Our story

Zeki is the brainchild of Tom Hurd and Margaux Bergen. Their collective expertise and achievements form the foundation of Zeki's mission. 
Tom's extensive experience in leading diverse teams within the government has taught him a valuable lesson: an organisation's success relies on the diverse talent it recognises and fosters. Meanwhile, Margaux has made significant contributions to global women's leadership.
With a wealth of experience in diverse sectors, they understand the power of inclusivity in driving success. Read their stories below on why they founded Zeki, and why now.

Tom’s story:
From government to start-up

After working at the highest level of the UK government for a decade, my final task was to reboot the UK's health surveillance system during the COVID-19 crisis, and to do it in six weeks. This led me on a quest to find the top scientists and epidemiologists with the right expertise and the track record, which proved to be a challenge.
It became clear that there was a lack of readily available data about those at the top of their field or those leading innovative change. There was no structured formula or map to follow, just word of mouth. It was a steep learning curve and one that could have been avoided - but we got there in the end.
So, the genesis of Zeki really grew from my own experience of trying to find top innovators, and quickly. Zeki is a necessity. Science holds the key to solving global challenges, be it pandemics, drug discovery, climate change, or finding new tools to improve the productivity, prosperity and safety of everyone. We must ensure that our brilliant scientists have the tools and support they require to tackle these issues head-on.
Zeki’s data enables investors and hirers to identify the experts they need to drive their product development or novel solutions; the aim is to ensure no one ever has to face the same issues I encountered.

Margaux’s story: Putting female talent in the spotlight

Tom's journey in government to find science talent highlighted quite a concerning trend - the majority of individuals being recognised and validated were older white men. This realisation deeply resonated with me and ignited a determination to bring about greater diversity in the science community by creating Zeki.
My background is steeped in women's leadership and supporting women's voice and agency for the past 20 plus years. I saw an opportunity in this challenge to find and uplift women in science. Our initial data collection suggests that women scientists tend to cluster themselves in unique ways. They’re there, they’re present but their achievements and ways of advocacy aren’t used for identifying top science talent right now.
I saw this as an opportunity to extend my work around women's voice and agency, particularly for young women. While we might not be there yet, it's crucial to ensure that the platform we're building also brings young female scientists into the spotlight instead of perpetuating a generational cycle of male-centric representation.

New Report:
State of AI Talent 2024

Zeki reveals how and why top AI scientists and engineers are on the move globally. The report delivers data-led insights based on 140,000 top AI scientists and engineers worldwide— all of whom have advanced skills and expertise and most of whom are in the early stages of their career.

Within this Zeki dataset, we celebrate talent from 94 countries educated or working at 2,296 universities or employed by over 20,000 companies or organisations globally.

Zeki State of AI Talent 2024 Report cover web

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