Brazilian Summer School in Machine Learning and AI Startup Battle in the Books!

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The BigML Team has travelled to São Paulo, Brazil, to conduct another edition of our series of Machine Learning schools as part of our ongoing educational activities to help democratize Machine Learning not only across industries and job functions but also across geographies. Despite the fact that this was not our first such experience, we keep being positively surprised about the way these hands on training sessions are received with such enthusiasm. The Brazilian Summer School in Machine Learning was no exception in this regard.

It’s safe to say that the Brazilian techies have replied to our call in a big way. We received more than 450 applications from 9 different countries to join this event. However, due to space and travel/visa issues we had to accept the maximum of 202 attendees representing 6 different states in Brazil (173 from São Paulo, 11 from Minas Gerais, 10 from Rio de Janeiro, 4 from Santa Catarina, 2 from Paraná, and 2 from Rio Grande do Sul). There was a full house at the VIVO Auditorium in São Paulo. Check out all the pictures in Flickr, Google+, and Facebook


The two-day program was packed with topics such as supervised and unsupervised learning techniques, feature engineering, how to get your data ready for Machine Learning, as well as automating Machine Learning workflows.

Artificial Intelligence Startup Battle

Following the footsteps of the inaugural AI Startup Battle that took place in Valencia, Spain, last March 15, 2016, and the second edition in Boston last October 12, 2016, the closure of the BSSML16 was brought with the third edition of the Artificial Intelligence Startup Battle. Brazilian media outlets covered the battle, since it was the first time in history that Brazil held a contest where the jury was a Machine Learning algorithm that predicted the probability of success of an early stage startup. The four competitors (DataholicsPayGo Energy, Prognoos, and Sppin-Kapputo) and Saffe Payments took to the stage, although Saffe Payments did not participate in the competition because they are already part of the Wayra academy.


Contenders of the AI Startup Battle at the BSSML16. From left to right: Guilherme Paiva, Co-Founder and CEO of Sppin-Kapputo; Mark O’Keefe, Co-Founder of PayGo Energy; Daniel Mendes, Founder and CEO of Dataholics; Raul Magno, Co-Founder and CEO of Prognoos; and Renato Valente, Country Manager of Telefónica Open Future_ in Brazil.

The PreSeries Machine Learning algorithm interviewed the contenders until it had enough information to provide a score between 0 and 100. The winning company, with a score of 92.33, was Prognoos, a startup from São Paulo that has built an artificial intelligence platform applying e-commerce user interaction and browsing data to personalize their buying experience through its proprietary algorithm.  This startup is being invited to Telefónica Open Future_’s accelerator to enjoy access to the Wayra Academy (for up to six months) and to Wayra services and network of contacts e.g., training, coaching, a global network of talent, as well as the opportunity to reach many Telefónica enterprises in Brazil and abroad. After six months, the winning company will be evaluated and may apply to run for a full Wayra acceleration process, including up to USD $50,000 convertible note loan (versus a possible 7 to 10% equity).


Prognoos, winner of the AI Startup Battle at the BSSML16, represented by Raul Magno, its Co-Founder and CEO (left). Renato Valente, Country Manager of Telefónica Open Future_ in Brazil (right).

The second place was for PayGo Energy, from Nairobi, Kenya, with a score of 71.90, they seek to democratize LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Propane) for the 2.9 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean cooking fuel. The third position was for Dataholics, from São Paulo, with a score of 39.72, they focus on providing a solution to detect the products and services that fit a given consumer profile based on their social media and demographic information. And finally, the fourth place went to Sppin-Kapputo, from Belo Horizonte in Brazil, with a score of 28.14, this company is an information broker that uses Machine Learning to allow real estate investors and construction companies to make better decisions by relying on analytics tools and prediction models that evaluate the impact of construction on a real estate market.

At the end of the event, BigML’s CEO and President of PreSeries, Francisco J. Martin, highlighted: “We already knew from the growing number of active BigML users in Brazil that the region holds tremendous potential due to an abundance of young and hungry to learn minds as well as world class academics in Machine Learning and AI. This week was further testament that geographic barriers are no longer strong enough to prevent the spread of innovative and ambitious ideas that consider not only their local market but the whole worlds as their target audience for their data driven smart applications.”

The next edition of our Machine Learning schools and AI Startup Battles will take place soon, so stay tuned for new announcements on Twitter (@bigmlcom) and other social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.

Looking forward to seeing you again in future editions of our Machine Learning training events and AI Startup Battles around the world.

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