About Welcome AI

Welcome.AI allows you to follow the companies within your industry to keep you updated on how they are being used and the impact they are making. A tailored feed to help you discover, learn and evaluate AI.

 

  • Why did you start the website?  How long have you been doing this?
    • I used to work as a Digital Marketing Creator for an agency whose main client was IBM. I was specifically working and doing digital marketing for IBM watson and other science products and throughout that time I was doing a lot of competitive analysis trying to find help, other AI companies and technologies in  software coming to market to see in value what they were doing. So, I started this website with the purpose to collect and connect all the AI companies in one central place. I created a platform which at the beginning was primarily for personal and internal team’s use so I never really promoted it. I can say that It started as a passion project. I finally decided to launch at the beginning of 2017. In 2018 a lot of visitors where navigating the website and people were reaching out. So, I decided to do this full time. In January this year I jumped into this great opportunity which is now Welcome AI.
  • And how is it going?
    • Starts-ups have always ups and downs. But so far, It’s doing pretty good. There are a lot of challenges but I try to focus on the positive things. One of the biggest challenges that I’m facing today are finding and building up a team. It’s very hard to try to do so many things as one person. So, for the past year I’ve been looking for other members to join me as well.
  • How many people are working with you right now?
    • Besides myself, I’ve recently been joined by my CTO just 3 weeks ago. Which is great. Because now I don’t have to do everything by myself. I also have another developer that is part of the team. So  I can proudly say that it’s 3 of us.
  • How does your website work? AI company they approach you and they w  Is it like a directory?
    • We currently have 3300 AI Companies on the platform. We uploaded a lot of the content ourselves but in the past year AI companies have been uploading their own information as well. Companies are able to claim their page.  Some cool content that we add to the platform are the tweets and access feeds from the companies. So, if you are a user when you come into the site you would actually save follow up declare the category such as industry or technology that you are interested in, like natural language processing or chatbot and then you will get a report including some content from the company servicing that industry. For example, you will receive a newsletter with the latest tweet and blog post from AI companies that are working in finance. So when you get a weekly useful newsletter updates from these companies.  So the group primarily aggregates content to the  platform and we try to tailor the content for people to be able to research some specific technologies more easily and in an efficient.
  • What is your background?
    • I have been working in tech since 2000, first as a designer and web developer.     But since mid 2000 I shifted into managing big tech projects. I can say that I have a lot of experience on managing websites with lots of big news. I also worked for creative agencies but for the past 4 and a half years, I was focused more on  Digital marketing, especially working for a project with IBM Watson. That’s when I was really into the business side of things. During that time I also became an IBM Watson certified application developer while I worked as a consultant where my main role was to help with the implementation of AI into their companies. 
  • Did you have the chance to play with Watson?
    • Yes. I built a couple of different tools. We marketed some little tools that built back then to demonstrate how Watson works and how to implement Watson into chatbots.
  • What are the feedback from your users? Like what do they say to you?
    • Most of the feedback we gathered was mainly to improve the  search engine. We actually have so much data and so much content that to be able to see crystal clear required a hard data processing and classification. But then, being able to offer personalization it’s the key to our success. We work around on offering a personalized content for those who need it. But I must say, that this is something that we are working on.
  • How is your business model? Like somebody approaches to you and you offer like free membership or how does it work?
    • We offer a free and a monthly subscription options. it’s free to join and paid to look at some restricted content. You will be able to get a newsletter and be part of the network. We are creating some revenue by what we are really working on is towards creating a new generation of tools and services for AI companies. Everyday our  platform becomes more valuable to them because we have the information that they are usually looking.
  • Let’s say that we would like to join the platform. What do we have to do?
    • Actually it’s free for companies to sign up and you get the standard package. This way you can upload things; your product and case studies. We have limited to 2 – 3 case studies and we also offer access to twitter feeds,  so if you are a company you can just come to the site and upload any content you may see fit. Just so you know, we always review the companies before they get officially posted on the site to make sure they fit and they have the appropriate content.
  • So let’s talk about a little bit more about the future? What are the things you are looking to take your platform to the next level?
    • We are looking forward to implement some machine learning and algorithms to really enrich the content that we currently have on the platform. Especially for order typing or summary. That’s really something that can help with tailored elements as well. Also we are trying to do some analysis to get the right data, the content or the information that we are adding is actually accurate.
  • What about team side? Are you planning on growing? Maybe a hiring a Data Scientist?
    • That’s definitely a yes. I have some limited skills  so another developer that can join us will be great.  As we built out the revenue and the product we will try to bring on marketing and sales on board as well. In terms of team size we definitely want to grow in development, data science and and also marketing and sales.
  • What are the biggest challenges you experienced?
    • I think at the moment we are kind of growing organically so being able to build our team. But for myself, as a single founder the most difficult part is to find the right people. It’s hard for any kind of new startup and new founder, so just say that building up the team. Something else that it’s kind of a roadblock for me was to build a fully functional prototype of the platform. While at the same time, trying to support the users and the companies.
  • What do you think are the top three skills that you need to be a successful founder?
    • From a founder perspective, I think vision is probably the number one skill. Knowing where you want to go and which aspect of yourself you want to grow it’s important. As you bring new people on the team you find yourself constantly repeating the company vision. So, basically you are selling yourself as well.
    • Other crucial skills that any entrepreneur should have is to be able to focus. There are so many things happening,  that this probably will cause a lot of distractions for you. So you should be able to come along through ways to being able to focus and to prioritize tasks which are the most value to you.
    • The last skill that embraces the other two is being able to persevere. Primarily because there are so many ups and downs down the road that you need to have in mind to stay put. They maybe some days that you will probably have a lot of step backs, so being able persevere, to focus and have a perspective it’s the key to just keep going.
  • What is the thing that motivates you so you can be a successful founder?
    • For me I’ve always wanted to build a product that can provide value to other people. It’s creating something that can make an impact for people and for companies. That’s what it’s making me able me keep providing value to people and companies.
  • How would you define success?
    • For me, being successful is to be considered as a standard for industry.  This is how everybody finds new technology that continue to growth constant utilization of the platform. So as being considered as part of an industry standard, I would say the success pinnacle for us will be when somebody says okay I need to search for this specific technology and they come to “welcome.AI”
  • Where do you see yourself or your business in the next  5-10 years?
    • Our goal is to be the google of technology. For example, if you are thinking of searching for jobs, you go to Linkedin or one of your search job sites. When you want to get new technologies, you don’t go to google, you will come to us. That’s kind of our grand vision. so that’s a grand vision for the company and we are planning on having some sub-companies that we want to potentially have on the world with nice ideas. So as we build up welcome.ai we will be planning new tools we that will probably be spinning up to as new companies as well.  
  • If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?
    • How do you see the world changing in the next 5 – 10 years? The world is gonna be very different with the new implementations of AI.