Rudradeb saw that there were many issues in the AI community and tech world, including biases in hiring and general social networking problems. As he explains, when a company is looking to hire, they focus on certain characteristics, backgrounds, and experiences that may overlook plenty of smart and talented engineers.
The main idea behind Omdena was to create a collaborative platform where AI researchers and engineers could crowdsource problem-solving and demonstrate their skills. In nearly four years of operation, Omdena has run over 320 projects with 120 start-ups and non-profit organizations. More than 10,000 people from 105 countries have worked on these projects, participating in local Omdena chapters in over 60 countries. Every month, around 2,000 people apply to work on approximately 20-25 new projects .
Omdena helps pair people to particular programs, keeps track of the best performers, and then helps the top-tier talent find paid work. When a person first signs up for Omdena, they are first given access to educational resources and projects that will help them learn. After completion, they can begin participating in new projects. Success in these projects will then lead to paid work projects with start-ups.
Omdena is unlike many organizations, and it is perhaps best to think of it as a mix between a business and a school. Many people who are members are using it as a resource to gain practical experience, the type of education that is not often emphasized at universities. This practice work is usually to support non-profits or other charitable projects. Outcomes from these projects can then be used to get paid work for a large, for-profit company or a start-up.
Throughout the interview, Rudradeb talks about the ideas, both philosophical and practical, that have influenced him in his endeavors. At the end of the interview, he describes the importance of focus, building a strong and unified culture, and travel.
Rudradeb Mitra is founder and CEO of Omdena.
Omdena is a collaborative platform with over 10,000 data scientists, data engineers, and domain experts from 105 countries. Large development organizations (non-corporations) like the UN, UNHCR, WRI, World Energy Council, and the World Food Program, as well as impact startups from 60+ countries have worked with Omdena.
Resource: New Books Network