Eindhoven-based startup FruitPunch AI is a global ‘AI for Good’ community that aims to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. Recently, the Dutch company joined venture builder LUMO Labs’s new cohort and received a six-figure investment from LUMO Labs Fund II.
“We see this as a creative platform for AI and Data,” says Andy Lürling, LUMO Labs‘ founding partner. “Within that platform, FruitPunch AI can educate AI and Data Science talent. And with that, we dip into the market of in-demand AI and Data engineers.”
Solving problems through education programmes
Founded in 2018 by Buster Franken, and Sako Arts, FruitPunch AI is on a mission to build a worldwide community of ‘AI for Good’ engineers to solve the world’s greatest problem through education programmes.
The community members, mostly students, focus on AI for Good projects directly related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals like protecting our biodiversity, fighting climate change, and improving healthcare and wellbeing.
How FruitPunch AI was born?
Back in 2018, while studying at the Eindhoven University of Technology, FruitPunch AI founder Buster Franken wanted to join an AI community to learn how to apply AI, but couldn’t find one. Thus he decided to start one together with a group of friends from his university.
Focus on safe and sustainable application of AI
Notably, the company will have a talent development program on the platform where community members around the world get AI education for free with a focus on the safe and sustainable application of AI.
This also meets LUMO Labs’ criteria that startups focus on Conscious Tech and falls under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, in this case, Quality Education and AI/Data.
The FruitPunch AI approach starts with an incubator to create AI and Data engineers by focusing them on challenges.
FruitPunch AI CEO and founder Buster Franken, says, “Eventually we turn these ‘AI for good’ projects into products, spin-offs, and startups. The FruitPunch AI education programme is challenge-based. When people complete the challenges, we ascertain their skills while also learning a lot about their character by how they interact in team settings. This way, we can create a fit between the people in our communities and our partner companies.”
“Companies such as Google and Apple now hire talent who might not necessarily have degrees,” Lürling said. “But if people are well trained in real-world work, companies are so much more interested in you than if you simply have a four-year degree. “So, you can see why we invested in it.”
Right now, the Dutch company is working on various projects, including:
- Testing of autonomous wildlife protection drone from AI for Wildlife
- Launch of first AI for Good challenge in fake news detection
- Launch of second AI for Good challenge in detecting mental health through digital media.