, the programme is open to entrepreneurs from the UK who are developing a solution that focuses on one of four areas – AI for Earth, AI for Accessibility, AI for Humanitarian Action and AI for Cultural Heritage. The goal of the programme is to help create a more sustainable and accessible world.

Other companies in the cohort include:

  • Baobab – provides legal tools that track cases, manage teams and ensure privacy and security
  • BeneTalk – a digital coach and tracker for fluency therapy
  • Chatterbox – online language learning for professionals and organisations
  • Good Boost – transforms public swimming pools into therapy spaces for the rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions
  • EcoSync – cloud-based platform helping commercial buildings to stop heating empty rooms
  • miiCARE – specialises in the application of AI in the area of geriatrics
  • MyCognition – tracks, treats and prevents poor mental health through a cognitive assessment and training platform
  • OrxaGrid – provides accurate and secure analytics that provide efficiency improvements for energy networks

Amali de Alwis, Managing Director of Startups UK at Microsoft, said: “These 12 companies are some of the brightest and most cutting-edge businesses in Britain, and I am delighted to welcome to them to our cohort. They are all aiming to make the world a better place by using technology to tackle complex problems – from accessibility and heritage to sustainability.

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“Microsoft is keen to help them make an even bigger positive impact on the world around them, and we’re looking forward to supporting them through this exciting stage of their journey.”

Ed Evans, Chief Executive of the Social Tech Trust, said: “The inspiring start-ups in this cohort are all driven by their vision of a better future. We’ve developed the AI for Good Programme in partnership with Microsoft to nurture the transformative innovation that will help them realise their goals.

“Our four-month impact-led curriculum brings together cross-sector experts to provide these promising purpose-led tech ventures with the support they need to shape our future society. We can’t wait to start working with them.”

 

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Dominique Adams

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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