#AIAccelerator2020: That night it was pitch, time, repeat

by Trevo (14), Kenya

CAMPCOMM

My passion for coding began a couple of years ago.

I had only three short term teachers, however, I managed to teach myself how to code through watching YouTube tutorials.

Recently, my parents found a coding boot camp and didn’t hesitate to try to get me enrolled in the Teens In AI Accelerator. I honestly believed that I would not be accepted because I hadn’t learned the type of mathematics that they were going to need and also the limited number of resources I had.

However, I actually got a chance to get an interview with the founders. They gave me a scholarship and I was officially accepted. I got into the software engineering and machine learning course. The first week we were trained by Alfonso in software engineering. He made the course so simple that during the Q&A sessions participants at the event had few to no questions. At the end of his course he gave use a fun challenge to get us creative and try anything we wanted with the game we were developing with him.

For the machine learning course I found the Maths part a bit challenging. It was really interesting though. I also learned a great deal of the math and it turned out to be quite easy once you get the concept. I also learned how to use jupyter notebooks. The machine learning course taught me a lot about artificial intelligence. The most incredible thing about the course was that it was taught by twotalented sixteen-year-olds, Jasamrit and Aasman.

On the second week of the three-week course, I was assigned to my team. It was a fun team to be in. Everyone was nice and kind. On the first day Blessing told us about one problem she wanted to fix. It was about how the textile industry pollutes our world. She gave us a lot of information on it that now I don’t look at clothing the same way as before. She also had a cool idea on how we could tackle the problem. Blessing was the research expert for obvious reasons. Fahim was fun to work with. His little competitive nature was amusing. He became the team’s ethics guru.

Cherry ended up being the project manager and was really good at it. She was great when we got to the interviewing part of the course. I was the developer. We got mentored by the best. Ganesh, who works with WHO, and Elena, the founder of the accelerator, walked us through the whole process and managed to get us interviews with CARE International and a couple of other charitable organizations. We also got help from Lucy as our business mentor and Ummi as our design thinking mentor. Elena linked us with a lot of mentors to help develop our ideas. We came up with a very viable solution to the problem we were tackling.

In the third week, we were mostly polishing up on our work and getting it ready for the demo day which was the coming Friday. The team got on many calls practicing pitching that by Thursday night when we had our final pitch practice our script had shortened to half its original size.

That night it was pitch, time, repeat. By the time we were done it was Friday morning for me.

On the demo day we were all nervous trying to make sure everything ran smoothly. Six o’clock in the afternoon and it was officially kicked off. Our team went first. To my surprise, it wasn’t as nerve-racking as I had initially thought. We were confident in our project. We got lots of positive comments and then we paved the way for the other teams. The rest of the night was pure fun watching teams present different ideas. I gained a lot of knowledge watching the pitches. All the teams had impressive projects to show off. In the end, team Eleos won.

It was an educational experience and we all gained a lot from it.

Who wouldn’t want to be part of such a fun and inspiring course?

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For more information about the AI Accelerator: https://www.teensinai.com/accelerator/

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Powering the Next Generation of Thought Leaders, Innovators and Technologists in #AI @teensinai #TeensInAI #GirlsinAI #MCStartup2016 Founder @elenasinel

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