The crowdsolving African startup Zindi which uses AI and machine learning to solve pressing African problems has gotten 10,000 African data scientists signed up on its website. Zindi performs crowdsolving by providing the platform and tools for competition hosting.
Zindi was founded in early 2018 by Celina Lee (USA), Megan Yates (South Africa), and Ekow Ducker (Ghana), with locations in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Accra.
The startup stands tall as the first data science competition platform in Africa. Its major aim is to help in solving African pressing problems by hosting an entire data science ecosystem of scientists, engineers, academics, companies, NGOs, governments and institutions.
What happens is that governments, NGOs, institutions, etc, host competitions on the Zindi platform, then data scientists participate for a resultant winner(s). The results from the competition will then be used by the competition host to solve pressing problems.
The startup generates revenue by charging those that host competitions on the website, though, it is free for data scientists to sign up on the site.
One of the competitions hosted on the site is the one called The Wazihub Soil Moisture Prediction Challenge. The objective of the competition was “To create a machine learning model to predict the humidity for a particular plot in the next few days, using data from the past. The resulting model it is believed will enable farms to anticipate water needs and prepare their irrigation schedules.
Zindi is slated to launch a university wide hack competition called UmojoHack Africa by March in 10 countries amidst the news that the startup is preparing for its Series A fundraising.
“We’re also working on a section on our site that is specifically designed to run hackathons…something that organizations and universities could use to upskill their students or teams specifically,” Lee said.
The startup believes that its affordable competition and tools should be the best for Africa for consultancy and problem solving instead of the expensive and ineffective committees always set up for consultancy on African pressing problems.