Daily life made easier thanks to artificial intelligence and entrepreneurs

Winners of the International Create Challenge (ICC) share a common will to use artificial intelligence for day to day applications. Particularly cosmopolitan, the 2019 edition illustrates the significant potential for business creation in these areas.

How do I know if a jacket ordered online will fit or if my insurance will reimburse a lost luggage during a train trip? To answer these questions of everyday life, entrepreneurs challenged their ideas during the 8th International Create Challenge (ICC). Organized by the Idiap Research Institute in Switzerland, in collaboration with Groupe Mutuel, Polytech Ventures and TheArk, this accelerator of ideas program brought together eight teams from Switzerland, Iran, Kenya, England, Turkey and Vietnam. For 3 weeks, all worked intensively to create a convincing minimum viable product. Their goal is to be able to then create their start-up thanks to the accumulated knowledge and with the financial boost of the ICC.

Artificial intelligence everyday

"The projects we decided to support come from very practical opportunities," says François Foglia, Idiap's deputy director. "These projects have particularly convinced us by their impact on everyday life." The institute offered a financial support of CHF 15,000 to three winners: the Vise project, which brings together a team from Valais, aims to make intelligible the terms & conditions of insurance policies thanks to a smart search engine to browse them. The Next Insights team plans to analyse a company's information to help make decisions. As for the Vietnamese Virtual Fitting Room, they want to reduce returns when ordering clothes online by offering a virtual fitting room.

As for Groupe Mutuel, it has supported projects related to health. For example, the Iranian Baadoom team wants to create a support application for young mothers through experience sharing. A Kenyan team has been awarded for its idea of medical records that can be carried on a smartphone to facilitate medical care. To succeed, each of these projects must make the best use of the data related to their domain to extract relevant information for the daily user. A challenge that can be met with artificial intelligence technologies.

A unique tool of its kind

Very few idea incubators are available to teams that have not yet started their businesses. The implementation in Switzerland and at the heart of a world-renowned research organization such as Idiap makes the International Create Challenge a unique program.

"The fact that the teams live together for 3 weeks creates intense exchanges and support," says Justine Darioly, coordinator of the challenge. "The presentation of the projects made tremendous progress during this period and we have very positive feedback from the participants." On top of that, the Vise team was able to present their ideas during the TEDx conference in Martigny. The future will tell how many of these projects will create a viable business. Several teams are already in the starting blocks to create their start-ups in Switzerland or abroad.


More on the International Create Challenge supported by our institute.