UCL Computer Science


First-ever winner of the UCLCS Entrepreneur First prize announced

15 November 2017

Rafie Faruq

Rafie Faruq will graduate from the MSc in Machine Learning (UCL) this year, and has chosen the career path of an entrepreneur.

Last week, he was announced as the first-ever recipient of the Entrepreneur First prize, which is awarded by the Department of Computer Science to a high achieving student who demonstrates entrepreneurial and internship experience. The prize is sponsored by Entrepreneur First, Europe’s largest start-up incubator.

Rafie has been coding since he was 13. Now aged 26, he has worked at 10 different jobs that spanned the financial and economic sectors. Three of those companies have been his own start-ups.

He said: “I’ve always known I wanted to contribute to society, and creating a start-up company has been one way to do this.”

“My previous company GivTree was a social enterprise, providing socialised crowdfunding for charities. We raised tens of thousands for multiple charities before the project was taken over by SoGive.

“At the same time as this (just over a year ago), I left my comfortable job as a fixed income trader and completed my MSc in Machine Learning at UCL. This added rigour to my technical expertise, and helped me co-launch my newest start-up, Ginie Intelligence.”

Ginie Intelligence is an artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) firm backed by machine learning and law professors at UCL, along with Entrepreneur First.

“We specialise in the regulation and legal sectors. The vision is not to replace people but to improve processes using AI in order to deliver better services for clients of law firms and regulators.

“We are working on problems that are the most technically challenging to match our expertise, as well as having the highest potential benefit to society, matching our passion.”

When asked what he wanted to do with the £250 prize money from his Entrepreneur First prize, Rafie said he will be donating it to a cause that promotes women in technology-related fields.

“From my prior experience in finance and technology, two sectors where the gender imbalance is quite stark, I believe this can create environments conducive to exploitation.”

We wish Rafie all the best for his future endeavours.