Announcing our first Venture Studio and welcoming Erik Starck

At BootstrapLabs we are excited to welcome Erik Starck, as our Head of BootstrapLabs Venture Studio for Future of Work. Below you can find some short insights about our recently announced Venture Studio and learn more about Erik`s vision. 

Erik, why did you decide to join BootstrapLabs? 

A few months ago I decided to join my longtime friend and AI investor Nicolai Wadstrom at BootstrapLabs, to lead the new Venture Studio, and to explore and implement new cutting edge solutions to increase productivity by leveraging artificial intelligence technologies. BootstrapLabs has been pioneering Applied AI investments, and is uniquely positioned in the world of AI.    

It took me only 1 week to accept their offer. Nicolai and his team have built one of the highest quality communities of AI experts, invested in some of the top emerging category leader startups, and most importantly, shared my vision: it is not about where AI will have impact, but when. Sooner or later, AI will be applied everywhere. 

Everything that can be automated will be automated — and everything that has been automated can be augmented by AI.

What does that mean for the future of work?

Many years ago I wrote an article in a Swedish magazine about a variant of the Turing test that I called “the expert Turing test”.

The Turing test as described on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test)

For those not familiar with the Turing test, it is meant to test a computer for general intelligence, by asking questions using a terminal to a computer and a human behind two locked doors. If it’s not possible to distinguish between the computer and the human, the computer has “won”. It is to be considered equally intelligent (perhaps even conscious — but that’s another debate) as the human.

In my variant of the test, I exchanged the computer with a human using an internet connected computer in one room and an expert on a certain topic in the other. The human with the internet computer is a complete novice on the same topic.

When it’s not possible to distinguish the expert from the novice-with-computer, the novice “wins”.

The idea is that the human mind is augmented by the computer, to the level where even an amateur can perform certain tasks like a pro. The “expert Turing test” is thus a kind of IA test — as in Intelligence Augmentation — rather than AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Back in the ‘80s, Steve Jobs called the computer “a bicycle for the mind” due to how the computer makes the mind more efficient. Well, thanks to AI, this decade we will leave the bicycle stage (perhaps we already have?). Computers are becoming more like rocket ships for the mind than bicycles!

Computers have already made certain jobs obsolete, but it has also created new ones. Many more will come as the economy transforms into one driven by a new kind of operating system of apps and services that greatly enhances human capabilities.

This transition creates huge opportunities to create better co-workers, better teams, and better organisations (something I will be exploring as the Head of BootstrapLabs Venture Studio for Future of Work). This decade is going to bring amazing progress and we will look back on the early ‘20s as just the beginning. Exciting times.

Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – On the Road to Artificial General Intelligence

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

Danny LangeVP of AI and Machine Learning at Unity Technologies, brings his vast expertise in AI to illuminate the path technology is on and where it is headed. Danny discusses how the AI community is working to improve algorithms, the role of intelligence in biological evolution and learning, and the relationship between intelligence and the senses. Danny goes on to explain why game engines with a spatial (3D) environment in conjunction with a physics engine (gravity, inertia, and collision) are the perfect virtual biodomes for AI’s evolution, as they are fast, scalable, controlled, and self-sufficient ecosystems that closely replicate the natural environment. In conclusion, he shares new developments in reinforcement learning and the positive effect they will have on a variety of industries. Watch the video below to gain first-hand insights.

 

Speaker: Danny Lange, VP of AI & ML, Unity Technologies

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • Intelligence in biological systems provides the models for AGI.
  • Game engines are virtual biodomes that are used by researchers to play with different aspects of intelligence because they replicate parts of nature
  • Nature’s learning method is reinforcement (loop: observe, action, reward). This is why reward signals are used to teach Machine Learning agents.
  • Currently ML-agents are trained with more and more biological models, e.g. creating an algorithm for curiosity to accelerate the learning process.
  • The long-term goal is to get from the biological to the cultural evolution of the homo sapiens: The human brain was stable for the last 30,000 years, but things like emergence, language, collaboration and anticipation changed. When ML agents can learn methods themselves and from each other, this will create powerful Artificial General Intelligence.

About Danny Lange:
Dr. Danny Lange is VP of AI and ML at Unity Technologies. As the former Head of ML at Uber, he led an effort to build the world’s most versatile ML platform to support Uber’s rapid growth. Previously, Danny was the General Manager of Amazon ML, an AWS product that offers ML as a Cloud Service. Prior to Amazon, Danny was Principal Development Manager at Microsoft, where he was leading a product team focused on large-scale ML for Big Data. Danny started his career as a Computer Scientist at IBM Research and has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Denmark.

 

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Coffee Break Series – AEye

 

On Wednesday May 26th, BootstrapLabs Co-Founder Benjamin Levy moderated our latest Coffee Break Series on Applied AI and Autonomous Transportation. Together with AEye Co-Founder and VP of Corporate Development, Jordan Greene, and Chief Scientist, Allan Steinhardt, they discussed how AEye is revolutionizing autonomous mobility using its active, high-performance LiDAR, called iDAR™ (Intelligent Detection and Ranging). 

Using the principles of automated targeting systems and biomimicry, AEye’s iDAR is able to intelligently focus on what matters in its surroundings, while not missing anything, in  order to enable machines to make safer, smarter, and faster decisions in complex scenarios. 

BootstrapLabs was among the first investors in AEye, and on February 17, 2021 the company announced a SPAC deal (Nasdaq: CFAC) to scale its operations and expand internationally.

 

 

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • AEye’s goal has always been to create a LiDAR system that is better than human perception. Its iDAR system mimics the way the human eye and visual cortex process information – effectively merging 3D into 2D data, and  focusing on the collection of salient information for radically improved accuracy and performance. 
  • In the near future, AEye technology will be found in everything that moves, not only in the automotive driving market, but also – for example – in aerospace, mining and rail.
  • LIDAR is a secular trend and it is fast becoming the core technology that will allow us to bridge the gap between the physical world and digital world, and in doing so, create the necessary feedback-loop to build, measure, learn, and impact the physical world.

 

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Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – AI National Plans, State Funding and Geopolitical Implications

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

How governments and the private sector engage with AI may very well dictate their future economic strength and security posture. While many states are active in AI, only a few have a planned national strategy for employing the technology. This keynote and fireside chat bring together experts from FutureGrasp, an advisory firm founded by the first National Intelligence Officer for Technology (NIO/TECH) with the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the United Nations Interregional Crime & Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), and the World Economic Forum (WEF) to provide unique insights into what AI means for the future of geopolitics. Specifically, panelists address national plans and government investments into AI, and their respective geopolitical implications.

Presenter: Tom Campbell, Founder & President FutureGrasp LLC

Panelists: Irakli Beridze, Head of the Centre for AI & Robotics, United Nations; Kay Firth-Butterfield, Head of AI & ML, World Economic Forum

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • FutureGrasp created a report on AI National Plans around the world that will be published in the months after the conference: So far only 14 states developed an AI national plan and further 19 states expressed interest in doing so.
  • An estimated total of $646B has been invested in unclassified AI activities around the world led by Saudi Arabia, China, UAE and the US. Research is the most popular sector by number of states invested and most funds are allocated to Infrastructure and Industrial Strategy.
  • The World Economic Forum (WEF) is currently creating guidelines for procurement of artificial intelligence for the UK. This is an opportunity to shape the use of AI.
  • UNICRI explores how AI can be used by criminals and how to counter this threat by empowering law-enforcement agencies.
  • Countries should develop a national AI strategy because of the tremendous opportunity of the advancements in AI as well as the development of a deeper understanding of the threats posed by the technology in order to mitigate risk. This is why Europe has required all of their countries to develop national AI strategies.
  • Countries have the power to channel AI talent towards meaningful applications like sustainable development through investments and events.
  • Collaboration between the private sector and institutions like the WEF or the UN are essential to solve problems on a global scale.

About Tom Campbell:
Thomas A. Campbell, Ph.D. is founder and president of FutureGrasp, LLC, which advises organizations on trends and implications of emerging technologies. He is also a special advisor to BootstrapLabs, a senior fellow with the Council on Competitiveness, and a member of the steering/program committee for the AI Pioneers Forum. From 2015 to 2017, Tom was the first National Intelligence Officer for Technology with the National Intelligence Council in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. His career encompasses national and international experience in government, academia, industry, startups and national laboratories.

About Irakli Beridze:
Irakli Beridze is Head Head of the Centre for AI and Robotics at the United Nations, UNICRI. He initiated and managed the first UN Programme on AI and Robotics and organized several high-level events at the United Nations General Assembly. He is a member of various international task forces and working groups advising governments and international organizations on numerous issues related to international security, scientific and technological developments, emerging technologies, innovation and disruptive potential of new technologies, particularly advances in automation, on labour markets and on the jobs of the future. He is a recipient of recognition on the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW in 2013.

About Kay Firth-Butterfield:
Kay Firth-Butterfield is Head, AI & ML at the World Economic Forum and Barrister-at-Law and former part-time Judge in the United Kingdom and Professor of Law. She is an Associate Fellow of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of the Robert E. Strauss Center on international Security and Law at the University of Texas. She is Vice-Chair of the IEEE Initiative on Ethical Considerations in AI and Autonomous Systems. She is one of Robohub’s top 25 Women in Robotics in 2017 and co-founded AI-Austin, AI-Global and the Consortium for Law and Policy of AI and Robotics.

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Congratulations to Karim Galil and Wael Salloum – Mendel Raises $18M in Series A Funding

BootstrapLabs is pleased to share that our portfolio company Mendel.ai raised $18M in a Series A funding round. The new funding will go towards accelerating its growth and the development of a “clinical data marketplace” for people to not just organize, but also to share and exchange data for research purposes. The Series A round is being led by DCM, with OliveTree, Zola Global, MTVLP, and previous backers Launch Capital, SOSV, BootstrapLabs and chairman of UCSF Health Hub, Mark Goldstein, also participating.

“Since our platform became commercially available last year, our revenue has increased by 15X. It’s clear that our customers see Mendel’s value as we’ve had a 100% conversion rate from our pilot program to multi-year agreements. This funding will help us grow the team and reach the next phase of our business.”

Karim Galil, Co-Founder and CEO at Mendel.ai

Artificial Intelligence holds the promise to deliver orders of magnitude of efficiency increases for the healthcare industry. But in spite of large investments in the space by players such as IBM, Amazon, and others, the healthcare industry has yet to reap the full benefits of Artificial Intelligence.

The potential efficiencies for the healthcare industry include the ability to: collect the right data, anonymize the data (to be HIPAA compliant), extract meaning and facts, and then organize that data in a way that allows easy and efficient consumption and integration to numerous processes, workflows and automation.

Today, AI companies like Mendel.ai not only help large pharmaceutical companies to “fail fast” to better identify new treatments, but they are also having a big impact in improving the health system infrastructure by eliminating many of the current inefficiencies.

Starting from making data (from claims, faxes, PDFs, texts, etc.) “readable” by machines, Mendel.ai enables the whole healthcare ecosystem with their novel AI infrastructure for clinical data. 

In 2020, after 3 years of R&D, Mendel.ai launched a beta version of their new “Clinical-AI in a box” platform, which enables the work of data analysts, engineers, and epidemiologists across the healthcare data ecosystem.

Karim Galil and his team spent over 15 years developing novel AI approaches. With over 25 published papers, 350 citations and patent-pending models, Mendel.ai is accessing over 1 million patients’ clinical data, and saving lives, and aims to become the Twillio of healthcare.

Mendel.ai has been a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2017.

Karim Galil is Co-Founder and CEO at Mendel.ai. Karim has prior experience as a founder (KryptonWorx) and as a General Physician in Cairo, Egypt. He received a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery at Ain Shams University.

Wael Salloum is Co-Founder and CTO at Mendel.ai. Wael has over 10 years of experience in technology startups – and is 3x startup founder. He received a PhD in Computational Linguistics at Columbia University and a Masters of Science in Computer Science at Columbia University.

 

You can read the full press release below:

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Mendel, the company behind the clinical AI platform that understands the unstructured, natural language content within medical documents, announced it has raised $18 million in Series A funding. Read More.

 

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Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – AI and National Security

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

As tensions between super-powers mount on the international stage, trade tensions escalate, and the frequency and severity of cyber attacks amplify, it has never been so important to remind citizens of what is at stake. Panelists from the Technology for Global SecurityU.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Defense Innovation Unit discuss key topics covered in the annual unclassified US National Intelligence Report and what they are doing within their respective organizations to accelerate the discovery, development, vetting, adoption, and deployment of AI and other new technologies in service of protecting American lives and interests around the world.

Moderator: Philip Reiner, Executive Director, Technology for Global Security

Panelists: Melissa Oh, Managing Director, Silicon Valley Innovation Program, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, S&T; David Rothzeid, Director, Acquisition Pathways, Defense Innovation Unit

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • The applicability of AI has matured in recent years and it has plenty of opportunity to make data-informed decisions for (military) missions but it is important to know how to apply AI to the national security sector.
  • Currently it is used to support international border agencies to pre-screen travelers to help other countries conduct risk-assessments with predictive modeling and data visualization. It improves identity resolution to streamline passenger flow thus increasing efficiencies while keeping the country safe.
  • Other examples include:
    • A radar company focused on autonomous vehicles works on collision avoidance for small consumer drones to prevent them from intervening with helicopter operations.
    • The DIU sourced algorithms from the community to help prioritize where to distribute national disaster recovery personnel in case of an event.
    • Further, it is leveraging AI by using data of maintenance logs of legacy aircraft to support predictive maintenance.
  • In government, R&D cycles are very long, but nowadays the technology is not born in military labs anymore. The question is how the DIU and the DHS can engage with DevOps to take advantage of the speed of innovation in the tech ecosystem to learn and integrate into their processes and systems.
  • The ability to work with companies is a tremendous opportunity to generate significant deal flow and solve hard problems.
  • In order to incentivize collaboration with the government, the DIU and the DHS lowered the barrier to entry: They host industry engagement events or post a generic problem statement online and companies can submit a 5-15 page whitepaper to propose a solution from the tech-companies’ perspective. Then follows an evaluation process with a pitch and proposal and ultimately results in a prototype project. If successful, it will be scaled into a full rate production contract. The DoD has an annual budget of $700B to reach national security objectives which represents opportunities for companies to tap into government budget and work on complex technical problems.

About Philip Reiner:
Philip Reiner is the Executive Director of Technology for Global Security, a global non-profit that bridges technology and policy makers to fix tech-driven emerging security threats. He previously served in the Obama White House as Senior Director for South Asia on the National Security Council staff; as a civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Pentagon; and worked for a number of years at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, in their Electronic Warfare, Remote Sensing, and Vision Systems units. He routinely guest lectures on emerging international security risks at UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

About Melissa Oh:
Melissa Oh is the Managing Director for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). She is responsible for engaging entrepreneurs and innovators to help them better understand DHS’s mission and widen the pipeline of technologies addressing our most difficult homeland security challenges. Mrs. Oh has been at DHS since December 2002 and at S&T since September 2004 serving in several positions, prior to her current role, in Business and Finance Operations and Program Management across the Cyber Security and Border & Maritime Security Divisions. Mrs. Oh holds a B.S. in Cognitive Science, specializing in Neuroscience, from the University of California at San Diego and a M.S. in Systems Engineering from George Washington University.

About David Rothzeid:
Major David Rothzeid is an Acquisition Officer in the United States Air Force, currently assigned to Defense Innovation Unit, as the Director of Acquisition Pathways located in Mountain View, CA. Previous assignments include: Air Force Materiel Command, Hanscom AFB, MA; United States Special Operations Command, MacDill AFB, FL; Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO. He deployed a member of Special Operations Command in 2014 to Bagram AB, Afghanistan. He has a BA in Economics from Miami University, OH; and MBA in Management from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

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BootstrapLabs at the AAIC 2021 – Europe

 

On May 25th, BootstrapLabs Founder and CEO Nicolai Wadstrom participated in the European Applied AI Conference 2021, which was based in Vienna, Austria, but held virtually.

At this year’s conference, discussions focused on how to integrate AI into your business & organization, what are some of the best practices from corporations around the world, “Make or buy?” investments & corporate venture capital in AI, and ecosystem deep dives in France, Bulgaria, and the US.

In the session “Applied AI in the USA”, panelists Colin Parris, SVP & CTO at GE Digital, Christoph Braunsberger, CFO & President US at Anyline, and Nicolai Wadstrom, Founder & CEO at BootstrapLabs discussed what is happening in the largest and most active market in AI, from the perspective of a corporate (GE Digital), an Austrian scale-up that completed a successful market entry (Anyline) and a pillar of the AI ecosystem + VC firm specializing in AI (BootstrapLabs).

Nicolai also delivered a keynote on “Linking the US and Europe” and how AI disruption is the next $30 trillion market cap. He shared his story and explained how BootstrapLabs has become a leading Venture Capital firm in Applied Artificial Intelligence. 

More about BootstrapLabs:

BootstrapLabs invests in mission-driven founders who want to shape a better future by applying artificial intelligence to solve some of the world’s most important and valuable opportunities in sectors such as Mobility, Enterprise Productivity, Cyber, Health, Finance, Energy and Climate. BootstrapLabs is often the first institutional capital and acts as a lead investor at the early stages, with follow-on capital for the later stages. Founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, the firm has built a large community of Applied AI experts, founders, and executives to support its portfolio companies, and strives to be the most helpful and strategic investor, from product-market fit advisory to recruiting, business development, go-to-market strategy, and fundraising.

More about Nicolai Wadstrom: 

Nicolai is the Founder, CEO, and General Partner of BootstrapLabs, a leading venture capital firm, based in Silicon Valley and focused on Applied Artificial Intelligence and one of the most active firms in the Applied Artificial Intelligence space.

Nicolai launched his first business at 15, first tech startup in his early 20’s and has been launching and building companies throughout his professional career. He llaunched BootstrapLabs in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2008. He brings 25+ years of operational experience as a founding CEO & CTO scaling software technology platforms in VR, Internet, Financial Trading Systems (publicly listed on NASDAQ:OMX), Enterprise Software, etc. Through BootstrapLabs he has invested in, advised, and mentored 35+ companies and founding teams, helping them successfully build and scale proprietary technology, products, teams and operations.

He is applying a lifetime of operational, entrepreneurial and technology product development experience to support the BootstrapLabs portfolio companies to build and scale. He is also a frequent speaker and mentor at top Universities and Conferences in the US and Europe on topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Disruption, Startups and Venture Capital.

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BootstrapLabs at the Investing in AI Panel – Financing Predictions and Landscape in 2021

 

On Thursday May 13th, BootstrapLabs Principal Luigi Congedo participated in the webinar on Investing in AI – Financing Predictions and Landscape in 2021 – along with other industry experts.

Together with Lindsey S. Mignano (Smith Shapourian Mignano PC), Asif Moosani (Gradient Ventures), Owen Carton (NowCFO), and John Mannes (Basis Set), they had a conversation about the current state of the industry for early-stage AI startup founders, including topics such as:

  • Financing and acquisition trends for early stage startups
  • What early-stage American VCs investing in early-stage AI companies are looking for in 2021, and the realities of fundraising during a pandemic
  • Strategies for raising, remotely, a pre-seed (ex. $500K) vs. a Series Seed (ex. $1-4M) vs. a Series A ($5-20M+) round in 2021.

A wealth of knowledge was shared by everybody in this panel. From a VC perspective, John Mannes highlighted the importance of being disciplined about your process and building momentum when it comes to fundraising.

Lindsey Mignano emphasized the importance of working with investors that are experienced in your industry, especially for newer entrepreneurs.

And Luigi Congedo reminded founders the importance of fundraising, selling, and hiring. “This is an ongoing effort, you cannot just wait the next six months to start those processes. The approach towards them will dramatically change and increase your success.”

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About Luigi Congedo 

Luigi Congedo is a Principal at BootstrapLabs, a leading Venture Capital firm based in Silicon Valley and focused on Applied Artificial Intelligence. Luigi is responsible for deal-flow, investments, and business development, and is actively involved in advising the portfolio company founders. He leads the organization of the annual Applied AI Conference, bringing together over 800 AI leaders. and is a frequent speaker and mentor at different startup programs and events.

Prior to BootstrapLabs, Luigi worked at Samsung, AngelHack and RadiumOne. He also founded a pharmaceutical e-commerce company in Italy, lovesano.it. Born in Napoli, Luigi graduated from the University of Napoli Federico II with a B.S in Economics. He earned his Masters Degree in International Business at Hult International Business School in San Francisco and Shanghai. Luigi has lived in Italy, Spain, the UK, Ireland, and China during his career, and is now based in Silicon Valley. In 2018 he was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 leader on the prestigious annual list of young visionaries and the leaders of tomorrow.

Founder Stories – iUNU

iUNU is disrupting the way growers do business by harnessing the power of computer vision to change the economics of farming, turning greenhouse production into data-driven manufacturing plants.

By 2050, the world population is projected to reach over 9 billion, dramatically increasing the global demand for food.

iUNU has the vision to revolutionize food production by empowering data-driven productivity for commercial growers. IUNU’s current proprietary software and hardware technology, LUNA, consists of a system of mobile cameras, with high definition and environmental sensors that measure and record everything in a grower’s operation, allowing producers with real-time critical insights and new management capability.

Despite their controlled environment, large scale greenhouses still suffer from double digit crop loss. Today, the global markets are estimated to have over 100 billion square feet of greenhouses, with a total production value of $430 billion. The US market is still in early stages, and accounts for only 3% of the global greenhouse market, but has been growing at a rate of 22% YoY since 2007.

iUNU, is a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2018.

Adam Greenberg is the CEO of iUNU, a Seattle-based startup that provides AI and computer vision technology to help greenhouse growers optimize their operations. iUNU and Mr. Greenberg have been recognized with a Medal of Excellence nomination from Greenhouse Grower, best new indoor growing technology from United Fresh Produce Association, and at age 30, Adam became a member of GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2020. His passion for agriculture came from his father who is a botanist and entrepreneur. Mr. Greenberg earned his degrees in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington and is a former financial analyst at Amazon. Adam is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Southern Christian Leadership Council’s Global Policy Initiative, a member of the Board of Advisors of the Financial Services Innovation Coalition’s American Innovation & Opportunity Fund, and put the firm on the Advisory Board of the Indoor Farm Collaborative. He is a fifth-generation native of San Francisco and lives in Seattle, Washington where he enjoys traveling and the outdoors.

Congratulations to Chris Carson and Team – Hayden AI Secures $4.5M Funding Round Led by BootstrapLabs to Support Growth.

BootstrapLabs is pleased to share that our portfolio company Hayden AI Secures $4.5M funding round which brings the company’s total funding to $9.5 million, including a $5 million seed round from last year. The new funding will go towards accelerating the development and delivery of AI-powered solutions aimed at enabling governments to achieve their goals of safer streets, equitable transportation, and efficient urban mobility. Other participants in the round are MVP Partners, UC Berkeley’s Strawberry Creek Ventures, e.Republic, and Autotech Ventures.

Hayden AI’s platform provides cities with the ability to automate the gathering of real-time data using advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence to create a Digital Twin and knowledge graph of a city’s streets and curbs and the events that take place there.

Hayden AI has been a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2020.

“We are thrilled to have investors that bring significant expertise and comprehensive industry knowledge, which is invaluable as we continue to empower smart cities around the world to end traffic-related fatalities and severe injuries while providing safe and equitable mobility for all.”

Chris Carson, Co-Founder and CEO of Hayden AI

“Smart technologies are driving the creation of safer cities and Hayden AI is at the forefront of this revolution,”

Nicolai Wadstrom, Founder, CEO, and General Partner at BootstrapLabs

 

You can read the full press release below:

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Hayden AI Technologies, Inc. (“Hayden AI”), a leading smart city solutions provider, today announced the closing of a $4.5 million funding round led by BootstrapLabs, an early-stage Silicon Valley venture capital firm focused on Applied Artificial Intelligence. Read More.

Congratulations to Matt Man and Navin Kaminoulu – INDUS.AI acquired by Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software.

BootstrapLabs is pleased to share that Procore Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: PCOR) acquired our portfolio company INDUS.AI on May 6, 2021.

Unlike the design, planning, and virtualization phases of the construction industry, the actual construction phase, where 90% of the time and money is spent, has seen very little improvement with the advances of computing power and software, until now. 

INDUS.AI uses machine vision technology to turn real world events into measurable insights, and helps developers and contractors reduce the $10 trillion dollars being wasted each year due to inefficiencies and delays. The company is growing fast and already covers 100 million square feet across 32 construction sites. 

All parties involved, including the cities and governing agencies, benefit from the increased transparency, safety and visibility provided by the Indus.ai software platform, offering an opportunity for the company’s technology to become a new standard for the construction industry. 

Indus.ai has been a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2017.

“Our customers depend on the Procore platform as their system of record. With our investments in analytics and AI, we’re becoming their system of intelligence and helping our customers unlock the value of their project data through powerful insights that enable better, data-driven decisions.”

Tooey Courtemanche, Procore founder and CEO

“Since 2017, INDUS.AI has been using computer vision and AI to improve the lives of construction professionals, freeing them up to focus on the most important parts of their projects. The Procore platform contains immense amounts of visual data, and we’re looking forward to transforming it into actionable construction knowledge together,”

Matt Man, Co-Founder and CEO of INDUS.AI

You can read the full press release below:

CARPINTERIA, Calif., May 6, 2021 – Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software, today announced it has acquired INDUS.AI, makers of an artificial intelligence-powered analytics platform for the construction industry. This acquisition adds computer vision capabilities to the Procore platform, helping owners, general contractors, and specialty contractors realize greater efficiencies, safety, and profitability. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed. Read More.

Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – Transforming the Food Industry with Applied AI

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

By 2050, world population is projected to reach over 9 billion, increasing the demand for food dramatically. In this session, panelists Walter Robbformer Co-CEO of Whole Foods, and Adam Greenberg, CEO of iUNU, discuss how to create and incentivize a healthier, more transparent, and more efficient food supply through controlled environment agriculture (CEA), computer vision, precision agriculture, and other emerging AI applications.

Moderator: Benjamin Levy, Co-Founder, BootstrapLabs

Panelists: Adam Greenberg, Founder & CEO, iUNU; Walter Robb, Principal, Stonewall Robb Advisors, Entrepreneur & Former Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • We have come to a great inflection point with increased disruption, change and opportunity in food and agriculture.
  • Currently we are still losing 40% of food we produce and we are using 5 pounds of soil for every pound of food which means that we are burning through our soil.
  • On the other side, the use of synthetic chemicals (pesticides, fertilizers) will be outperformed by botanicals and consumers are increasingly aware that the quality of food matters.
  • Technology today helps to serve the customer the way they want to be served and the companies which take a tech-forward approach in their go-to-market strategy succeed.
  • Challenges in agriculture today:
    • Farmers can lose 20-30% of plants because they do not know where they are.
    • 63% of growers are above 50 years old but replenish rate is only at 2-3% per year which means knowledge and working power gets lost.
  • The question is how to scale a grower. Currently, they spend between 5-10% a day using their knowledge to solve problems. By bringing the problem to them, they can focus on these issues 60-80% of their time.
  • iUnu is offering an automated inventory tracking software with robotic vision and AI to identify issues and allow forecasting. This way they provide value and context to producers (who often are not tech savvy) with an easy to use system.
  • Future developments:
    • The number of farms in the US is down, but organic and indoor farming is growing.
    • Soy-based proteins could be up to 30% of the market.
    • More biodiversity will be discovered in the next world of food while today, 75% of our food is based on 12 plants and 5 animals.
    • Food will be a big part of the healthcare because health and nutrition is individually based on your biome and can now be tailored with modern technology.
    • Soon stores will be able to recognize consumers and tailor real-time offers if the consumer gives permission.
  • Other current AI developments include tracking insects to give recommendations how to treat pests more efficiently as well as assessing the combination of foods to figure out the unintended consequences of putting foods together.

About Ben Levy:
Prior to BootstrapLabs, Ben Levy was a repeat entrepreneur who launched, built, and exited two startups in the financial technology space, Praedea Solution and InsideVenture. He was also a Technology, Media, and Telecom Investment Banker who advised startup founders and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies on corporate strategy, financing, and M&A. Ben helped his clients raise over $300M from institutional investors and close over $5B in M&A transactions. Ben is a frequent keynote and panel speaker on innovation, technology investing, entrepreneurship, AI, and globalization in the US, Europe, and Asia.

About Adam Greenberg:
Adam Greenberg has a passion for solving fundamental global challenges and brings a clear vision of how iUNU will be a major player in that solution. Adam grew up with a love for agriculture through the lens of his botanist father. He founded iUNU in 2013 as he saw how precision agriculture could revolutionize food production. Adam earned his degrees in Finance and Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington. He spent two years at Amazon, but ultimately found his passion in leading innovation. Adam enjoys presenting for organizations such as the U.S. Farm Bureau, Indoor AgCon, Orange telecommunications and many more.

About Walter Robb:
Former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market Walter Robb has a long and varied entrepreneurial history, ranging from natural food retailer to farmer to consultant. Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 and was named co-CEO in 2010, at which time he joined the Whole Foods Market Board of Directors. In 2017, Robb transitioned his focus to his role as an advocate for greater food access in underserved communities, serving as Chairman of the Board for Whole Kids Foundation and Whole Cities Foundation. Robb is an Executive in Residence at S2G Ventures and serves on the Board of Directors for Union Square Hospitality Group, The Container Store, FoodMaven, HeatGenie and Apeel Sciences.

Founder Stories – Hayden AI

Hayden AI – Applied AI and Smart Cities

The concept of Smart Cities has evolved as a need for cities to operate more efficiently and serve their citizens better. The problem is that today’s cities are data poor – they have very little real-time or historical data about what exists in their cities and what happens on their streets and curbs.

Gathering detailed data leads to insights and knowledge that can be used for everything from traffic enforcement and maintenance of infrastructure, to long-term planning and policy, which is essential not just for creating the cities of tomorrow, but for the efficient use of local tax dollars and the safety of its citizens.

Hayden AI’s platform provides cities with the ability to automate the gathering of real-time data using advanced computer vision and artificial intelligence to create a Digital Twin and knowledge graph of a city’s streets and curbs and the events that take place there.

Early customers are looking to use Hayden AI’s platform for real-time and automated traffic enforcement, such as bus lanes and school bus violations in major US cities.

Next, Hayden AI will expand their offering to cover a wide range of automated AI powered services and insights to empower the smart cities of the future.

Hayden AI has been a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2020.

Chris Carson, a former U.S. Marine in the Fleet Anti-Terrorism Team (FAST), is the founder and CEO of Hayden AI. Chris and the founding team have experience in deploying sensor systems, computer vision, and state-of-art Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) systems for autonomous vehicles and Smart City applications. He is a global strategy, innovation, venture development expert, and thought-leader for disruptive and digital innovation. Chris cultivated his expertise over 20 years, working in various operations and engineering roles with technology-driven multinationals, startups, and consultancies. Chris holds a Ph.D. in Information Architecture and Computer Vision from Waseda University.

Vaibhav Ghadiok is the co-founder and VP of Engineering at Hayden AI. Vaibhav is an engineering leader with a track record of productizing robotics technology from lab to industry. He has 10+ years of experience in sensing, perception, navigation, and control of autonomous UAVs and mobile robots. Vaibhav has an extensive ability to build and lead multi-disciplinary teams spanning theory to systems while working cross-functionally with product, sales and business development. Vaibhav received a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Riverside, and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at Utah State University.

Bo Shen is the co-founder and CTO at Hayden AI. Bo has extensive industry experience in developing large scale, high performance multimedia systems, especially in the areas of image/video/audio coding, distributed caching and adaptive streaming, computer vision, and machine/deep learning. He also has distinguished research experience in areas of multimedia signal processing and networking systems. Bo received a Ph.D. in Computer Science at Wayne State University.

Michael Byrne is the co-founder and VP of Product Management at Hayden AI. Michael is a passionate and dynamic professional with 20+ years of experience in product development & business strategy. He spent 18 of those years in the product management, marketing, and business growth of key technologies for the safety & risk management industries with a primary focus on commercial fleets, commercial insurance, automotive OEMs, and strategic platform partnerships. Michael has also extensive experience in C-level enterprise sales, contract negotiations, channel development & relations, product marketing & business strategies, as well as formal public speaking. Michael received a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.

Flashback: BootstrapLabs Applied AI Conference – How AI is Shaping the Future of Manufacturing, Construction & Industrial Design

The BootstrapLabs Applied Artificial Intelligence Conference 2019 #AAI19 brought together the brightest and most experienced experts in the field of AI for an immersive day of learning, discussion, and connection.

On BootstrapWorks we have released the videos from this past conference to relive the moments and spread the knowledge around the diverse topics covered by our experts on stage. 

BootstrapLabs has built a community of more than 40,000 people from over 60 countries who care about applying Artificial Intelligence to solve the hardest problems of our society.

Get access to practical wisdom on Applied AI methodologies and take advantage of AI’s powerful potential, sign up here to receive the videos directly into your inbox. 

Construction, manufacturing, and industrial design projects are often far too complex to be effectively managed by people. It is in this capacity that AI is uniquely suited to help. This keynote and fireside chat brings together Matt ManCo-Founder and CEO of Indus.ai, and Mike HaleySenior Director of AI and Robotics at Autodesk. They will discuss how to leverage AI’s capacity for synthesizing real-time data in support of managing, predicting, and optimizing for safety, quality, productivity, and efficiency within the construction and manufacturing industries.

Presenter: Matt Man, Founder & CEO, indus.ai

Panelist: Mike Haley, Senior Director of AI & Robotics, Autodesk

Some of the key takeaways from the session are:

  • Choosing the right problem to solve with AI is as important as the problem.
  • Manufacturing ($31T), real estate & construction ($25T) and industrial (mining, agriculture, utilities etc.) ($15) are trillion dollar markets for next generation services. Opportunities for AI include better planning and scheduling, safer environments, higher productivity, less waste and more agility and resilience.
  • Try to look at a problem with a limited amount of failure in the system still provides high value (e.g. 97% of accuracy). Automate existing processes – then take a look where there are new capabilities to do things differently.
  • Monitoring construction sites nowadays is still mostly done via pen and paper and a few people on site. This is a reason why 90% of construction projects over-budget by 80% which represents $10T of waste.
  • Indus.ai created a tool for the smart construction site, where computer vision and ML/AI deliver actionable insights on progress tracking, worker metrics, truck/materials arrivals and overall site production analytics. This provides 10x of the normal visibility, and helps avoiding mistakes early, checking progress and giving insight on how to build a much better plan.
  • Traditionally manufacturers and designers were separated from each other, but with large amounts of data and AI one can incorporate the process how something is built and used as well as the used materials and supply chains into the design process to create an optimal design that flows right into the process of manufacturing and construction.
  • Generative design explores a design with thousands of permutations e.g. on the different forces that impact a seatbelt bracket. This way, a car company designed a new bracket that uses 30% less materials and is 40% lighter.
  • Autodesk’s BrickBot project consists of an adaptive robot that learns how to build Lego from a physics and visual simulator that simulates what the camera and torque sensor on the arm will feel. This way it can go through a million iterations in a few hours so when it actually starts building, it already knows what to do.
  • Future outlook:
    • Imagine if construction sites had three adaptable machines instead of hundreds of specialists – it would be much more flexible, safe and efficient.
    • Today, most AI is very limited on an area of expertise – there is no AI that is applied at the systems level because it is quite complex with high levels of freedom. The only way to be efficient is to understand the system – evolving AI to gain to that level of understanding is a vision with tremendous reward.

About Matt Man:
Matt Man is the founder and CEO of indus.ai, a construction intelligence company. Before indus.ai, Matt co-founded a mobile technology company GreenOwl Mobile and deployed 40+ smart city products in over 25 cities, worldwide. GreenOwl Mobile was acquired by one of the largest architecture and design technology firms in the world, IBI Group. Matt has specialized in deploying technology to Enterprise and Industrial markets for 20 years and has developed a deep understanding of the challenges operating in the industrial environments. His experience with AI was first developed at the University of Toronto, where he pioneered his first neural network to translate sign language to spoken words 25 years ago.

About Mike Haley:
Mike leads the Machine Intelligence group at Autodesk Research where they identify, evaluate, and develop disruptive technologies that improve the practice of imagining, designing, and creating a better world. His team combines research, development, and user experience in coupled iterative cycles to develop new products and foundational technology. For the last several years Mike’s team has been focused on bringing geometric shape analysis and large scale machine learning techniques to 3D design information with the intent to make software a true partner in the design process.

Formerly, Mike led the move of Autodesk products from the desktop to the cloud by driving the adoption of scalable distributed compute and data technology. Prior to joining Autodesk, Mike performed research and product development in the fields of volumetric graphics, distributed multimedia, computer vision, and embedded systems. He is drawn to areas where he can combine his 25 years of experience in computer graphics, distributed systems, and mathematical analysis. Mike holds an MS in computer science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Founder Stories – NavTrac

NavTrac – Applied AI and Logistics 

The size of the global logistics industry is estimated at approximately $10 trillion annually, representing approximately 10% of the global GDP. Like many other traditional industries, transportation and logistics is confronting immense challenges and changes.

BootstrapLabs has been tracking this industry and we believe that the growth of collaboration, digitalization and standardization of shipments, labeling, and systems will have a large impact here. Currently, global supply chain infrastructure is fragmented, complex and still mostly analog. Incumbents in the industry have limited access to and understanding of digital technology.

Companies like NavTrac are quickly transforming the industry by automating data and tracking by integrating AI and computer vision.

Starting with Container Yard Management, NavTrac has created the first digital platform of its kind to manage the data and track containers from the point a container arrives on the shipment dock or yard. The company has already successfully deployed its AI system to some of the largest players in the market and revenues are now growing 20% MoM.

NavTrac has been a BootstrapLabs portfolio company since 2019.

John Daniels is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder at NavTrac. He is responsible for driving the vision of the company, more than doubling NavTrac’s revenues in the middle of the pandemic with some of the largest transportation and logistic players, as well as growing a team of super talented engineers and business development individuals. Prior to NavTrac, John was a research analyst covering the transportation sector. John has extensive experience utilizing satellite, unmanned aircraft systems and other alternative sensors to collect data in the industrial economy. John holds a BA from Columbia University.

Mihail Pivtoraiko is the Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder at NavTrac. He is responsible for developing NavTrac’s high-performance machine vision software platform, with an accuracy rate of 99.7% and decreasing industry processing speed from days to minutes, and eventually seconds. Prior to NavTrac, Mihail completed his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University and postdoc at the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania, under the guidance of the world-renowned robotics professor Vijay Kumar. Mihail previously worked at Intel Corp, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and at Lockheed Martin as part of the DARPA Robotics Challenge.