Two weeks after the final of the 11th Edition Boostcamp, we interviewed the winner of the Grand Prize, Tarig Bouazzati. He and his team work on a CAMDA HR assistant,which is an interview companion based on an Artificial Intelligence. It works on aplatform that invites high-potential candidates to take part to the first online recruitment challenge, so that it eases the recruitment process, and assists organizations assessments. Here is his testimony.
At what stage were you with your project at the beginning of the Boostcamp?
When we first arrived at the Boostcamp, we had the idea of developing an artificial intelligence capable of interacting with people so that it assesses their answers. But during the program, the lead coach Ben Piquard told us that it was too broad and too complex. We then thought about which sector we could specialize our project in. We looked at the skills and tools we had within our team, as well as the available technologies on the market. We finally narrowed down the project to the recruitment sector.
What did you expect from the Boostcamp when you first arrived?
I was expecting to meet experienced professionals in the IT industry and I was looking forward to receiving valuable pieces of advice.
What did you learn during the Boostcamp?
Well I learned so much, it was amazing! I got more than what I expected originally. I received interesting feedbacks on my project, as well as advices on how to reach my objectives and how to launch the whole idea a step further. We also learned during the coaching sessions how to be efficient as a team and how to make good use of available tools online. For me, the Boostcamp was also the opportunity to apply and challenge the skills I had acquired during my career.
What was the most memorable moment of the Boostcamp?
The best moment was surely the second coaching session with Ben Piquard. He shook me up and helped me really evaluate the potential of my project. Ben is a powerful coach. He says things in such a simple yet meaningful manner, it makes learning so much easier and efficient. He taught me that the best way to convince someone about your crazy Vision, is to explain to them how you are going to achieve it.
What is your next step with your start-up?
Our next step will be to validate our hypotheses, to further assess the market-fit and evaluate investors readiness for our product. We also need to intensively test CAMDA, develop and refine the website. CAMDA works on a platform where high potential candidates are pre-selected and then invited to proceed to an online recruitment challenge. Hopefully, within a week, the platform will be available and we will start the selection process and invite the most promising candidates.
How are you going to use the 3000€ delivered by Innoviris that you won at the final?
We will use this money to cover part of the expenditures linked to the acquisition costs of our first users. We estimated these costs to be around 4.500€ by the end of the summer, thus the prize money from the Boostcamp will come in handy!
How do you feel about one of your competitors, Simpl, who recently rose 1,1 M euros?
I actually think it’s good for us! We need more companies to innovate in the industry and make progress advance. The fact that they were able to collect such a sum means that the opportunities are real and that investors are ready for this kind of project, which in a way validates ours too! Obviously, we are not alone in this business; we have a couple of big and over 30 small competitors around the world. Despite the similarities of the products we are developing, each one of us has a unique vision, and that is reflected in the experience we wish to offer to the users.
What do the students using CAMDA think of your product so far?
We presented the website to young graduates in the business field and they found the idea very interesting. For them, CAMDA was a valuable experience as they were able to assess themselves and evaluate their worth from a recruiter’s point of view. They considered CAMDA like a coach, a guide. It is also the opportunity for us to receive some interesting feedbacks and ideas on how to further improve the platform.
Does the name CAMDA have a specific meaning?
“The purpose was to include “Ada” in the name of the start-up. In fact, very few people know it, but Ada Lovelace is the name of an English mathematician of the 19th century and is the first person to have created an algorithm. And guess what? This person was a woman. CAMDA is our way to honor the Hero she is, and to clearly state that one of our main Mission is to fight all form of discrimination during the recruitment. Because the fact is, that if you want to work hard and have the appropriate set of skills to do it, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or even what you look like. Everybody should have an equal chance of employment. CAMDA will help foster that goal by eliminating all forms of biases in the early steps of the process.”
Finally, where do you see your start-up in the future? What are your mid- and long-term objectives?
Well we hope CAMDA will continuously develop, of course. Currently, the interactions are in English but we intend to translate it in 24 different languages overtime to make it more international. That way we will expand the recruitment challenge across the borders. We will keep on perfecting the AI’s ability to analyze candidates skills, as well as further innovate the platform.
Unlike other websites, we won’t develop a mobile application. It doesn’t make sense to add another app to the already overcrowded market. Given the context, it makes more sense to use it at home, from your computer, where you can have calm and focus on the dialog you’re having with CAMDA. As we see it today, an application wouldn’t embody the vision we wish to put forward.
One of our main focus is to develop innovative ways to make the experience as convenient and user-friendly as possible, and we will not hesitate to make good use of all available, and in development high-end technologies to be THE future of the recruitment.
This article is sponsored by Brussels based startup company WorldTechnologyCentre.com