Ml+ joins with MicroHabitat for the second event in its annual competition series


Montreal-based AI and machine learning startup ml+ (machine learning +) has launched its first annual competition series, and the second monthly event is happening this Thursday, March 22nd.

Every month, the meetup will present a business problem and provide the data needed to solve it. The participants will be ranked according to their position at the end of every event based on how close they come to the baseline determined before the contest.

“We decided to organize an annual competition,” Ingrid Hochuli, Communications Manager at ml+ told MTLinTECH. “How it’s going to go down is every month we’re going to gather and present a real business problem. We have sponsors giving us real data. For example, this month it’s a small company that does agriculture on rooftops and they wanted to get more insight into their posts on social media and see where they should put their energy. They gave us their data for Facebook, and we’re going to check if they’re efficient and whether people that click on their Facebook then go on their website and purchase something.”

This month’s company is MicroHabitat, a small local company promoting urban agriculture for businesses and individuals. MicroHabitat aims to better conventional urban settings by combining agriculture and apiculture to form synergistic and ecological urban food production schemes. Their installations positively impact the environment by filling unused spaces with plants, and decreasing energy waste associated with transporting agricultural products.

“The next event is on Thursday. So we’ll gather for a networking cocktail at the beginning, we talk and meet people. There’s a lot of different people from different backgrounds, some people that are really trying to get into artificial intelligence, as well as people that just want to do it for fun. We present the problem and everybody works in groups or alone, and afterwards we check and if somebody beats the baseline or gets the closest they win something.”

The monthly events charge $5 entry to prevent no-shows, and all of the money is collected throughout the year for the annual prize.

“At the end of the year all of this money goes into an accumulated pot—as well as sponsors sometimes giving us donations—and the person or team that has the most points will win the entire pot of money.”

MicroHabitat is  contributing gift certificates as well as their data for this Thursday’s event, as small incentives along the way to the year-end pot.

“We like to give little gifts from our sponsors at the monthly events. Last month we approached a microbrewery, and they didn’t want to give us data because they were very busy, but they gave us gift certificates for their bar and we gave that to the winners. We like to keep the motivation going because it’s a long time to wait for the entire pot.”

Next month’s event will likely take place on April 26th at Notman House, making the competition more geographically accessible and with more room for more participants.

You can still grab tickets for this Thursday’s event here.

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