Microsoft | Hozint: From the Boostcamp to the Silicon Valley
Source: Microsoft Innovation Center
by Jon Granadero
Barak Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Sergey Brin, were only just some of the key speakers at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in San Francisco last month. As well, as a name that many had never even heard of, Hozint. The Belgian Microsoft Innovation Center Boostcamp winner of 2014.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) is a major event sponsored by President Barak Obama, and aims at fostering the entrepreneurial spirit across the globe by creating synergies and opportunities among entrepreneurs and investors. The 2016 edition was held at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and was attended by 1000 participants from all around the world.
Among the participants there, was the Belgian startup Hozint, which won the Brussels Capital Region prize at the Microsoft Boostcamp’s edition in December 2014. Hozint – Horizon Intelligence helps organizations in assuring business continuity by providing real time alerts on safety and security events. The service is meant at mitigating organizations’ exposure to security risks such as terrorism, civil unrest and natural disasters. As well as monitoring the socio-political environment in which they operate in.
“Participating to the GES 2016 has been an incredible experience”, says CEO Edoardo Camilli. “The Summit has put together the most brilliant minds in the Silicon Valley and this was very inspiring for many startups like ours. As Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai put it “The Silicon Valley is an example of what is possible” and we want to build our company’s future based on that”.
What was a company like Hozint doing at the Summit? Hozint aims at making the world a safer place for companies by providing relevant and timely intelligence. During his opening speech Secretary of State, John Kerry, stated that there is an intimate connection between economic opportunity and political stability and that in this context we face extraordinary challenges such as terrorism and extremism. Hozint likes to see itself as part of the solution by assisting organizations to mitigate such risks.
Since the Boostcamp, Hozint has much evolved. The company is now looking at big data technology to upgrade its online monitoring dashboard “Horizon”. “All our R&D efforts are focused on developing the most accurate data mining system for detecting safety and security events”, says Camilli. “We will use our dataset of more than 20 thousand situational reports composed by our subject matter experts to “teach” the algorithm to categorized events with the same accuracy as a human would do”, continues Camilli.
“The Boostcamp has strongly contributed to our success. It gave us a solid structure and the confidence to “think big” while maintaining a pragmatic approach to our daily business operations. It is also likely that our victory in the Boostcamp may have played a role in our selection as a delegate to the GES, which has a lower acceptance rate than Stanford University, according to Secretary Kerry”.
“My personal ambition is to bring Hozint back to the GES next year in India, but this time as a speaker”, concludes Camilli.