My Experience at the Teens in ai Accelerator 2019 — Radhika Iyer

During the summer holidays, I had the privilege of taking part in the Teensinai 2019 AI Accelerator. I walked in nervous, thinking that I did not know enough to take part in the program, but thanks to Elena, Peter, and all the mentors and speakers, I learnt so much and had an incredible time.

The first three days took place in the Accenture Liquid Studio where we got to know each other and worked on our design thinking skills. We brainstormed, trying to find an issue that we were all passionate about and wanted to solve. At first, we wanted to use satellite imagery to find out which areas in South East Asia were most vulnerable to flooding. On the second day, we chose to pivot and landed on an issue that we stuck with for the rest of the accelerator: the carbon footprint of food.

Although we did not come up with our final idea until the seventh day, every member of our team wanted to tackle the issue as we felt like not enough was being done about it even though it was so important. Our product is called GreenFeast, which is a chrome extension that gives you more carbon-friendly alternatives to what you currently buy online when shopping for your groceries.

Coming back to the accelerator itself, we were given the opportunity to visit the BBC and get a tour of the Newsroom as well as listen to speakers who talked about fake news and how technology is being used in that area.

We spent days four and five at Wayra where we began our coding sessions, and I was in the group run by Peter, which was educational and enjoyable at the same time. At Wayra we also heard from more speakers such as Diane Acosta who worked for NASA as well as Caroline Matthews who gave an excellent workshop on Microsoft Azure Studio and other technology we could use in the development of our idea.

On the Saturday, we were hosted by element.ai at WeWork in Paddington, where we played a lot of table tennis and ‘table curling’ (we played our own version of the game) as well as heard from more speakers such as Dee Saigal. Back at Wayra, we learnt about digital marketing and what channels are being used to advertise products.

We spent the last three days at the amazing Microsoft Reactor. Every team worked hard to get their tasks done and demos ready. We were taught how to present in the best way and create a straight-forward pitch deck

During the accelerator, I developed my skills as well as learnt more, all while thoroughly enjoying myself. I also loved meeting new people and making some great friends.

Thank you once again to Elena, Peter, the mentors and everyone else who helped the Accelerator take place.

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