Villgro Philippines has partnered with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada to spur responsible AI development in South and Southeast Asia.
The two companies recently led the launch of Artificial Intelligence for Health in Asia (AI4Health Asia), a program that is designed to scout, support, and scale innovations that would spur responsible AI development in South and Southeast Asia.
AI4Health Asia will support cutting-edge solutions that will transform the way Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health as well as Epidemic and Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response are being addressed across emerging Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
This 10-month regional accelerator program is designed to promote and nurture innovations in Responsible AI in South and Southeast Asia.
AI4Health Asia offers entrepreneurs tailored support, seed funding of up to USD 6250, peer learning and coaching, mentoring, technical assistance, investment readiness, and follow-on funding.
“At Villgro Philippines, we believe Asian entrepreneurs possess the talent, ability or know-how to solve these problems, but need a more supportive ecosystem to create the business case to address these intractable problems at scale. We are excited to join hands with IDRC to scout, support, and scale Asian AI-enabled healthcare innovators to catalyze the emerging ecosystem towards responsible development of technology while strengthening the capacity of innovators to scale their models to improve health outcomes across South and Southeast Asia,” Priva Thachadi, Co-founder and CEO of Villgro Philippines, said.
AI4Health Asia’s main objective is to create and enable a robust ecosystem of support and catalyze responsible development, scaling, and support for new AI health innovations that will address the development challenges that are still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program’s focus will especially be in the areas of sexual, reproductive and maternal health, and epidemic and pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
Led and owned by women, Villgro Philippines is gender-smart incubator that funds, mentors, and supports impact startups in building innovative solutions to address the most urgent social and environmental challenges.
Currently, the company has a direct portfolio of 39 startups across health, education, agriculture, affordable housing, and women and girls in Southeast Asia.
Villgro co-founded Impact Pioneers, the first impact angel investment platform in the Philippines, and WE Rise Community, an access-to-finance platform for women entrepreneurs to connect to capital, content, and a community of peers and ecosystem enablers in order to bridge the gender financing gap in the ecosystem.
IDRC of Canada, on the other hand, funds researches and innovations within and alongside developing regions to drive global change.
It invests in high-quality research in developing countries, share knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, as it also mobilizes global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.