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AI Power to the masses – How an Australian startup is democratising AI

The hype around Artificial Intelligence (AI) is deafening, but it often drowns out the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and non-profits. Enter NTENDER.AI, an Australian startup dedicated to empowering these organisations with the tools and capabilities to make the most of their data and drive exceptional customer experiences (CX).

Launched at the end of 2023, NTENDER.AI has the mission to bring the power of AI to the SMB and nonprofit marketplaces.  NTENDER.AI is a predictive AI and analytics solution designed to provide in-depth customer insights and predictions. Founder Dr Asanka Fonseka, PhD, a data and technology veteran, saw the growing chasm between AI’s potential and its accessibility for most businesses.  Dr Fonseka explains, “The buzz around Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly fueled by advancements in Generative AI and deep learning frameworks, has been hard to miss over the past couple of years. However, what often gets lost in the noise is the fact that not every business is equipped to harness the benefits of these cutting-edge technologies”.

Bridging the gap between the haves and have nots

NTENDER.AI aims to bridge the gap between those with and without access to technology and data, ensuring equitable participation in the AI revolution. Dr Fonseka adds, “What sets NTENDER.AI apart from other solutions in the market lies in our approach and commitment to addressing the specific needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and non-profit organisations”.

SMBs and non-profits often lack the budget and personnel to invest in dedicated AI specialists or infrastructure. They may also be plagued by having limited or messy data, which can hamper the effectiveness of AI models. Fonseka says, “Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and non-profit organisations face challenges in adopting AI, including limited resources, a lack of in-house expertise, issues related to data quality and accessibility, integration complexities, fear of disruption, perceived complexity, cost concerns, uncertain return on investment (ROI), and limited awareness about AI’s practical applications”.

Tackling the challenges

To address the challenges faced by SMBs, NTENDER.AI has adopted a multifaceted approach, combining templated solutions with affordable pricing. “We have developed templated solutions that significantly lower the implementation and ongoing maintenance costs, eliminating barriers to entry and enabling organisations to gain a competitive advantage in the realm of AI. Our commitment to providing an AI readiness assessment ensures a thorough evaluation of the client’s technology and organisational maturity, coupled with a comprehensive requirements analysis to tailor NTENDER.AI solutions to address specific problems and pain points”.

DSaaS pricing model

The potential disruption caused by AI implementation and the difficulty in measuring ROI can lead to hesitation and reluctance to adopt. “NTENDER.AI adopts a cost-effective Data Science as a Service (DSaaS) pricing model, finely tuned to accommodate the financial constraints of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and non-profits. This model includes an initial setup cost and an ongoing fee for our data science service, offering organizations a set number of hours for maintenance and ongoing support—a fraction of the cost to hire a data scientist independently”.

Ethics and privacy

Algorithmic bias and the ethical implications of AI use needs careful consideration, especially in the context of smaller organisations with limited oversight. Dr Fonseka says NTENDER.AI can help organisations ensure that the highest ethical and privacy standards are maintained. “Continuous monitoring and improvement are integral components of our strategy, enabling us to proactively identify and address potential vulnerabilities to stay ahead of evolving data security challenges and privacy regulations.”

“As a testament to our dedication, we are currently in the process of obtaining ISO27001 certification. This not only reflects our commitment to the highest standards of data security but also provides our clients with the assurance that they are partnering with a trusted entity dedicated to maintaining the highest levels of privacy and security”.

You can catchup with Asanka and the folks from NTENDER.AI at the Customer Show in May 2024

Mark Atterby

Mark Atterby has 18 years media, publishing and content marketing experience.