2021 | Austria | Business Services | Promising | SDG10 | SDG11 | SDG17 | SDG8 | SDG9

1. General


SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

SDG 10: Reduced Inequality

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

SDG 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal


Business Services

2. Project Details

Company or Institution

finothek GmbH



General description of the AI solution

hallosophia.com is an open and fully digital marketplace for business consultancy used by experts and businesses in the world. Through our goals-matching process, recommendations system as well as the self-assessment tools, the Sophia AI solution is used to support business progress and growth of our users, mainly SMEs, startups and corporates from specific industry areas.

Made in Europe (Austria) for world application, the HalloSophia impact project stands for "Hello" to "Sophisticated Advice", aiming to share the knowledge of licensed experts, experienced entrepreneurs, practitioners and academics through short microadvisory sessions of 30, 60 or 90 minutes using a personal video advisory room as well as chat, scheduling and upload of documents functions.




finothek GmbH

3. Aspects

Excellence and Scientific Quality: Please detail the improvements made by the nominee or the nominees’ team or yourself if your applying for the award, and why they have been a success.

The current AI pipeline of hallosophia.com is focused around 2 main features: 1) business self-assessment process and 2) recommendations system to be used by and for the benefit of businesses and their owners, managers and staff. In order to provide the next step of business development accessible to companies, our AI solution entangles the ability to improve the businesses' choice by guiding them from one expert to the next one, based on their self-assessment plan and goals-matching process. Currently the users are manually selecting the next steps of their business goals and picking the best expert that could solve their business problem. In the future, our soon-to-be AI solution "Smart Sophia" will provide an automated recommendations system and self-assessment process. The features related to the autodetection of answers will be implemented through the recommender system, while the chatbot with its conversational AI will be able to reproduce a similar experience as Alexa for smart homes but, in our case, it's going to be working for the benefit of business consultancy. This will be possible by improving the overall process of gathering and processing data. Notable examples of similar applications can be found in Netflix when movies, liked by people with our similar taste, can be recommended to us as well.
The current IP protection is low given that the company cannot patent the technology but rather protect the gathered data, which belongs exclusively to the company itself.
The current TRL can be considered as an industrial pilot (level 1) given that we are currently finalizing another research project with the University of Hagenberg (Austria) related to search optimization. The current exposure of such solutions are being presented at conferences like Eastern Economic Forum, Davos Digital Forum, Cannes Legal and Economic Forum, Summer Law Schools, among others.

Scaling of impact to SDGs: Please detail how many citizens/communities and/or researchers/businesses this has had or can have a positive impact on, including particular groups where applicable and to what extent.

The project was built around the concepts of microadvisory and the future of work, in the overall context of the SDGs. The core idea was to give access to all businesses, regardless of their size, budget allocation for growth activities and location of incorporation, a palette of sophisticated and competent advice for business progress and growth. Today, such microadvisory services can be provided in all languages, countries and main industry fields. Soon each business will be able to measure their progress from their own "business intelligence dashboard" analysing the goals they want to reach and the experts they've selected or been matched to by recommendation of our AI solution. With our current business and growth model, the project's technical solution is being shared will strategic partners in different countries in order to make sure that the most needed advisory services are being addressed in a set country and that the quality of experts is assured on the highest possible level. Thus, hallosophia.com becomes not only an open marketplace but also a marketplace-as-a-service solution that can be reused for the benefit of many. In parallel, the AI solution is also used for adding value to the business progress, one step at a time, through the project's "goal matching" feature, among others.

Scaling of AI solution: Please detail what proof of concept or implementations can you show now in terms of its efficacy and how the solution can be scaled to provide a global impact ad how realistic that scaling is.

Microadvisory is the next step of evolution to microloans which heavily impacted the world already. Our project is driven by the scalability concept, which is the reason why the solution was built with a local approach but global outreach. Also, the project team is more than open to get other developer's conversational AI running their own microadvisory platform (instead of "Smart Sophia" they'd get a "Smart Paul" and be listed on the Sophia Skill Shop). From a technical perspective, developers from other solutions will be able to write extentions that connect to our AI system in order to build up their own ecosystem based on Sophia's knowledge. The extension system will be largely build up on an open source approach to give the possibility for developers to easily extend features to the developer's API interface.
For now, the team uses the "social media" model for business consultancy by developing tenant systems with their own stories about a set expert. Users are therefore able to write recommendations after each microadvisory call, save experts in their advisory network as well as share and recommend it to their own business network through other social media platforms like LinkedIn.
Currently the platform holds +300 early adopters with a total of 800 microadvisory meetings held so far. The solution is fully GDPR compliant and the company allocated a data protection officer with extended legal background in the said field.

Ethical aspect: Please detail the way the solution addresses any of the main ethical aspects, including trustworthiness, bias, gender issues, etc.

Even if our data is less critical than medical records of patients, the Sophia team is highly committed to the highest possible ethical standards given the team's working history in the financial (banking and insurance) sectors as well as the public field. To this end, the team as well all the experts need to abide by our "Code of Ethics", the glimpse of which can be found here: https://www.hallosophia.com/en/code-of-ethics
The main pillars are as follows:
Integrity – Sophisticated Advisors act in the client’s interest. The advisory session as about applied knowledge transfer, not product selling.
Transparency – Sophisticated Advisors disclose their regulatory status of advisory, disclose their self-interests and disclose any conflict of interests to the client.
Confidentiality – Sophisticated Advisors treat client’s Data confidentially and do not pass it on without consent.
Professionality – Sophisticated Advisors only take on those assignments that they are able to handle professionally and keep the customer always informed what he/she can expect.

With respect to the inclusiveness of the solution, it is to be noted that the first partner microadvisory platform we've launched was with a network of female founders (Rolemodel Rebels from Switzerland) , while the second with the African ecosystem of startups, researchers and SMEs (NyanmukAfrica in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania). Our overall solution is meant to be for everyone.

While business consultancy is a "trust business", integrity is key and trust lays at the corestone of our work ethic.


International Research Centre
on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI)
under the auspices of UNESCO 

Jožef Stefan Institute
Jamova cesta 39
SI-1000 Ljubljana



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