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Updated: April 2, 2024

Data expert joins Waterville startup accelerator

Portrait of a man
Courtesy / Dirigo Labs
Mufaddal Ali

Waterville startup accelerator Dirigo Labs has hired data science expert Mufaddal Ali as a project management specialist.

In the role, the 2021 Colby College graduate will oversee outcome and impact metrics for cohort members while providing insights into business development.

“At this point, we all know that AI-powered tools and analytics give businesses an edge in the marketplace," Ali said in a statement emailed to Mainebiz. "But while the bigger companies grapple with integrating these tools into their established workflow, today’s startups have the advantage of embedding AI right into their DNA so that when they grow, it gets replicated in every cell of the new organization.”

Ali previously worked as a data scientist for Lincoln Financial Group in Boston for more than two years, his LinkedIn profile shows. He is also the co-founder of Pair Technologies, a Maine-based startup that aims to make computing more accessible, comfortable and repairable.

Susan Ruhlin, managing director of Dirigo Labs, said that Ali is joining the team is a reflection of data’s importance to business startups. She was honored as a Mainebiz Woman to Watch in 2023

“For entrepreneurial support organizations like Dirigo Labs, the power of data cannot be overstated,” she told Mainebiz. “It transforms abstract concepts into actionable intelligence, demonstrating how we contribute not just to a startup’s individual success but to the broader economic development of our state and region.”

Emalee Hall, the organization's program manager, said, "Mufaddal's role as a liaison with Colby College and the Halloran Lab for Entrepreneurship further strengthens our ties with our local resource and educational partners, ensuring a rich and collaborative entrepreneurial ecosystem."

Dirigo Labs operates under the Central Maine Growth Council and is supported by several organizations, academic institutions and investment firms.

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