Aussie startup Reejig named among global tech pioneers for 2022

startup Reejig founders

Reejig co-founders Siobhan Savage, Mike Reed and Dr Shujia Zhang. Source: supplied.

Australian workforce intelligence platform Reejig has been recognised on the world stage by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as a Technology Pioneer, three months after the startup raised US$15 million ($21 million) in fresh funding.

The WEF’s Technology Pioneers program aims to recognise startup and growth-stage companies that are using technology and innovation to make change and has selected companies like Google, Airbnb, Kickstarter, Spotify and Twitter in the past. Reejig is one of two Australian companies to receive recognition this year, alongside Okra Solar, and takes its place among 100 other pioneering companies chosen worldwide. 

Speaking to SmartCompany, co-founder and CEO Siobhan Savage says Reejig’s recognition as a global tech pioneer “validates the work we’ve done”.

“We did this to create good and create zero wasted potential in society, and not just for shareholders,” she adds.  

Reejig’s recognition as a tech pioneer puts it in a position to contribute as a project leader providing policy recommendations on ethical AI and the future of reskilling globally. It also gives the startup access to a global network of companies, while providing a bigger stage for its own platform.

It’s good for business, but also, as Savage notes, it’s an opportunity for the team to share their knowledge and transform artificial intelligence (AI) for good.       

The Australian startup has seen exponential growth since it opened shop in 2019, growing from Australian-only clients to clients in the Asia-Pacific, North America and the UK in 12 months. Its Stage A funding of US$15 million ($21 million), announced in February, followed a $6 million funding injection in 2021, and the company is now well in the revenue-generation stage with a number of big-name clients, including AWS, KPMG and NSW Transport. 

Making AI ethical

Reejig’s aim is simple and two-fold: help organisations — whether it’s a government or a business — and find, hire and mobilise the right talent, while nudging individuals towards opportunities that fit their interests and skills.

The startup does this with the aid of the world’s first independently audited talent AI, which removes any personal characteristics from the individual’s profile. This ensures the AI is unable to discriminate, based on, for example, data of past decisions that may favour one group over another. The AI is independently audited by the University of Technology Sydney to ensure it meets its non-discrimination goals.

It’s not difficult to find examples of talent AI amplifying existing bias based on gender, race, sexuality, disability and other factors, but as Savage notes, “with big data comes big risk,” and it is this risk Reejig aims to addresses with its independently audited, ethical AI.

“We want to use big data for good and ensure that your personal characteristics, gender or heritage are not part of that decision. Your skills are.” 

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