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Afinidata: Using artificial intelligence to provide access to quality early childhood education

Afinidata Data Science+AI Guatemala
Dec 09 , 2018
Selva, 2, her brother Amaru, 3, and their father, Rafael Alfonso Araujo, 27, have an impromptu musical concert outside their home in Areguá, Central department, Paraguay on 26 January 2019.
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Data Science+AI


Amount invested $128,233 USD Funding Status graduated early period Founded in 2016 by Andreana Castellanos
Female Founded
Generating Revenue

In December 2018, the UNICEF Innovation Fund on-boarded its largest round of portfolio investments of thirteen startup companies using frontier technology solutions to address complex challenges and create fairer opportunities for children and young people. Afinidata joins the Data Science/ Artificial Intelligence portfolio these investments are working with sophisticated applications of computer science including data mining, data processing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and others, to help make the world a better place.

Frontier Tech for Early Childhood Education

Afinidata is creating an artificial intelligence chatbot that helps parents create fun and educational activities for their children under six. Using artificial intelligence, we provide instantaneous access to quality early childhood education resources to thousands of parents anywhere in the world.

The idea for this platform was sparked by our CEO, Andreana’s early experiences volunteering on a project working with children in rural Guatemala. During this experience she asked one of the children “what do you dream to be when you grow up?” , the child answered that she had no other option than to become a farmer. This coupled with other formative experiences prompted Andreana to imagine a world where every child could have the skills they needed to create their own path. What is most exciting is that maybe one day that vision will be a reality through Afinidata.

Our team believes that a child’s school preparedness is critical for his or her development and later livelihood outcomes. More importantly than what we believe studies and research has found the importance of early education and school preparedness for a later success in child's life.

“The first five years of life have a dramatic effect on later adult development. Seven hundred new neural connections are formed every second, laying the foundation for the learning, behavior and health we need to grow up as productive adults.” - James Heckman, Nobel-prize winning economist

Afinidata connects parents to a virtual assistant similar to Siri by sending a text on Facebook Messenger, without any new downloads, just like they will do with a friend.

The virtual assistant will start a conversation, and after getting to know more about their children, our virtual assistant will suggest a new educational activity to play, sing, talk, and/or engage with their children in their own household.

Selva, 2, her brother Amaru, 3, and their father, Rafael Alfonso Araujo, 27, have an impromptu musical concert outside their home in Areguá, Central department, Paraguay on 26 January 2019.

Open Source

The vision at Afinidata is to make education accessible to all. Being open source will allow us to move faster and be more collaborative to reach people who share our vision and want to collaborate. This enables us to share our challenges with a diverse community and create better and more robust solutions for our users. In addition, open source adds more human capital that will help our technology improve and help us tackle our challenges more effectively.

Team and Diversity

Achieving Afinidata’s mission and creating scalable technology-based solutions for early-childhood education requires multiple and diverse skill sets; from a deep understanding about how children learn from birth to age six, to coding and algorithm development, to business model evaluation, everyone on the team brings something different to the table. Although our team includes expertise in diverse backgrounds, we all share a passion for using business and technology to solve access to early-childhood education.

Way Forward

With UNICEF’s Innovation Fund investment we are planning to build a solution for early-childhood education that is scalable and transferable to different regions and countries throughout the world. We expect to grow our program and number of parents and families who have access to early-childhood education tools through the program.

We are focused on building a strong product with bold growth goals. We expect to use the development of unique solution and algorithms that can prove a positive impact on child development and combine it with high user acquisition rate as leverage to raise subsequent investments.

We are thrilled exciting to be part of a larger cohort of startups that is working with emerging technologies to address social challenges.

Photo Credits | Top: © UNICEF/UN0312689/Sokol  | In Article: © UNICEF/UN0312695/Sokol

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