The Japanese Conglomerate SoftBank, popular for its huge investments on tech and innovation-oriented startups is launching a new venture seeking to boost this ecosystem in Latin America. After launching a special fund for backing startups in the region in early 2019, now the strategy is to help create and hire talents with skills in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. Called Data Science for All (DS4A), the initiative was launched this Monday, 3rd, in a partnership with talent solutions tech company Correlation One.
“Technology companies in Latin America need qualified talent, with deep knowledge of AI and the potential to improve all aspects of the way we live and work,” said Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International in a press release. “We are proud to support programs like DS4A, which provide people across the region with essential technical skills, further establishing the region as a leader in innovation.”
The training platform will focus on improving professionals in the Latin American technology sector and promoting greater AI adoption. Available for companies in the SoftBank portfolio in the region, the training program will also be offered for external candidates graduated in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and will be led by a senior professor at Harvard and university assistants at major US universities, such as MIT and Stanford. Microsoft, iNNpulsa Colombia, and the IDB Laboratory are also supporting the initiative.
Based in Sāo Paulo, with remote classrooms in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City, the program will comprise practical lessons, including AI and data-related skills that can be immediately applied to usual business needs. The methodology will also focus on case studies and real projects that are expected to have a measurable impact on the participating companies’ performance.
“We are excited to partner with SoftBank Group International to develop the AI talent ecosystem in Latin America,” said Rasheed Sabar, co-founder of Correlation One. “Our program offers participants the opportunity to learn science with some of the world’s leading experts. Participants receive in-person training and apply AI to real business problems at leading technology companies. We are creating a new AI talent infrastructure in Latin America.”
As of March 6th, the program will take place through classes on Fridays and Saturdays, from 8 am to 6 pm during an 11 week period in São Paulo. Applications are open until February 21st.
AlphaCredit, Konfio, Kavak, and Olist are some of the Latin American startups that SoftBank had funded lately; and despite the setbacks of recent investments in US-based companies, the Japanese fund doesn’t seem to be reducing efforts in Latin America anytime soon.