Collaborating Authors

MMI : Exponential Ventures and Startupbootcamp InsurTech partner up for the 2016 FastTrack tour to South Africa 4-Traders


Startupbootcamp InsurTech has announced that the FastTrack tour will be coming to Cape Town on 11 October and Johannesburg on 13 October 2016. Exponential Ventures, the innovation unit of JSE listed financial services group, MMI Holdings, partners with Europe's leading accelerator programme to showcase South Africa's entrepreneurial talent in the global market FastTracks are open to innovative early stage startups specialising in insurance related areas: virtual and augmented reality; Blockchain; artificial intelligence and machine learning; Internet of Things and wearables; drones and robots; cyber security; data analysis and big data; life science and genome; MedTech and digital health; and customer experience. Exponential Ventures, the disruptive innovation unit of JSE listed company, MMI Holdings, has continued with its relentless pursuit of innovation by becoming an investor partner in the insurance incubator programme, Startupbootcamp InsurTech managed by Startupbootcamp a leading international startup accelerator. Startupbootcamp InsurTech has announced that the FastTrack tour will be coming to Cape Town on 11 October and Johannesburg on 13 October 2016. FastTrack days (or pitch days) are sessions where startups are given an opportunity to present their insurance related business idea to the Startupbootcamp InsurTech team and industry experts.

Activities / Events Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa


The SA Innovation Summit as an annual flagship event on the South African Innovation Calendar, is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought-leadership. Created to support and promote innovation and facilitate collaboration within its own eco-system, the initiative brings together corporates, thought leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia and policy makers to amplify South Africa's renowned competitive edge and to inspire sustained economic growth across the continent of Africa. The outcomes achieved by the Summit, is a powerful platform to bring together thought leaders and accelerate innovation in South Africa, and into the African continent as whole. MIIA ill also be represented at the South African Innovation Summit and invitethe MIIA community to also join the 48-hour hackathon being held in Cape Town Stadium from 5 - 7 September 2017.

UCT launches a new degree, first of its kind in Africa IOL Business Report


The course convener Dr Co-Pierre Georg, Senior Lecturer at the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM) at UCT explains: "We are in constant and close contact with the financial services industry and know that it is facing a shifting demand for skills. "In the past, companies were mainly looking for advanced mathematical- and modelling skills. There still is demand for these skills, but by far the largest demand now is for students who have a thorough understanding of finance combined with a mastery of modern data analytics and software development skills. Our students will be able to develop these skills in the two most exciting areas of fintech: machine learning and blockchain technologies." "We see extraordinary demand for the degree already," continues Georg, "also because Cape Town-based students can do the degree part-time.

SA insurtech startup Pineapple to launch insurance product in activation on Friday [Updated] – Ventureburn


After two years of development insurtech startup Pineapple is finally set to launch their insurance product -- with the startup claiming today in a statement, to have made insurance as simple "as snapping a picture". The startup's co-founder Ndabenhle Junior Ngulube told Ventureburn in an email today that the startup will on Friday hold an activation for the brand in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town -- saying more details would be revealed closer to the time. He was able to tell Ventureburn how premiums would be priced. "Once a user has snapped an image of an item they want to insure, we have artificial intelligence (AI) that recognises what the image is and proceeds to place that image in an appropriate category for pricing purposes -- if the AI fails to categorise the item, we allow the user to manually select the appropriate category for the item). We then require the user to enter the value of that item.

Learning the population dynamics of technical trading strategies Machine Learning

We use an adversarial expert based online learning algorithm to learn the optimal parameters required to maximise wealth trading zero-cost portfolio strategies. The learning algorithm is used to determine the relative population dynamics of technical trading strategies that can survive historical back-testing as well as form an overall aggregated portfolio trading strategy from the set of underlying trading strategies implemented on daily and intraday Johannesburg Stock Exchange data. The resulting population time-series are investigated using unsupervised learning for dimensionality reduction and visualisation. A key contribution is that the overall aggregated trading strategies are tested for statistical arbitrage using a novel hypothesis test proposed by Jarrow et al. on both daily sampled and intraday time-scales. The (low frequency) daily sampled strategies fail the arbitrage tests after costs, while the (high frequency) intraday sampled strategies are not falsified as statistical arbitrages after costs. The estimates of trading strategy success, cost of trading and slippage are considered along with an offline benchmark portfolio algorithm for performance comparison. In addition, the algorithms generalisation error is analysed by recovering a probability of back-test overfitting estimate using a nonparametric procedure introduced by Bailey et al.. The work aims to explore and better understand the interplay between different technical trading strategies from a data-informed perspective.