Glasgow and Tallinn-based technology startup Vistalworks has been named as one of ten companies selected to take part in Microsoft’s prestigious AI for Environmental Sustainability Accelerator programme.
18/05/2022 – Vistalworks has created intelligence software and risk-profiling tools that help governments, enforcement agencies and industry combat the economic, social and environmental harms of online illicit trade.
Vicky Brock, CEO and Co-Founder of Vistalworks commented: “Illegal trade in banned, smuggled, restricted, faked and dangerous products, which can be found openly on sale in mainstream ecommerce marketplaces, threatens every one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and progress towards Net Zero Climate targets. Every step forward that law-abiding companies and communities make is undermined when criminal sellers who do not follow the rules move in for a quick profit, with no regard for the human and environmental harm they cause. Vistalworks has developed technology to help prevent illicit trade and reduce the damage it causes.”
The programme, launched in collaboration with the Met Office and Social Tech Trust, will support the cohort through a four-month programme to advance their environmental solution using Artificial Intelligence and advanced computing. Participants will benefit from coaching from Microsoft, the Met Office and Social Tech Trust, networking opportunities and funding support to scale their solution and put it in the hands of those who need it most.
Vistalworks and the other 9 companies joined programme partners, investors and Microsoft’s UK Chief Sustainability Officer, Musidora Jorgensen, for a kick-off event at Microsoft’s UK headquarters in Reading on March 31.
Jorgensen said: “Climate change is one of our most pressing threats and we need solutions quickly to deal with the problems we face. We know artificial intelligence is a powerful tool we can deploy today to make progress. These ten creative companies have been selected for their focus on significant industry challenges and our ambition is that with Microsoft’s support we can crack them.”
Founded in Scotland in 2019, Vistalworks has used Estonian E-residency as route to grow their technology business internationally from day one. “Illicit trade in a cross-border problem, which requires a globally focussed technology solution. Estonian E-residency provided Vistalworks with the certainty we needed to plan for growth and deliver a solution across markets. Not only did it allow us to register an EU business, and all the associated thinking like EU VAT numbers and banking, it has kept a major market and many operating choices open for us. An unexpected benefit was that it completely flipped our thinking as entrepreneurs, so that we deliberately built for international markets much sooner than we would have done if we had only been focused on the UK. And I think that ambition is something that Microsoft recognises and, as a global leader in its commitment to enabling sustainability through technology, is exceptionally well positioned to help us develop.”