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UpTech Report

UpTech Report

By Alexander Ferguson
The UpTech Report is a channel committed to diving deep into upcoming technologies that will disrupt how we live, work, and play. We’re also thrilled to share real stories told directly by C-Suite executives about how their companies are leveraging Software as a Service (SaaS), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and other emerging technologies to maintain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly-changing world.
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Deeper Data for Better Benefits | Rodney Reasen from Springbuk

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Getting Your Head in the Cloud | Tobias Kunze from Glasnostic
Applications were complicated enough, but with the advent of the cloud, they’ve reached a level of complexity that’s often difficult to manage. With multi-clouds, hybrid clouds, edge computing, and external data dependencies, applications have become a tangled web of interconnected systems. And the more complex a system, the more opportunities for things to go wrong.  Our guest on this edition of UpTech Report is trying to solve this with his startup, Glasnostic, which actively monitors and manages interactions in the cloud, allowing problems to be resolved in real time before they take down systems.
01:04
June 24, 2021
The Tao of Testing | Dan Widing from ProdPerfect
Software development is an exceedingly complex endeavor. And often you have disparate teams with varying approaches that are difficult to connect. When it comes time to test, it’s difficult to know exactly what elements to test, and what tests to use. In 2017, Dan Widing began asking some questions about the process.  “What if you didn't have to hire a bunch of people in QA engineering to scale up testing all of your development project? What would that mean to you? How much faster could you go? How much cheaper could it be?” These questions eventually led to ProdPerfect, which offers an autonomous end-to-end regression testing platform.  They say it’s the first and only of its kind. On this edition of UpTech Report, Dan tells us how it all got started, how he managed to find his first clients, and just how the platform works.
25:54
June 23, 2021
Defending the Cloud | Gil Friedrich from Avanan
Gil Friedrich was working at a successful cyber security company, and life was good. And then starting around 2011, he noticed that more and more clients were transitioning to cloud systems and wanted to ensure their security. But the solutions were still rooted in more traditional architecture and Gil felt they were inadequate for the job.  “There was an opportunity to protect SaaS applications from the inside,” Gil says. That opportunity eventually became Avanan, which offers an enterprise solution for cloud email and collaboration security.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Gil discusses some of the major cyber security challenges of the 21st century, how his solution works differently than others, and he offers some key advice on what all companies should be doing to protect themselves.
26:33
June 22, 2021
The Startup Whiz | Rohit Vashisht from WhizAI
From day one, Rohit Vashisht knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur, and he didn’t waste any time getting started. Right out of college, he founded his first startup, then moved on to become a founder of a fintech startup, and continued on again as a founder of an influencer marketing platform.  Today, he’s the co-founder and CEO of WhizAI, a system designed for life sciences that uses AI and natural language processing to deliver nearly any information requested, mostly in milliseconds. On this edition of Founders Journey, Rohit walks us through the many ups and downs of his long career, and shares some insights he gained along the way on how and when to acquire funding, building the right team, and finding that first customer.
24:13
June 21, 2021
Lighting It Up | Enrico Palmerino from Botkeeper
Hot dog stands, energy drink distribution, custom ping-pong balls—Enrico Palmerino has run about every kind of business you can imagine. His ventures attracted him to data analysis, which eventually led him to found his current tech startup, Botkeeper, an automatic bookkeeping solution for accounting firms, powered by AI and machine learning.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Enrico tells us about his early beginnings and how he ended up creating a lighting company in college that pulled in over $8 million in revenue by his senior year.
25:42
June 18, 2021
Seeking the Greater Challenge | Yoav Vilner from Walnut.io
Yoav Vilner’s first startup was a marketing firm for tech companies—and with 600 clients, it offered him an unparalleled education in the challenges startups face, and the methods to succeed.    “I was very, very lucky to see the ins and outs of hundreds of startups, in different industries, trying to do different things with different budgets,” Yoav says. The education paid off. After that first startup, several others followed, all of them enjoying varying degrees of success.   On this edition of Founders Journey, Yoav takes us through his career, including what he learned in that first marketing firm, his startup that helped save children from predators—and why he ultimately left that company to found his current startup, Walnut.io, which creates codeless software demos for sales and marketing teams.
27:12
June 17, 2021
Using Tech to Solve Its Biggest Problem | Shay David from Retrain.ai
As one of four co-founders at Kaltura, an enterprise video platform, Dr. Shay David focused a lot on the technology behind the product. But after time, he began to wonder what companies were actually using it for.    He discovered many were turning to video as an important tool for training employees and developing new skills. It was this realization that eventually led him to turn his attention to the problem of the widening skills gap our world is facing at an alarming rate.    So David founded retrain.ai a company that uses artificial intelligence to forecast and develop tomorrow’s workforce.    On this edition of Founders Journey, Dr. David discusses how the changing job market became so important to him, and why he believes the key to success is an unwavering focus on the value we create for the customer.
24:20
June 15, 2021
From Halo to CEO | Renji Bijoy from Immersed
Renji Bijoy only discovered his coding skills by accident. While studying to become a medical student, he was forced to take a course in Java programming, and he discovered he was good at it. He took to it so much, in fact, when all his med school applications came back, he threw them all in the trash—both the thin rejection letters and the thick acceptance packets.  What followed was an insatiable desire to advance. Though he excelled in his jobs, he continuously sought something more. “I never asked for more money, I only asked for more responsibility,” he says. Eventually, it became clear he needed to set out on his own, and that’s when Immersed was born—a tech startup that allows people with VR headsets to work in a virtual office space, with features only possible in an artificial world.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Renji tells us about his early experiences as the child of immigrants, how he eventually found his way to leading a tech startup with $12 million in funding—and why playing Halo was integral to the process.
28:25
June 14, 2021
You Only Need to Ask | Rohit Vashisht from WhizAI
Whether it’s baseball or bioengineering, data is everything now. We’re awash in dashboards showing us so much information from so many perspectives, it can sometimes make us wonder what we’re supposed to be looking at and why.  But the goal has always been to get the information we need—and quickly. Rohit Vashisht wondered if there might be an easier way. His solution became Whiz.ai, a system designed for life sciences that uses AI and natural language processing to deliver nearly any information requested  in milliseconds.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Rohit tells us where this idea originated, how it all works, why he chose to focus on life sciences, and the broader impact it could have on the industry.
23:34
June 11, 2021
Bots for Bookkeeping | Enrico Palmerino from Botkeeper
New technologies, such as cloud computing, have made entrepreneurship more possible than ever. But as more and more people are becoming CEOs and developers, fewer and fewer are becoming accountants—services that are sorely needed to make operations function. Enrico Palmerino encountered this problem with his own startup.  “Our accounting department just couldn't keep up with the growth or the complexities of the business,” Enrico says. He eventually discovered a large part of the problem was the lack of technology solutions in this field.  This led him to found Botkeeper, an automated bookkeeping service for accounting firms powered by AI and machine learning. On this edition of UpTech Report, Enrico discusses how he’s using this advanced technology to give the accountants more time to focus on their clients.
24:16
June 10, 2021
Creating the Perfect Product Demo | Yoav Vilner from Walnut.io
Yoav Vilner was building one of the world’s first tech marketing companies in his 20’s, and he noticed something funny. His hundreds of clients poured truckloads of money to reach their targets. “But when the prospects actually moved on to see what the product is about,” Yoav says, “often stuff broke… like 90% of them failed.” Years after, he finally cracked it. Walnut.io was born and began to define a new category in tech. On this edition of UpTech Report, Yoav tells us how Walnut creates codeless and customized demos that never crash and are easy for sales teams to share with prospects and marketing teams to embed in materials.
18:44
June 9, 2021
Preparing the Workforce of Tomorrow | Shay David from Retrain.AI
The digital and automation transformation of our society has brought countless improvements to how we work, learn, play, and communicate. But it’s also creating a disruption in the job market, that, according to retrain.ai co-founder and CEO Dr. Shay David, is only just beginning.  “We're using a conservative number suggesting that 30% of jobs are going to either disappear or completely morph in terms of skill sets,” Shay says. “We're talking about a billion people that need to be upscaled and retrained over the next decade.”  On this edition of UpTech Report, Dr. David tells us how his company is solving this problem—perhaps ironically—by using artificial intelligence to help forecast where companies will need to transition and identify employees who possess the aptitude to develop the necessary skills.
25:48
June 8, 2021
Your Outer Space Workspace | Renji Bijoy from Immersed
Work-from-home culture was already prevalent before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it’s quickly become a way of life, and many are never going back. But our home offices often leave much to be desired—if you’re even lucky enough to have a home office that isn’t also your bedroom.  And connecting with coworkers on Zoom can highlight the distance between us, rather than bring us together. As a software developer working with remote teams, Renji Bijoy felt these problems keenly. And when he set out to develop a solution using VR, he quickly discovered he wasn’t alone.  “Over the course of about a month, I had a list of 3000 people who wanted to buy this product,” Renji says, “but the product didn't exist.” Thankfully, it does exist today, and it’s called Immersed.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Renji discusses how Immersed allows people with VR headsets to enter a virtual office space for working alone or collaborating with others, and with features only possible in an artificial world—including working on a space station.
25:23
June 7, 2021
The Tech Firm Flipper | Paul Farrell from Hanani Security
If UpTech Report was a real estate show, most of our episodes would feature the house builders—the people who draw up the blueprints and get busy sawing and hammering.  But today’s guest, Paul Farrell, is more like a house flipper. He buys tech companies, fixes their problems, expands them (if appropriate), and then sells them for a profit.  And the perspective of such people is invaluable, as they truly understand how things can go wrong—and how to make them right. Paul stops by to tell us about some of the many tech companies he’s dealt with, where they succeeded and failed, and what was needed to get them back on track. The lessons are copious and crucial, so take notes!
36:04
June 4, 2021
The Giving Spree | Greg Segall from Alyce
Alyce isn’t Greg Segall’s first startup—his first began when he was 19, and there were more that followed. But when he talks about the difference between the success of Alyce and the others, it isn’t merely a matter of lessons learned through the years. It was, in fact, the birth of his daughter that inspired him to create something more - with a purpose that makes a difference “The love that you have for this little baby is like more than you'd ever imagine,” Greg says. “And the last company I started was great.... But it wasn't an impactful business.” To create a business with more meaning, Greg developed what he calls “the three pillars of giving.” They include giving an authentic experience, giving back to the community, and giving to the planet. On this edition of Founders Journey, Greg tells us how he came to appreciate these principles and incorporate them into the very foundation and platform of a business that’s changing the way we approach digital marketing and relationship building.
32:14
June 3, 2021
AI-Drive Content Curation | Ralph Pahlmeyer from Vestorly
The tools for digital marketing are powerful and plentiful. There are advanced tools to help you target potential customers by analyzing online behavior, tools to help you distribute materials through a myriad of channels—when you’re ready to promote your business and engage your audience, you’ll find yourself with an arsenal of software solutions.  There’s just one thing missing… Right, the content. When Ralph Pahlmeyer founded Vestorly, which began as an automated marketing platform, he discovered content is what his clients needed the most.  Now Vestorly uses artificial intelligence to deliver content customized for target audiences. On this edition of UpTech Report, Ralph discusses in more detail his efforts to develop his content engine, and the business decisions that drove him to license this technology to other market automation platforms.
34:51
June 2, 2021
Coming to America | Ike Kavas from Ephesoft
Ike Kavas’ story is uniquely American. A Turkish immigrant, he came to this country with no money, no connections, but a lot of skill and determination. He had thirty days to find a job—but no computer. So he wandered into a local college and used the computers there to send out his resume.  On day 27, he found a job. From there, his career is a series of stops and starts that eventually, through careful capitalizing of every opportunity, leads to him becoming the founder and CEO of Ephesoft, a technology startup that automates document processing.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Ike tells the story of how he went from an immigrant with barely a few dollars in his pocket to the leader of a successful company with over 150 employees and offices across the globe.
25:53
June 1, 2021
An Affordable DIY Camera Component | Marc Sheade from Thine Solutions
When it comes to developing the inspiring technologies of tomorrow, nothing quite beats the fun of physically assembling your own gadget. And with the wide availability of DIY computing components, like Raspberry Pi, it’s easier than ever to build that better mousetrap.  Our guest on this edition of UpTech Report is Marc Sheade of Thine Solultions, which is taking those possibilities one step further by offering an affordable camera and imaging processing system that can plug into Raspberry Pi boards with a long cable, allowing for applications in surveillance, medical tech, biometrics and more.  Marc explains the surprising sophistication behind this technology and some of its many possible uses.
18:55
May 31, 2021
AI Power to the People | William Falcon from Grid.ai
The possible uses for artificial intelligence are endless—and so are the headaches. Designing an AI application can mean running through hundreds of iterations, taking months of time. And managing the scalability is an engineering task most smaller organizations don’t have the manpower for.  As an employee at Facebook, William Falcon didn’t much need to worry about these things. He had an army of engineers and enough computing power to simulate a universe. But what about the people who didn’t work for big tech?  The answer to this question eventually became Grid.ai, a startup William co-founded to give everyone the power to quickly run through hundreds of AI iterations while eliminating the need to manage infrastructure.  On this edition of UpTech Report, William tells us how the technology works and some fascinating use cases.
31:31
May 28, 2021
Putting the Personal in Sales at Scale | Greg Segall from Alyce
It used to be that salespeople were the experts at personal connections. They knew how to understand you, and took the time to relate and engage with you, to reach you on a personal level. Today, salespeople are often more like data analysts. Their job is not to connect personally, but rather to attract attention and hit a number of outreach touchpoints. It can be effective, but consumers are getting tired of it. And though digital marketing is here to stay, our guest on this edition of UpTech Report is trying to bring back the personal to sales. To establish relationships and delivery experiences that matter and help businesses grow. Greg Segall is the founder and CEO of Alyce, a company that offers what they call a “Personal Experience (PX) platform.” Greg stops by to explain how he’s changing the blast marketing approach to scaling one-to-one relationships, by focusing on the recipient’s #5to9 interests  - giving the people what they want.
22:36
May 27, 2021
Throwing Away the Manual | Ike Kavas from Ephesoft
The potential of computing technology is so vast, we will continuously realize new possibilities that change the way we work, travel, play, and create. But we should not lose sight of the computer’s most central purpose—to make life easier.  So why do they often make life so much harder? One area that’s especially pernicious is document management. Computers are great at creating documents—so much so, in fact, you probably have hundreds-of-thousands if not millions of documents on your hard drive right now. But processing the data in those documents can take enough manual clicks to give you carpal tunnel.  Ike Kavas, the founder and CEO of Ephesoft, believes we should be replacing manual with automated wherever possible.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Ike tells us how his startup is automating document processing, and walks us through some of the major technological challenges the solution faces.
20:30
May 26, 2021
Putting it All Together | Alexandra McManus from Eyrus
The story of how Alexandra McManus became the co-founder and CEO of Eyrus is worthy of study. Naturally driven to entrepreneurship from a young age, Alexandra found herself a creative problem solver.  And the problems she’s found herself solving throughout her career include how to manage funding a startup, how to identify the right talent, how to secure the first client, and of course, how to develop a product that brings value to others and profitability to the creators.  She’s solved all of these problems for herself as a founder, and some combination of them for others as a consultant. And now she stops by Uptech Report for an edition of Founders Journey in which she shares her story and the many insights she’s developed along the way.
28:17
May 25, 2021
Creating the Future Foreman | Alexandra McManus from Eyrus
If you think building an app is complicated—try building an apartment complex. Construction projects are extraordinarily sophisticated operations that pose myriad logistical, organizational, and even legal challenges. And coordinating the activities of all the various workers and stakeholders is especially important. “Having the right number of the right type of people on site at the right time is a leading indicator of project success across the board,” says Alexandra McManus, the co-founder and CEO of Eyrus, a company that offers a workforce productivity and visibility solution for the construction sector. On this edition of UpTech Report, Alexandra talks about how capturing information and managing its distribution can affect safety, productivity, and profitability. She also discusses how she’s applying emerging software and hardware solutions for an industry that has historically lagged with digital technology.
23:03
May 20, 2021
Surviving 2020 | James Armijo from Vanco
James Amrijo was the founding member of Smartcare, a startup bringing technology to daycare centers—a sector in dire need of computer management solutions to track children and manage payments. Though target customers were a challenge to reach, the company was making excellent traction. And then nearly every daycare center in America was forced to close.  When they gradually reopened, their enrollments were decimated. Many shuttered permanently. So how do you cater to an industry that’s barely surviving?  In this edition of Founders Journey, James tells the story of how he weathered one of the greatest storms in a century and came out on the other side stronger than ever, positioning the company for a major acquisitions deal by Vanco, a company that offers a nonprofit payment network.
37:59
May 19, 2021
Immersive Tech for Mobile Workers | Ben Taft from Mira
For twenty percent of the workforce, the idea of being at work typically conjures an image of one sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen. Yet a more significant percentage of the population is on their feet - whether that be out in the field or on a  factory floor.  Our guest on this edition of UpTech Report, Ben Taft, co-founder, and CEO of Mira, is trying to bring innovative technology traditionally adopted by the white-collar workforce to the rest of the world. Ben explains why it’s historically been so difficult to develop and deploy wearable technology for workers, and how he and his team found a scalable solution powered by the world’s most universal tool -  the smartphone.  Through the Mira Prism Pro, industrial workers can enhance their operations with augmented reality while sharing their field of vision with remote managers for guidance.
21:54
May 18, 2021
Delivering the Message | Troy Goode from Courier
The basic functionality of an app, whether it’s web, desktop, or mobile, isn’t always basic to code. Sometimes it’s those common features that tap so much of a developer’s energy. Notifications are one such example. We expect most all apps to notify us of incoming messages, calendar events, available updates, comment replies, friend requests, and the list could continue for several pages.  This is the plumbing of an app, and it can often be arduous. In his previous experience as VP of Engineering and a CTO and tech startups, Troy Goode saw how marketing automation was handled by various services such as HubSpot, but that other message delivery needs were handled in-house. This is why he founded Courier.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Troy explains how his company created a fully automated notification delivery system, why it is such a complicated problem, and what new technologies they’re developing to make notifications work better than ever.
29:43
May 13, 2021
Why Bootstrapping is Better | Andrew Butt from Enable
When just beginning a startup, if an offer was made for a million dollar investment, most people would probably take the money. That’s understandable. The blood, sweat, and tears of scraping along on your own dime is not a choice one would elect if another option existed.  But taking the money could be a terrible mistake, according to Andew Butt, the co-founder and CEO of Enable. “Being venture funded too early can result in spending a lot of capital before there's any proof points,” he says. In his early years, he ground it out, and he says it made his company stronger.  Today, Enable helps companies manage complex B2B deals and has changed the way many leading brands do business. On this edition of Founders Journey, Andrew talks about how he went from building software for other companies to following his dream of building his own, and how and when he eventually knew it was the right time to finally go after that funding.
21:35
May 12, 2021
Faking Data for Real Security | Ian Coe from Tonic
Data is becoming as precious a commodity as oil. Sales, marketing, dev ops, IT—nearly every operation depends wholly on data of one sort or another. But data is often extraordinarily sensitive. All it takes is a dozen digits in the wrong hands to ruin a person’s life. So when you direly need to analyze data, but need to keep it private and secure, what do you do?  Our guest on this edition of UpTech Report started his own company. Ian Coe is the founder and CEO of Tonic, a company that, in their own words, “mimics your production data to create de-identified, realistic, and safe data for your test environments.”  Ian stops by to tell us how he originally conceived of the idea while trying to resolve some IT issues at a large bank that would have necessitated giving the developers data they certainly couldn’t have—if they couldn’t find another way. Now that solution is being offered to companies around the world.
20:26
May 10, 2021
Managing the Complexities of B2B Deals | Andrew Butt from Enable
So much of our economy is comprised of an interdependency between companies. Whether you think of it as B2B, brand partnerships, or something else, it requires a high level of coordination and cooperation between business plans. Often the mechanisms of cooperation are driven by rebates.  If certain metrics are met, rewards are given. Our guest on this edition of UpTech Report, Andrew Butt, noticed there was no software to help track these deals. “Managing all of that was important, but difficult and messy and was being done on Excel spreadsheets, there was a lack of software on the market. So that is where the idea for Enable came from.”  Enable offers a collaboration platform that manages these rebates to help improve efficiency and maximize profit. Andrew stops by to tell us more about the origins of this idea and how his product is helping companies untangle the complexities of B2B relationships.
14:43
May 7, 2021
Your Personal Automated Rev Ops Team | Todd Abbott from InsightSquared
If you work in sales for an enterprise company, you probably have an expert revenue ops team providing you with engaging visual insights into how you succeed, why you fail, and in what areas you should be focusing your attention. And if you don’t work for an enterprise company… you might find yourself gazing blankly at Excel spreadsheets, wondering what all these numbers mean.  This was the experience of Todd Abbott. After working for a large company with excellent resources and support, he found himself in an entirely new situation. “I went to a startup that didn't have that, and I was lost. And so that's when I got exposed to InsightSquared many years ago, simply searching the web, like we all do, looking for a solution to a problem I had.” He couldn’t have predicted that he would go from customer to CEO.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Todd tells the story of how he joined the company, and explains how InsightSquared auto-generates revenue intelligence with interactive reports, forecasting, and even coaching through the use of a virtual assistant.
30:22
May 5, 2021
Inspiring Change with Better Tech | Adi Azaria from Workiz
As a young soldier in the Israeli army, something deeply bothered Adi Azaria: the paperwork. But it wasn’t the work that bothered him, it was the paper. “Most of the workers over there in this elite unit were basically ruining a lot of rain forests,” Adi says. “And I couldn't stand it.  We have computers, let's try to do something else!” And through his persistence, he managed to convert his unit to paperless operations. The process eventually spread through the entire Israel army. It showed him that technology can be a positive force of change in society.  Today, he’s making a similar effort, bringing the service-work industry off yellow notepads and into the 21st century, saving people time, expenses, and a lot of wasted gas.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Adi discusses how he determined his product was worth a thousand times more than he initially realized, and also talks about how overcoming the initial fear of starting a business changed him personally.
27:43
May 3, 2021
Building the Team Builder | Josh Millet from Criteria
The most important hill all founders must climb is assembling the right team. For Josh Millet, this undertaking was especially significant, as his entire venture was propositioned around giving organizations better tools for hiring the right talent.  His solution suggested an approach that emphasized future potential as opposed to past experience—and if his growth is any proof of his view, he appears to be correct. His two-person, bootstrapped startup now has 150 employees. The company is Criteria, which offers an HR platform based on organizational psychology and data science.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Josh walks us through the steps he took to lead this company to its current success, and he offers his insights on the hiring process in the age of COVID and beyond.
20:25
April 28, 2021
Rewarding the Robots | Chris Nicholson from Pathmind
Anyone who’s seen the film Moneyball understands how computer simulations and statistical analysis has totally transformed the world of sports. Well, it’s not just sports. The same technology that’s used to assess how a batter gets on base is used to analyze how a factory worker retrieves a box. The vast complexity of supply chain and manufacturing systems makes these industries perfectly positioned for assistance from AI and machine learning.  But these technologies are not simple, and even once simulations are designed, there’s opportunities to take them further. Our guest on this edition of UpTech Report is doing that with his company, Pathmind, which offers AI and Deep Reinforcement Learning technologies to bring simulations in supply chain and manufacturing sectors to their fullest potential.  Chris Nicholson is Pathmind’s founder and CEO, and he joins us to explain how Deep Reinforcement Learning uses a reward-based approach to train AI, and he discusses the numerous ways it can help companies increase worker efficiency, save energy, and make smart recommendations for better decision making.
26:56
April 26, 2021
A Healthier Data Diet | Wendy Gonzalez from Sama
You can think of artificial intelligence as being like a living creature—it’s only as healthy as its diet. And unfortunately, AI these days is consuming a lot of junk food. But don’t blame the data—there’s a lot of it, and it’s difficult to organize. Often, the data simply lacks the proper balance and composition to give AI the fullest power.  Wendy Gonzalez is trying to remedy this with her company, Sama. By training the data to feed the AI, Sama is able to help implement a seemingly endless list of solutions—everything from finding the right shoe size to saving endangered species.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Wendy tells us about some of the many projects she’s worked on, and she explains the complex relationship between data and AI and how her work through Sama is helping us move closer to a new era of computing technology.
26:40
April 23, 2021
Bringing Tech to Home Service Pros | Adi Azaria from Workiz
When we think of the digital technology boom, we often think of financial, entertainment media, data services, and other enterprise-level industries as the major beneficiaries. But information technology has the ability to benefit the locksmiths, repairmen, electricians, and landscapers as well.  As a former locksmith himself, Adi Azaria understands the need. Transport routing, communications management, invoicing… much of it was done on paper, and it meant a lot of wasted time. “Everything was very manual back in the days,” Adi says. “Surprisingly, 20 years later, it's still very manual for about 70% of the market.” So Adi (who goes by Didi), founded Workiz with his two partners.  Workiz now brings the sophistication of 21st century information technology to the working class service industries.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Didi tells us about how his early experience in the field informed his vision, and how this technology is helping the workers in vans save time and operate smarter.
18:29
April 22, 2021
Cultivating Your Co-founder | Jerry Ting from Evisort
Jerry Ting was a lawyer in Boston who spent much of his time reviewing contracts. It was tedious, repetitive work. He sensed much of it could be automated with artificial intelligence—a technology he knew nothing about. Fortunately, he had a client who was a graduate student at MIT who knew plenty.  “So I emailed him,” Jerry says, “and I said, hey, look, I'm just curious. I think there's a big problem here. But I don't know if the technology exists. Would you mind grabbing coffee?” They met up in Harvard Square and discussed the problems and possible solutions. What followed is a story that doesn’t get considered enough—how to find a co-founder.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Jerry talks about how his relationship with his partner grew organically over time, how they carefully developed the business idea, and ensured the future success of the venture without writing a single line of code and overcommitting themselves. Eventually, they became the first two employees of Evisort. Today there are a hundred.
20:07
April 21, 2021
Finding Talent with Advanced Tech | Josh Millet from Criteria
Most everyone running a company will tell you that assembling the right team is the single most important task you’ll face. And it's one that will surely continue throughout the life of the company, to some degree. Sometimes the candidates you should seriously consider aren’t obvious from the résumé—and the ones you should pass only become clear once they sit down in the interview chair.  Josh Millet experienced this problem personally when he was asked to manage hiring for a company that had just acquired his first startup. “Anyone who's been involved in hiring has one of those stories where you're in an interview and it's only five or ten minutes into the hour, and you look up at the clock, and you're like, when is this going to be over?” Josh says.  It was that initial thought that eventually led to the creation of his current startup, Criteria, an HR platform that helps organizations make better hiring decisions by combining organizational psychology with data science.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Josh talks about the functionality of this software, how it manages ethical considerations in the hiring process, and how it’s helped companies large and small build better teams.
19:45
April 20, 2021
Depth Perception | Paul Powers from Physna
Image search technology has become an important tool for a wide range of industries and applications, ranging from research, law enforcement, e-commerce, historical archiving, and more. And yet, as sophisticated and useful as this technology has become, it has one severe limitation. It’s flat. Only two-dimensional data can be searched. Yet, we live in a three-dimensional world.  This is a problem Paul Powers understood personally as a patent attorney. “We couldn't find the 3d models that people were using to steal intellectual property,” he says. “We could find anything else—plagiarism, 2d pictures, whatever, but as soon as it was three dimensional, forget it.” When he discovered the emergence of 3d search technology, he became excited. And when he discovered how underdeveloped it was, he started his own company, Physna.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Paul tells us how his efforts to solve this one particular problem turned into a solution for seemingly endless use cases, and he also talks about the relationship to his other venture, thangs.com, an open 3d modeling community.
39:10
April 19, 2021
The AI Lawyer | Jerry Ting from Evisort
Reviewing contracts is an expensive, time consuming, tedious, though highly necessary task. A notorious contract dispute in Maine resulted in a $5 million settlement—all because of a missing comma. The importance of the work cannot be overstated, but when you’re the one parsing those commas, you can start to wonder if there isn’t a better way.  As a lawyer in Boston, Jerry Ting found himself in this very position when he spoke with a client at MIT about the possibility of using artificial intelligence to make his life easier. The result was Evisort, a technology startup that automates contract management, saving companies time and money, and saving the lawyers their sanity.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Jerry tells us more about the particulars of contract management issues and how he’s leveraged AI to address those complex needs.
26:11
April 16, 2021
Better Logistics with AI | Dinesh Dixit from LogiNext
For an enterprise company moving goods and shipments from one part of the world to another, the most minute factors can translate to millions of dollars in savings or losses. When, how, and where to deploy delivery fleets, when to use in-house talent and when to rely upon third parties, choosing the best routes, forecasting traffic and weather conditions --- and many more micro variables matters.  Understanding the interrelationships between a multitude of forces is key to making strategic decisions. This is where artificial intelligence and machine learning have played a crucial role. Our guest on this edition of UpTech Report is a pioneer in the field.  Dinesh Dixit is the Vice President of the Account Management team at LogiNext, a logistics management company that helps brands such as IBM, Samsung, and McDonalds gain predictive insights to help make key decisions.  Dinesh tells us how LogiNext began back in 2014, how the technology has developed, and the complex problems they’re solving.
22:18
April 14, 2021
Faster Feedback | Rob Holland from Feedback Loop
As the world becomes more digitally fluid—our lives more networked, our devices faster and smarter—change becomes evermore rapid. Trends that once lasted months or years are now as fleeting as fruit flies. And ascertaining the needs, wants, opinions, and attitudes of consumers is immensely challenging.  In the time it takes to assemble a focus group and rent a conference room, life can undergo dramatic transformation. The swiftness of change necessitates even faster business decisions—and a faster means of understanding consumers. This is why Rob Holland founded Feedback Loop, a company that generates consumer feedback in record speed.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Rob explains the difficulties of gathering consumer insights in the 21st century, and how his technology manages it faster.
02:01
April 13, 2021
The Corporate Fitness Tracker | Bradley Killinger from Sapience
A company may be well organized, productive, and efficient—and yet, just how it delivers results may remain mysterious, even to those closely involved. How do the kinks get resolved? Where does the information flow? When are employers at their best, and when are they falling short—and why are they falling short?  These are the questions Bradley Killinger wished to answer with his startup, Sapience. He calls it “the Fitbit for the knowledge worker.” With an emphasis on ethics and privacy, Sapience monitors thousands of data points on employee workstations and uses AI and machine learning to generate transparent reports, giving management deep insights into where improvements are needed.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Bradley talks about his inspiration for Sapience and how he’s developed the product in a way that benefits the entire organization.
29:50
April 12, 2021
The Innovational Angel | Kyle York from York IE
Usually on UpTech Report, we interview founders about their SaaS startups. This edition is a little different in that we’re interviewing an investor who helps those startups—though his operation is every bit as innovative as the tech companies we typically feature.  Kyle York is the founder, CEO, and Managing Partner of York IE, a vertically integrated strategic growth and investment firm looking to change the way companies grow.  York stops by to tell us how he’s breaking the empty cycle of fundraising rounds and working with entrepreneurs and startups using data science, intelligent market analysis, and hands-on advising and services to help companies build real strength and profitability.
31:38
April 9, 2021
The Passwordless Future of Work | Arun Singh from Ilantus
The IT era has in many ways become the ID era. Establishing your identity for security purposes has taken on serious importance and posed a challenge unlike anything our society has ever before experienced.  We’re routinely forced to change the dozens (if not hundreds) of passwords we keep (often compelling us to write them on Post-It notes and slap them on our monitors, thus defeating the purpose of the password), we must upload photos of our driver’s licenses, install authentication apps on our phones, and generally continue to prove we are who we claim to be on an ongoing basis.  And yet, it’s still not enough. Our guest on this week’s UpTech Report aims to change that. Arun Singh is the CEO of Ilantus, a cybersecurity company that simplifies identity and access management with a cloud-based solution. Arun tells us about the many challenges we face in gaining access to digital resources, and the innovative solutions offered by Ilantus.
28:59
April 8, 2021
Plugging in the Property Managers | Agustin Fiori from Channel Connector
If you operate a property management system, integrating your service with all the various third party resources can be a complicated and labyrinthine process. But it’s necessary if you want to get the most out of your listings. What if someone could manage the numerous rental, travel, and other booking APIs through a single platform? It could not only give property management systems the widest possible market, it would also open up opportunities to collect and leverage market data to ensure the best possible timing and price. This is the mission of Channel Connector, a company that adds advanced channel management functionality to PMS platforms using their connectivity API. On this edition of UpTech Report, Agustin Fiori, the Managing Director of Europe at Channel Connector drops by to tell us about the origins of the business, and how they’re solving the problem of managing and maintaining so many third party APIs and routing them through a single service.
16:44
April 7, 2021
The SaaS Prophet | Jan Arendtsz from Celigo
As a young coder, Jan Arendtsz wasn’t so interested in coding. He was much more interested in why the code should exist to begin with—what problem it was solving, what it was trying to accomplish. So he moved from the coder’s cubicle over to the business side. As an early member of NetSuite, he recognized SaaS as the future, which may seem obvious now, but at the time this was a riskier proposition.  “Looking back, you can say, of course you should have thought about that,” Jan says. “But that was a leap of faith to me.” After starting a consultant business, he realized his prescience was more profound than he could have realized. IT systems had become a spaghetti plate of SaaS solutions, and getting them all to work together was a major challenge for most businesses.  So he started Celigo, a company that offers an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to help companies connect all their SaaS solutions to create smoother automation.  In this edition of Founders Journey, Jan talks about his pioneering years in SaaS, how he funded the startup, and he tells us the one thing he’d do differently if he could go back and start over.
26:39
April 5, 2021
The Serviceman | France Hoang from BoodleAI
France Hoang says if he had to choose one word to describe himself, it would be “unemployable.” And yet, his resume is unrivaled.    A Vietnamese refugee, France is a military veteran who served in multiple operations, he served as the Deputy Chief of Police and SWAT Commander for Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, he clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as an Associate White House Counsel and Special Assistant to the President, and he was also the founding member of both a law firm and an aerospace company.    On this edition of Founders Journey, France takes us through his incredible history, how it led him to start his own company, BoodleAI, and how his experience has taught him to view entrepreneurship as a public service.
23:47
April 1, 2021
An Integration Education | Jan Arendtsz from Celigo
Over the past ten years, the explosion of SaaS solutions has fully transformed the way we do business, to the extent there’s hardly an individual out there, business user or general consumer, who doesn’t rely on at least a few SaaS products. And if your company is like most, it’s all SaaS all the time.  The flexibility and scalability of SaaS has proven a huge benefit for growth and cost—but automating tasks between them, along with legacy apps, has become time consuming and expensive.  As a business consultant, Jan Arendtsz saw this problem developing years ago and knew where it was headed. That’s why he founded Celigo, an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that connects thousands of SaaS products for both IT professionals and business users.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Jan talks about how he came to see foresee this problem, and he walks us through the complex technology involved in his solution.
24:28
March 31, 2021
Borrowing Your Bootstraps | Chris Ronzio from Trainual
Chris Ronzio was running a video production company with employees scattered across the country—and he needed to ensure they were all following the right procedures to maintain the consistency and standards of their product. So he developed a software tool to assist with their training. After he sold the video business to a competitor, he continued to develop the software tool.  As a consultant, his clients began to request it. Then friends of his clients began to request it. Soon he realized he had a product people would pay for. And his next company, Trainual, was born.  Today they provide training software for some of the biggest brands in the world and serve companies in 120 countries.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Chris talks about his early venture, selling his company, and how he funded his startup with $300,000 in credit card debt (it’s not a strategy he generally recommends).
20:01
March 30, 2021
Deeper Data for Better Benefits | Rodney Reasen from Springbuk
Every year, companies evaluate the needs of their workforce to purchase their annual benefits package. This is an exceedingly complicated task, and it doesn’t always result in the best deal. As a consultant who helped companies navigate the healthcare market, Rodney Reasen saw these difficulties first hand.  “That process we found was fraught with lack of information, lack of data, and almost a perverse incentivization in the market,” he says. He realized that if he could devise a way for companies to better ascertain the healthcare needs of their employees, they could make better decisions that both saved money and gave workers the best possible package.  His solution became Springbuk, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to analyze workforce data to give companies the deep insights they need to make informed decisions when assembling benefits packages.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Rodney discusses some of the special challenges presented by the healthcare marketplace, and why he believes curation is the future.
19:46
March 29, 2021
Turning Data to Direction | France Hoang from BoodleAI
Any organization wanting to make sales or raise money knows they need to leverage data. But understanding the need doesn’t mean one knows how to do it. We assemble impressive-looking charts and graphs that may make us feel informed—but it doesn’t always tell us what to do.    France Hoang is very familiar with how companies struggle with making the leap from data to direction. “There's a problem they all have,” he says, “which is where do I devote my advertising or sales or fundraising dollars, and most importantly, time?”    France set out to find a way to turn data into something companies can actually use to make smart decisions. So he co-founded BoodleAI, a company that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data for actionable items.    On this edition of UpTech Report, France explains how his product not only helps companies analyze their data, but also adds to the data by connecting it to external sources—and he explains how his product can accomplish in 45 minutes what might normally take a team of data scientists weeks.  
15:49
March 26, 2021
Training Up | Chris Ronzio from Trainual
You might associate the term “employee training” with learning how to submit your timesheet and how to adhere to IT policies. But it can—and should—be much more.  This is something that Chris Ronzio came to realize with his own video production company. “Every business has the secret sauce,” he says. “There's a culture, there's a process, there's procedures, there's rules, there's just a way to be in a business.  And you want to capture that somewhere if you're really going to scale.” It’s why he started Trainual, a tech startup that makes the process of onboarding employees easier and more fun. They emphasize, with some pride, they’re not an enterprise LMS.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Chris explains why he believes his product is better, and how they’re helping companies large and small in 120 countries get their employees up to speed.
14:21
March 25, 2021
From Fortune 500 to Founder | Rajesh Kalidindi from LevaData
Rajesh Kalidindi  worked at a large fortune 500 networking company when a GM with a billion dollars in spend asked for his help reducing cost. Rajesh didn’t think it was possible—at least not through traditional means.    He decided to try a heavy, data-driven approach to generate insights that increased value. “That was a huge success,” he says. “What we were doing at 8% per year, we got a 14% reduction that was $16 million incremental to the bottom line with that approach.”    Rajesh recognized an opportunity that went beyond his company—so he started his own, LevaData, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze procurement objectives alongside real-time market activity to generate predictions and customized recommendations.    In this edition of Founders Journey, Rajesh explains more about the initial inspiration behind his project, and he talks about the difference between managing a large team at an enterprise company and putting together a team for a startup. 
12:55
March 24, 2021
Keys to the Office | Jonathan Wasserstrum from SquareFoot
The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote work common—but most companies still need physical space, and finding it isn’t easy. You need to find a good broker, see dozens of spaces, and engage in a bureaucratically complicated process that makes the entire experience rather dreadful. Jonathan Wassrstrum recognized this problem and saw an opportunity to create something better.  So he founded SquareFoot, a company that offers businesses a streamlined office space rental experience, which includes comprehensive listings, experienced brokers, and easier paperwork.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Jonathan offers his take on the pros and cons of remote work, current trends in flexible workspaces, and explains why ultimately he feels having a physical office is an important need that won’t go away.
23:36
March 23, 2021
Mining Your Business | Christian Damstra from Damstra Technology
Christian Damstra had a difficult job—manage a workforce of coal miners and ensure their safety. As one of the world’s most dangerous professions, keeping coal miners safe involves a lot more than an occasional training video. A complex framework of procedures, practices, competencies, and standards must be met on a daily basis. But he discovered that despite the complexities of the requirements, there existed no sophisticated management tools. So he built his own—initially for his own purposes, but soon others wanted it. Eventually, this became Damstra Technology, a startup that offers a full HR platform, specially designed to manage workforces in hazardous occupations. On this edition of Founders Journey, Christian discusses how he took this company from a small startup with 20 people in an office in Australia to a publicly traded company with 200 employees, nine offices, and operating in 13 countries.
11:42
March 22, 2021
The Home Run | Johnny Hanna from Homie
It seems often that founders start off attempting to solve one problem in a market, and that work leads them to an even bigger problem—and their second startup.    This is Johnny Hanna’s story. He began with a startup just out of college that offered a software solution for apartment rental management.   Through this work, he discovered that many people chose to rent apartments because they were too intimidated by the bureaucracy and expenses of buying a home. So he started his second company, Homie, which set out to eliminate those obstacles.    On this edition of Founders Journey, Johnny discusses the special challenges he faced in a highly regulated market with a fixed culture, how he eventually managed to raise fifty million in funds, and overcoming the fear of failure in the beginning years.
09:30
March 19, 2021
Data for Dollars | Rajesh Kalidindi from LevaData
Despite their best efforts, large companies managing global supply chains inevitably leave money on the table. Working with one such enterprise, Rajesh Kalidindi came to understand this problem well. “Procurement teams, which manage trillions of dollars out there, are managing massive spend complexity—lots of suppliers, lots of parts to keep on top of.    The market volatility does not make it any easier.” Remarkably, many of these teams are still using Excel and other rudimentary tools to manage this massive spend. It seemed a good opportunity to develop something better.    So Rajesh founded LevaData, a company that uses artificial intelligence to analyze procurement objectives alongside real-time market activity to generate predictions and customized recommendations.    On this edition of UpTech Report, Rajesh discusses his experience working with these supply chains, how he identified the problem, and the way he’s used AI to form a solution.  
11:21
March 18, 2021
Repeat Performance | Kim Stiefel from Repeat
When Kim Stiefel first met her business partner, they thought they’d use their experience as marketers to build a brand. The idea was a subscription service for common clothing items—but they began to wonder whether or not this was something people actually needed. “A big question that every startup founder really needs to ask is, am I actually solving a real problem? Or is this a manufactured problem?”  Investigating the problem led them to realize an even bigger problem—subscription services for products were terrible. They gave you too much or too little of what you wanted and at the wrong times. So they started Repeat, a company that offers an e-commerce platform that helps consumers easily get the things they need when they need them, while helping companies convert one-time buyers into regular customers.  In this edition of Founders Journey, Kim talks about that initial undertaking and the two-year journey that led them to an entirely different company.
12:60
March 17, 2021
Tech for Crew Safety | Christian Damstra from Damstra Technology
When it comes to hazardous professions like mining, construction, and manufacturing, we often think of workplace safety as an environmental quality—making sure the structures are sound, the tools secured, the machinery maintained. And although these are critically important, workplace safety is largely a human resources consideration. Christian Damstra understands this problem well. “It's about making sure they've got the right skills, the right training, the right competencies, they're not under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they're not fatigued.” It’s why he founded Damstra Technologies, a company that offers an HR platform specially designed to ensure workplace safety for people in hazardous occupations. On this edition of UpTech Report, Christian describes his own experiences in the coal mining industry, and how he came to appreciate the complexities of this issue—and the need for a sophisticated solution.
08:29
March 16, 2021
Nerding Up | Shane Hodgkins from Matrak
Often starting a company means bringing a solution to a market—but then there are those times when the market comes to you. When Shane Hodgkin’s brother went to work for their father’s window installation company, he discovered a system that felt like something out of the nineteenth century. Everything was recorded on little slips of paper that had no logical organizational structure.  So he built a simple app to keep track of everything. It was purely for his own purposes, but soon, everybody wanted it. That was the beginning of Matrak, a company that offers cloud-based materials and progress tracking software that allows companies to track and share information on manufacturing, shipping, installation, and defects for construction projects.  On this episode of Founders Journey, Shane talks about starting this company with his brother, the years they spent developing the product, and how they built a strategy that not only assessed the competition but what the competition might become. He also explains his revelation that the best way to raise funds is to show investors they’re “...just a bunch of nerdy guys trying to help out construction people.”
15:19
March 15, 2021
Realistic Real Estate | Johnny Hanna from Homie
If you’ve ever bought a home—you’re probably glad you’re no longer buying a home. It’s one of those activities that’s right up there with doing your taxes. And on top of the hassles are the expenses. Those commissions and fees can really add up, making it necessary to live in a house for years before its value materializes. Johnny Hanna felt these frustrations personally when buying and selling homes. “It was so confusing...what should be part of the American dream was such a nightmare.” So he founded Homie, a technology company that streamlines real estate transactions to save customers time and money. On this edition of UpTech Report, Johnny outlines the many problems his startup needed to solve, and how he came to understand how technology was only a part of the solution.
25:16
March 12, 2021
The Marketing Engineer | Gil Allouche from Metadata
When a person comes into a field with an outside mindset, it can sometimes bring a new perspective on what is possible. This was the case with Gil Allouche, a software engineer working as a marketer. As he spent countless hours identifying targets, testing campaigns, and converting leads, he came to realize that much of the work could be automated.  He founded Metadata to make it happen. It took some learning, though, to get the funding he needed. “I can just walk through my path and it will be all the things you should not do,” he says. But eventually he got it right, and Metadata is now helping major brands bring in millions in sales. In this edition of Founders Journey, Gil talks more about those things he shouldn’t have done and how he persevered.
12:44
March 11, 2021
The Subscription Prescription | Kim Stiefel from Repeat
There are plenty of items around the house we need daily—toothpaste, tissues, vitamins, soap. Or maybe we need them monthly. Or bimonthly. And that’s the problem for both consumers and sellers. Buying as we need can be a pain, but subscription services often give us too much or too little and at the wrong times.  Kim Stiefel discovered this when she started her own subscription service. But instead of just solving the problem for herself, she decided to solve it for everyone. The result was Repeat, a company that offers an e-commerce platform designed to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Kim talks about how she came to identify this particular problem in the way we buy and sell certain products, and the technology she’s developed to give consumers a more reliable purchasing experience, while helping companies retain their customers.
12:04
March 10, 2021
Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable | Lindsay Tjepkema from Casted
Lindsay Tjepkema has drawn a straight line from A to B—to B2B. She’s spent her entire career in marketing. She has a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing and has spent over fifteen years in B2B marketing, including leading the marketing teams at enterprise SaaS companies.    It was in this role she discovered a lack of resources for B2B podcasting, so she set out to co-found her own company, Casted, a decision she doesn’t regret. “It's been a wild, amazing rocket ship journey,” she says. “And I wouldn't have it any other way.”    In this edition of Founders Journey, she discusses her decision to leave a good corporate job to start her own company, the key steps she took developing the product, and how the most important part of being a founder is getting comfortable being uncomfortable.
11:37
March 9, 2021
Tracking Trusses | Shane Hodgkins from Matrak
As it is with many industries, staying competitive in construction means bringing supplies from overseas. And importing materials may keep costs down, but it heightens risk. It’s more difficult to be at the source, verify the integrity of the manufacturing process, and there are endless possibilities for problems en route to the destination. It can be a disorganized and chaotic process.  This is why Shane Hodgkins co-founded Matrak, a company that offers cloud-based materials and progress tracking software that allows companies to track and share information on manufacturing, shipping, installation, and defects for construction projects.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Shane discusses the challenges of building a tech startup in a space that is historically low-tech and how it’s also created tremendous opportunities.
16:57
March 8, 2021
The Disaster Detective | Lodewijk Bogaards from StackState
Lodewijk Bogaards set himself a goal—he wanted to be the CTO of a cool tech startup in ten year’s time. Only one year later, he was the co-founder and CTO of StackState, a company that gives admins full observability on their systems, enabling them to quickly identify problems. Like all founders, he’s encountered a few problems of his own along the way, including the balancing act of developing the best product while getting it to market quickly. In this edition of Founder's Journey, Lodewijk discusses how he approached these problems and what he’d do differently. He also explains why he believes we’re heading toward a world of perfect software code.
23:26
March 5, 2021
Testing the Waters | Luke Freiler from Centercode
The typical startup story begins with a vision for a product and a search for funding. Luke Freiler’s story, on the other hand, begins with being stranded in a prison town with his ex-girlfriend and screaming at the ocean.  Things do get better, and eventually leads to Centercode, a company that helps some of the biggest brands in the world test their software and create deeper engagement opportunities for their customer base.  In this edition of Founders Journey, Luke tells the distressing tale of his first venture and how he turned things around to create a thriving tech startup. He also offers an example of how bringing in the right talent led to hundreds-of-thousands in income he otherwise would have missed.
37:57
March 4, 2021
The Growth Leader's Growth Engine | Chris Cera from Arcweb
We often think of startups as the manifestation of a dream—an entrepreneur has a vision, they leave their job and spend a couple of hard years scraping together the players and the product with the hopes of someday succeeding.  But startups can also be merely a vehicle to achieve a desired result. Large companies will found smaller companies to solve particular problems or advance an initiative. And in those cases, you probably don’t want to spend years putting a team together. That’s why Chris Cera started his company, Arcweb, to offer other startups the teams they need to move quickly.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Chris discusses the various scenarios where outsourcing your startup team makes sense, and with the health industry being an active market for Arcweb, he explains how recent laws are opening up that sector for new opportunities.
16:07
March 3, 2021
Automating the Marketing Pipeline | Gil Allouche from Metadata
Despite that so much technology has been developed to assist marketers with the complex task of assembling and processing data for the purpose of creating the most promising leads, and ultimately the most profitable conversions, there still exists enormous hurdles for marketers.   A CRM can help you organize your leads, but it usually won’t generate them. It can help you flag engagements for follow-up, but it won’t tell you which engagements are the most important.    These were the issues Gil Allouche wanted to solve when he started Metadata, a service that automates target identification, campaign experimentation, and actionable lead creation. It’s an ambitious undertaking, but the results speak for themselves—their technology is used by major brands to generate millions in sales.   In this edition of UpTech Report, Gil explains the details of how this technology works, and where he sees it going. 
15:53
March 2, 2021
The Code Stitcher | Anand Kulkarni from Crowdbotics
You sometimes hear a story from tech startup founders—when they began, they knew little about running a business, and maybe they didn’t even know a lot about technology. Anand Kulkarni is the other story.  As a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley with NSF funding, he worked at the bleeding edge of machine learning technologies. In graduate school, he founded his first startup, which he ran for six years. He later got the idea for his next startup, Crowdbotics, a company that lets anyone create React Native and Django apps without coding in its basic form.  On this edition of Founders Journey, Anand walks us through his career and shares his perspective on the best way to get funded, his philosophy on building the right team, and some thorough insights on how to approach marketing.
25:32
March 1, 2021
Making the Most of Your B2B Podcast | Lindsay Tjepkema from Casted
Podcasting has become an important marketing tool—it helps establish businesses as knowledgable and insightful, it shares important industry information with key audiences, and offers a deeper opportunity for engagement.    But when Lindsay Tjepkema started a podcast, as the lead marketer for a large enterprise global SaaS business, she couldn’t find the tools she needed to collaborate, gauge metrics, create clips to share in social network streams, and ultimately demonstrate the value and effectiveness of her efforts.    So she left the company to found Casted, a tech startup that offers a full podcasting solution for B2B marketers.   On this edition of UpTech Report, Lindsay discusses how she’s helping companies create compelling content and integrate that content into a full marketing strategy.
12:02
February 26, 2021
The People behind the Data | Yotam Oren from Mona Labs
Yotam Orem spent his entire career around big data, but when he looks back, it’s all about the people—the friends, the family, and when it comes to his startup, Mona Labs, the team. In fact, it was the opportunity to build a great team that most attracted Yotam to founding a technology startup.  It began with a phone call from a friend to help solve an embarrassing problem at Google—one of their predictive models had gone from triumph to faceplant. Yotam realized you still need human hands to make AI smart.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Yotam talks about the path that led him to start his own company, and shares his own philosophy on how he brought that great team together.
27:05
February 25, 2021
Figuring Out the Failures | Lodewijk Bogaards from StackState
When something goes wrong in a highly complex integrated system, the damage is potentially enormous. Even the smallest error can cost millions. But when you have so many technologies interacting, isolating the problem can be extremely difficult. This is a problem that Lodewijk Bogaards understands well. “Think about the process running in a container, running on a bot, running on a virtual machine, running on a hypervisor, running in a blade on a rack in a data center somewhere,” he says. As a consultant for a bank, his client needed a better ability to understand their systems. And as Lodewijk will tell you, there’s no better way to start a company than when you can find the solution to a problem a bank needs to have solved. StackState was born, a company that gives admins full observability on their systems, enabling them to quickly identify problems. On this edition of UpTech Report, Lodewijk explains how his technology manages this feat, and the various ways it can help companies avoid disaster.
19:55
February 24, 2021
Being Your Own Abettor | Daniel Cunningham from Leonardo247
As a young engineer fresh out of college, Daniel Cunningham was working on a project installing equipment at a power plant in Northern California when he developed a process that saved his employers days of time and significant expenses.   It was then that he made the most important discovery of his career—smart solutions for your bosses bring zero rewards. “That flipped a switch inside of me,” he says. “If I'm going to come up with clever things that make somebody's life easier, it would be nice to be the recipient of the accolades from that, whether they be personal or financial. That set me on my journey.”    That journey led him to found Leonardo247, a company that guides building managers through the complex daily work required to keep tenants safe and happy, while saving money and avoiding disasters.    On this edition of Founders Journey, Daniel walks us through those pivotal experiences early in his career and how they informed his current role as a founder. He also gives some important advice on how to build the right team—and how to move on from the wrong one.
32:21
February 23, 2021
Better Debugging | Luke Freiler from Centercode
Twenty years ago, the term “beta testing” might not have meant anything to your average person on the street, but today, with apps integrated so deeply with daily life, most everyone is familiar with the idea. But despite how ubiquitous the need to road test software before a full release, few companies have actually developed a formalized process. Instead, they just wing it. Luke Freiler discovered this as a Web Development Manager at Ericsson. He was tasked with beta testing a massive product and discovered, to his horror, that the company lacked any procedures whatsoever on how to conduct such an endeavor. When he was given permission to look outside the company for help developing beta testing protocols, he discovered no such services existed. That’s (eventually) how Centercode was born. On this edition of UpTech Report, Luke discusses how he’s managed to leverage a once-in-a-while need into a full engagement lifecycle for some of the biggest brands in the world.
25:37
February 22, 2021
Building a Quantum Community | William Hurley from Strangeworks
Like the magical path of a quantum particle, William Hurley’s journey is a bit unusual. He started two companies that were both acquired quickly. Then his third company was acquired by Goldman Sachs on their one-year anniversary. And he discovered this rapid success was depriving him of the opportunity to grow. So his fourth company, Strangeworks, is built for the long haul.  Currently, they’re not even developing a product—they’re merely building community around a technology that’s not even yet available, quantum computing. But William insists it soon will be, and you’d best prepare.  In this edition of Founders Journey, Williams discusses some of his early successes and why they led him to explore this remarkable new technology. He also discusses the biggest mistakes people make when seeking funding.
16:13
February 20, 2021
Open Sorcery | Anand Kulkarni from Crowdbotics
Imagine if to build a new apartment complex, you had to pay a team to copy and reassemble the foundation, walls, electricity, and plumbing from neighboring complexes—and then build an original penthouse on top. It seems a bit ridiculous, but this is how most companies design custom apps. They pay engineering teams to stitch together most of the app with open source pieces and then fill out the remaining 10–20 percent with original code. It’s costly, redundant work.  In 2016, Anand Kulkarni wondered if there was a way to automate this process. The result became Crowdbotics, a tech startup that lets anyone create React Native and Django apps without coding in its basic form.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Anand discusses how this idea started and how the technology works, including their startling newest feature—the ability to describe your desired app to their AI assistant in natural language and then have the system build it for you.
16:14
February 19, 2021
Tracking Your Way Forward | Kashyap Deorah from HyperTrack
Kashyap Deorah talks about his tech startups almost like they were old cars—there was the one he had in college, the one he had in Bombay, the one he sold to a shop. But he knows each one was useful; they all got him to where he needed to be. And where that is now is HyperTrack, a tech startup that offers a GPS tracking system as a SaaS, allowing companies to track their drivers and share selected information with customers in real time.  On this edition of Founder’s Journey, Kashyap goes into more detail on this long journey and the many lessons he learned along the way, including how to treat investors, how to build the best team, and the right time and way to begin marketing.
28:13
February 18, 2021
Giving AI a Helping Hand | Yotam Oren from Mona Labs
Perhaps the most exciting and frequently discussed technology of the 21st century is artificial intelligence. We’re using AI for solutions in everything from diagnosing serious medical conditions to selecting the right shade of nail polish. But every solution brings a new set of problems, and AI is no exception. Predictive models become stale, they adopt biases, and the results can be costly and embarrassing.  Yotam Oren discovered these sorts of problems were widespread—so he started Monal Labs to fix them, a technology startup that allows you to monitor AI performance to ensure accuracy and transparency.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Yotam talks about the original problems he set out to solve and why AI should never be left alone in the room.
17:53
February 17, 2021
The Product is Never Ready | Jorge Torres, CEO of MindsDB & his Co-founder, Adam Carrigan
Jorge Torres and Adam Carrigan have known each other a long time. They were roommates in college and worked on several projects together before finally founding their first company in London. And that was only the start of their collaboration.  Now they’re running their second startup, MindsDB, a company that treats machine learning as a database layer, allowing you to retrieve predictive analysis by performing a simple SQL query.  Jorge is the CEO, Adam the COO. On this edition of Founders Journey, Jorge and Adam discuss the many lessons they’ve learned in their long colla
11:06
February 16, 2021
Preserving Knowledge, Preventing Disaster | Daniel Cunningham from Leonardo247
Daniel Cunningham was running a property management company in Los Angeles when a boiler in one of his buildings overheated and caught fire. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but the residents lost hot water, rent credits had to be given to over 300 people, and the new boiler could only be installed via helicopter.  The community managers simply didn’t know that vendors needed to be maintaining the equipment. Now they knew—but for how long? Managing a building is more than just maintaining heating and plumbing, it’s about maintaining institutional knowledge. Buildings are made up of exceedingly complex systems and components that require an in-depth understanding that is easily lost from one manager to the next.  And it’s not just the inner workings of a building that need to be understood—it’s marketing, real estate law, finance, and more. Daniel’s first thought was to author a book on the subject. His better thought was to start a new company, Leonardo247.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Daniel tells the story of Leonardo247’s inspiration, and how it’s helping companies avoid the next disaster.
24:57
February 15, 2021
Up the Ladder and Out the Window | Brian Rainey from Gooten
For many founders, the precipitating experience to starting a company is merely a desire to solve a problem identified in a marketplace. But for Brian Rainey, it was working his way up the corporate ladder through accounting and finance.  He went from CPA to CFO, all the while knowing it would eventually lead to spreading his wings and founding his own company. “My plan was always to get the corporate background and then apply that into a startup,” he says. Now that plan has come to fruition with his company, Gooten, which connects businesses with a global network of custom printers for fast, scalable on-demand print services. In this edition of Founder’s Journey, Brian talks about how his experience as a numbers guy influences his decisions as a CEO—and he shares the single-most important advice he tells beginning founders.
26:20
February 13, 2021
The Quantum Quest | William Hurley from Strangeworks
William Hurley had a vision—begin an open source space for people to collaborate in quantum computing. It didn’t work out. So he decided to start his own company. And just as the quantum world is a little strange, so is his startup, Strangeworks.    They’re not selling a product—at least, not yet. Instead, they’re building community and offering free resources, which includes tools you can use on their website to begin working in quantum computing right now.    In this episode of UpTech Report, William talks about why he believes quantum computing is important, when we can expect this new technology to have a real impact in the marketplace, and ways you can get involved today. “I don't care what company you use,” he says, “I do care that you get involved.”
12:44
February 12, 2021
The Tax Data Collector | Chris Bullock from ClearGov
If you’re looking for an excellent case study on tech startup founders, Chris Bullock has all the ingredients: A drive to answer interesting questions, an eye for data, identification of a target user base, an openness to communication, discovery of a problem that needs solving, adaptability, and a plan for growth.  It was all of these elements that led to the creation of his startup, ClearGov, which gathers budget and other data on local governments and presents them in an easy-to-read graphical format. ClearGov also offers local governments the advanced tools they need to record and share their budgets.  In this edition of Founders Journey, Chris tells the story of how his startup evolved from a simple question, how he gained his first customers, and later acquired funding.
29:06
February 11, 2021
Putting Companies on the Map | Kashyap Deorah from HyperTrack
When having something delivered, or being picked up for a ride, we want more than rough estimates. We want to know where the driver is, which way they’re going, and exactly when we can expect them to arrive. But for the most part, this capability has been limited to companies willing and able to allocate massive resources.  Kashyap Deorah sought to change that with his company, HyperTrack. They offer a sophisticated but easily integrated GPS tracking system as a SaaS, allowing companies of all sizes to track their drivers and share selected information with customers in real time.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Kashyap discusses some of the intricacies involved in offering an API service, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected his sector, and where he sees his company growing.
12:53
February 10, 2021
The Elements of Startups | Simon Yencken from Fanplayr
Simon Yencken was an executive at Reuters Group in London, when an impromptu invitation to negotiate an acquisition in New York suddenly set his career in an entirely new direction.  That one meeting began a journey that brought him to co-found and lead Fanplayr, a technology startup that uses AI to help e-commerce businesses better understand the behavior of their customers, allowing for a more targeted, customized experience.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Simon talks about his unusual path from studying law to working in finance to being the CEO of a startup. And he tells us what he believes are the essential elements startups need to acquire funding and be successful.
28:17
February 9, 2021
Easy Machine Learning | Jorge Torres and Adam Carrigan from MindsDB
Machine learning is fast becoming a ubiquitous technology—but if you don’t fully understand what it is and how it works, you’re not alone. It’s an evolving idea with complex functionality. But our guests on this edition of UpTech Report figured out a way to conceptualize machine learning in a way that is easier to understand and apply in real-world settings.  Jorge Torres and Adam Carrigan are the co-founders of MindDB (CEO and COO, respectively), a company that treats machine learning as a database layer, allowing you to retrieve predictive analysis by performing a simple SQL query. With their technology, obtaining insights on future sales is as easy as checking your inventory.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Jorge and Adam explain how their implementation of machine learning works and its intriguing potential.
11:30
February 8, 2021
The Cinderella CEO | Ray Hein from Propel
For decades, Ray Hein has been involved in designing products, working with remote teams spread across the globe. He’s always been interested in finding ways to make the process more efficient, which included a ten-year run with a software company eventually sold to Oracle.  Now, for the first time, he finds himself the founder and CEO of a tech startup called Propel, a SaaS product built on Salesforce that helps distributed teams work together faster and smarter.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Ray talks about how he first started working in this space, and his company’s fairytale funding origins.
20:53
February 6, 2021
Plugging in the Printers | Brian Rainey from Gooten
Consumers in the digital age have come to expect a high level of customizability—we want products that are unique to us and hold meaning. Businesses also wish to create tailored experiences that resonate with their customers. This was a dynamic Brian Rainey came to realize. “Consumer expectations continue to shift, really desiring personalized items while at the same time, retailers and brands need to be more innovative,” he says. “They need to connect on a more personal level.” But flexible manufacturing processes are key—no longer can companies fill warehouses with items that might never sell. It was understanding the synergy of these dynamics that inspired Brian to start his company, Gooten, which helps businesses manage on-demand print services that are scalable, efficient, and affordable. On this edition of UpTech Report, Brian discusses how the idea for Gooten first evolved from a front-end to back-end service, and he walks us through the complexities of managing a global network of on-demand suppliers.
21:57
February 5, 2021
When First Failures Breed Second Successes | Pere Codina from Kompyte
It’s not uncommon that your first startup will end up becoming the process by which you discover your second. This was the case with Pere Codina, who founded a tech company that helped businesses sell online. But their best client was struggling with competition. They were losing money with advertising because they couldn’t keep up with the competitive landscape.  Pere’s efforts to solve this problem became his next company, Kompyte, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to scope out the competition.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Pere discusses how the idea for Kompyte developed from identifying needs of existing customers, and his unorthodox but successful strategy of starting a company in Spain, but targeting the United States as the primary market.
29:18
February 4, 2021
Tech for Towns | Chris Bullock from ClearGov
Chris Bullock had a question: How do the finances of my town compare to other towns? The information was out there, buried in annual reports (if you could understand them) and sitting on spreadsheets (if you knew where to find them). Because of transparency in government initiatives, all this data was available to the public—but there were simply no mechanisms of discovery and dissemination.  After digging deep, Chris began to assemble some fascinating town by town comparisons and was able to present them in an easy, readable format. The towns got interested. The results became a tech startup, ClearGov.  Now they not only collect and disseminate data on local governments, they also provide these governments with the tools they need to organize their budgets, making it easier to share with their residents.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Chris tells the complete story of his investigation into local government finances and how it led to the founding of an intriguing startup that offers an important service.
20:28
February 3, 2021
From JD to CTO to CEO | Darin Brown from Docket
As a software developer and team leader, Darin Brown has seen all sides of the startup world through several companies—big successes, hard failures, acquisitions, and the one thing binding them together, a lot of unproductive meetings.  It was the desire to solve this problem of meetings that led him to co-found Docket, which offers a software tool for making meetings more efficient, directed, and ultimately worthwhile.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Darin takes us through his journey from a junior developer, to a CTO, to the co-founder and CEO of his own company, and what he’s learned along the way.
18:30
February 2, 2021
Knowing Your Customers without IDing Them | Simon Yencken from Fanplayr
E-Commerce has brought selling advantages too numerous to mention. But one thing it lacks is the experience of looking a customer in the eye, interpreting their body language, and tailoring a pitch on the fly to accommodate their character. Instead, sellers are often forced to utilize a more blanketed sales approach, which can result in fewer conversions.  But Simon Yencken, the co-founder and CEO of Fanplayr, doesn’t believe it has to be this way. His technology startup offers online sellers the ability to understand the behavior of visitors to produce instant targeted messages. This translates to deeper engagement and greater conversions.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Simon discusses the surprising difficulties of implementing AI, and how he took a company especially positioned for retail into less likely verticals, such as automotive and cellular markets.
31:21
February 1, 2021
Adopting a Vision | Michael Wong from Genea
Michael Wong’s journey to becoming the CEO of Genea isn’t typical. As an investor at a private equity firm, he learned a lot about what makes a company successful, but had no experience running one. And then Genea came across his desk. “Genea was not even a company at the time, it was more of a technology,” he says. “I thought this technology could be morphed into a great company with all those wonderful characteristics.”    It was too small for his firm to invest in, but after diligent research into the struggling company, the board asked him to become their CEO. Having never before stepped into this role, it was not an easy decision.    On this edition of UpTech Report, Michael talks about how he decided to take on this role, and why his experience as an investor told him the company had great potential to succeed.
18:47
January 30, 2021
Distributed Teams, Singular Focus | Ray Hein from Propel
Building physical products with distributed teams creates collaborative challenges. Engineers, designers, product managers, manufacturers, and distributors must engage in complicated workflows, often across continents and time zones.    Ray Hein knows this problem has been around for a long time. “There's been a lack of innovation for 20 plus years in this space,” he says. It’s why he started Propel, a company that offers an Al-driven solution, built in the Salesforce platform, that brings together engineering, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and the customer in a collaborative hub.    On this edition of UpTech Report, Ray explains how this technology meets the challenges faced by different parties, with varying focuses and goals, working together to build a better product.
18:58
January 29, 2021
Developing a Small Vision | Harjinder Sandhu from Saykara
When starting a company, most people like to think big. After all, Steve Jobs didn’t start Apple to make it easier for people to type.    But sometimes those big visions can swallow the small ones—and according to Harjinder Sandhu, the founder and CEO of Saykara, it’s the small visions that keep you going. “Your user doesn't care about that big vision,” he says. “What they care about is, I have this problem today and how am I going to solve that problem?”    On this edition of UpTech Report, Harjinder discusses his journey to solving the problem of healthcare providers being overburdened with administrative tasks. His solution is an AI assistant that can alleviate those day by day, minute by minute hurdles that interrupts practitioners from delivering care.
19:45
January 28, 2021
Competitive Intelligence Automation | Pere Codina from Kompyte
It’s hard enough dedicating the long hours of work each week toward the success of your company—finding additional hours to then analyze the work of your competitors is next to impossible. But it’s also crucial. Understanding how your competitors are positioning themselves in the marketplace is key to your own growth and direction.    Unfortunately, because of how time-consuming competitor research can be, many companies instead operate in the dark. This is why Pere Codina co-founded Kompyte, which offers automated competitor analysis software to help companies understand what’s happening with the competition across the street—and around the world.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Pere discusses how this technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to discover competition and continually deliver in-depth reports on their status and behavior. And as for Kompyte’s competition? They say they have none.
17:04
January 27, 2021
Opportunity in Chaos | Jordan Husney from Parabol
Jordan Husney was a management consultant for some of the biggest companies in America. And it was in those executive offices that he learned, as he puts it, “the world is a lie.” He says that everything is clean and clear in management textbooks, but the reality is far from it. Through this consulting experience, he came to understand the changing, chaotic nature of organizations across the globe and the growing need for agility.  This is what led him to found Parabol, a technology startup that offers a free, online retrospective tool that helps agile teams understand what they need to do better. On this edition of UpTech Report, Jordan tells about his personal journey from childhood scientist, to Fortune 500 consultant, to startup CEO.
23:37
January 26, 2021
Making Meetings Amazing | Darin Brown from Docket
Very few people take delight at a calendar filled with meetings. We tend to feel they’re unproductive, dull, and a waste of time. But Darin Brown, the founder and CEO of Docket, wants to focus on the good meetings. “You debated the topics, came up with some decisions, felt like a team in alignment, and you're charged for action,” he says.  His mission is to make all meetings the good meetings. His solution is an online collaborative workspace for creating agendas, documenting decisions, and tracking action items.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Darin discusses how his solution strives to find the right synthesis between building a tool and shaping human behavior, and he offers some advice on how to have better meetings that anyone can use.
11:49
January 25, 2021
From Cape Town to the Emerald City | Ray Meiring from Qorus
Ray Meiring started his company, Qorus, in Cape Town, South Africa, and grew it there for several years before finally relocating to Seattle, WA.  Moving a company to the U.S. from abroad is a complicated process, but, as Ray says, “I wish we had moved out here quicker to work with this fantastic market in the U.S.” With some team members still in South Africa, a ten hour difference, Ray now finds the need for great flexibility in when and how he works.  On the latest UpTech Report, Ray discusses the process of this transition, why he chose to do it, and how he now manages working with a globally distributed team.
19:29
January 23, 2021
Bringing the Heat | Michael Wong from Genea
Working late nights or weekends at the office can pose problems if you happen to want HVAC services (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). Tenants usually have to phone the building manager 24 hours in advance to make a request. Engineers would be dispatched to turn on the equipment. Because of the additional cost, invoices would need to be generated for the tenant. It’s a lot of extra trouble just to make sure you can breathe.  Michael Wong endeavors to solve that problem with his company, Genea, which offers a cloud-based system that connects with HVAC systems, and generates automatic billing for tenants.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Michael talks about how this technology works and its implications for commercial real estate.
14:18
January 22, 2021
The Upside to Slowing Down | Matthew Hudelson from Inertia
Most startups feel tremendous pressure to grow fast, get hot, and be the next big thing. But when Matthew Hudelson founded Inertia, he spent years focusing on nothing but the product.    This is one of the big advantages to bootstrapping, he says. “Through the years, it gave us time to understand teams and problems, and the focus wasn't financially driven. It was solution driven, problem solving and relationship building, and just going and proving something.”    On this edition of UpTech Report, Matthew talks about his first efforts to solve problems for construction teams, and his steady, gradual approach to building a company around those solutions.
18:38
January 21, 2021
The Doctor’s Bot | Harjinder Sandhu from Saykara
In the United States, healthcare providers spend an enormous amount of time performing administrative tasks—documenting patient care, making referrals, prescribing medication, and updating records.    To date, most healthcare technology doesn’t address this problem so much as transfering it to new devices and systems. But Harjinder Sandhu set out to find a technology solution that would enable practitioners to spend less time on computers and tablets, and more time helping patients.    The answer was Saykara, an AI assistant for healthcare providers that monitors patient visits and organizes doctor-patient conversations into key points and action items.    On this edition of UpTech Report, Harjinder discusses how this technology works and how it could change your next visit to the doctor.
13:59
January 20, 2021
Securing the Future | Partha Panda from Cysiv
Partha Panda had a long career in business before he co-founded Cysiv, a cloud-based cybersecurity service to help companies manage threat direction and response. He founded and sold a tech company in the 90s, joined another startup, earned his MBA, and launched a venture capital fund.   And he believes he knows the key to a successful business. A hint: it has to do with the customers. On this edition of UpTech Report, Partha walks us through the long journey he took to co-founding Cysiv, and the important lessons he learned along the way.
22:53
January 19, 2021
Retrospectives for Remotes | Jordan Husney from Parabol
In some ways, the Covid-19 pandemic wasn’t so much an economic disruption as it was a propellant. Already, companies across the globe were beginning to transition to agile teams. The pandemic may have merely forced this inevitable change to happen a little faster. But regardless of when or how companies transition, building a cohesive, productive team can be a challenge.  This was something Jordan Husney foresaw, all the way back in 2016. “I could see the change coming,” he says. So he founded Parabol, a company that offers a free, online retrospective tool that helps agile teams understand what they need to do better.  In this edition of UpTech Report, Jordan discusses the development of this tool and how companies are using it to assess and improve.
13:19
January 18, 2021
Looking Beyond the Resume | Mark Fischer-Colbrie from Strateos
A lot of people gave Mark Fischer-Colbrie chances in his career to do things he might not seem obviously suited for based on his resume. But that’s how you learn what you’re truly capable of. Now that Mark is the CEO of Strateos, a company bringing cloud technology to life sciences, he applies that philosophy to his own team. In this edition of UpTech Report, Mark shares some of the lessons he’s learned on building a great team and fostering a positive and productive workplace culture. And as someone who has raised over half a billion dollars in his long career, he also imparts some insights on how to fund that team.
12:30
January 16, 2021
Building a Better RFP | Ray Meiring from Qorus
For many companies, the RFP (request for proposal) is the cornerstone to success. A compelling, informative, and professional document can land the contracts you need to thrive. But RFPs are often exhausting, repetitive processes that prevent your teams from completing other important work. When Ray Meiring founded Qorus, he experienced first hand the very problem he set out to solve. Now Qorus offers proposal management software built on Microsoft365 and assisted by artificial intelligence. In this episode of UpTech Report, Ray discusses the genesis of this solution and how he leveraged it toward the success of his own company.
09:29
January 15, 2021
Founders Reflect on Building Teams
Startup founders have unique philosophies on putting a team together. Some value experience above all else, others value creativity. We spoke with dozens of founders in 2020 about their team-building approach. Hear what some of them have to say.
02:20
January 14, 2021
Singing for Your Supper | Hemanth Puttaswamy from Malbek
Building a thriving corporate culture is important to most every founder. But for Hemanth Puttaswamy, it’s everything. His team at Malbek doesn’t merely touch base periodically to connect. They sing. They play music. They read poetry. And they do it every Friday.  On this episode of UpTech Report, Hemanth talks about why encouraging these personal connections is so important to his business, and how it’s affected their product.
14:48
January 14, 2021
Clicks for Bricks | Matthew Hudelson from Inertia
Modern construction projects are complicated engineering problems, but unfortunately, construction management has been slow to acclimate to the modern digital world, and many construction projects are still executed much as they were decades ago.  But for Matthew Hudelson, this posed an opportunity, which eventually became Inertia, a company that offers construction management software, enabling seamless communication and detailed knowledge for real estate developers and construction teams.  On this edition of UpTech Report, Matthew describes some of the key problems commonly occurring on major construction projects that led him to found the company, and he discusses how he leveraged those problem-solving opportunities into a successful technology startup.
17:58
January 14, 2021
Marketing Tips from the Top
We spoke with over 80 startup founders about what marketing strategies they valued the most in 2020. Hear the key insights some of them offered that might help you in 2021.
01:27
January 13, 2021
Delivering Cybersecurity from the Cloud | Partha Panda from Cysiv
The year 2020 taught us many lessons, but among them is the increasing threat of cyberattacks—and it’s not just the government at serious risk. Corporations across the United States fell victim to one of the most severe cyberattacks in history, and the damage is still being ascertained. And this attack comprises just one of the countless thousands that occur on a regular basis.    Organizations large and small need the most advanced security systems to be protected, but many lack the resources. This is the problem Partha Panda set out to solve when he co-founded Cysiv, a company that provides what they call “SOC-as-a-Service.”    On this edition of Uptech Report, Partha talks about his unique efforts to help companies manage threat detection and response.
22:51
January 12, 2021
Writing is Everything | Miguel Fernández from Capchase
Some founders’ stories begin with the MBA, but Miguel Fernández’s starts quite a bit earlier. With a background in mechanical engineering, Miguel earned his masters in nuclear renewables, and then went on to work in consulting. He started two failed companies and then joined a SaaS company in Moscow, where he built sales teams there and in the UK. It was only then that he went to Harvard to earn his MBA. Now he’s the founder and CEO of Capchase, a startup that helps SaaS companies gain early access to revenue streams. In this edition of UpTech Report, Miguel takes us through this journey, and offers some important lessons he learned developing pitches to venture capitalists.
12:36
January 12, 2021
Customers are King | Ashley Crowder at Vntana
Assembling the right team for your startup is essential for its success, which is why most founders will want to know about your previous experience, how you handled pressure situations, an example of your problem-solving skills, and maybe your philosophy on teamwork.    But Ashley Crowder wants to know what you did in high school. “We want to find out, what were your childhood interests and how did that get you to where you are today?” she says.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Ashley talks about the rigorous process she uses to find the people who will create the right culture at her company, Vntana, an imperative that she says outweighs experience.
14:03
January 9, 2021
Turning Life Science into Data Science | Mark Fischer-Colbrie from Strateos
The promise of the Information Age has materialized dramatically in many sectors—most notably, commerce and entertainment. But for some fields, the progress has been slower. Life sciences is perhaps a prime example. Mark Fischer-Colbrie describes life sciences as an “…1850 artisan-style of operation that needs to be brought up to today’s standards.” That’s why he joined Strateos as the CEO in 2019. In this edition of Uptech Report, Mark discusses how Strateos is turning life science into information science with what they call the “cloud lab.” It’s an information workflow system that could enable scientific advancements to come faster, cheaper, and more often.
15:53
January 8, 2021
Slaying the Feature Creature | Hetal Pandya at Edison
Usually, developing a product is an additive process. You begin with a core idea and then add new features with each subsequent version release. But there are those unusual circumstances where the product has become a monster of unwanted functionality, and your development job is reductive—you begin with something that’s been overused and eliminate its unnecessary elements. This is the situation Hetal Pandya found herself in when she founded Edison. The problem she was trying to solve? Email. What was once an excited new mode of communication has become a cumbersome burden to many. In this edition of UpTech Report, Hetal talks about her experience of taking a preexisting service and turning it into something less.
18:57
January 7, 2021
Tracking Contracts | Hemanth Puttaswamy from Malbek
Whether you’re a small team of five, or a major corporation of five thousand, you’ll be making deals with other entities, and every deal needs a contract. Even small contracts can be costly and time consuming, and tracking them over the years adds another layer of complication that can bog down any business. This is the problem Hemanth Puttaswamy set out to solve when he founded Malbek, which he describes as “complete contract lifecycle management.”  On this edition of UpTech Report, Hemanth discusses how he came to recognize this problem in his own businesses, and how he developed a solution.
14:33
January 7, 2021
Finding the Funding/Profitability Balance | Bill Boebel from Pingboard
Bill Boebel is a journeyman in the entrepreneurial world. He started his first business in college, transformed it several times, sold it, worked in corporate development, and opened an investment fund.    After all these years of experience as both a founder and investor, when he finally scratched the itch to start another company, there was one major lesson he took with him: finding the exact right balance between acquiring funding and achieving profitability.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Bill discusses his experience and describes how he achieved that balance with his current company, Pingboard.
22:51
January 5, 2021
Accessing Future SaaS Revenue | Miguel Fernández from Capchase
SaaS is quickly becoming the default mode of revenue for software companies, and it’s clear why. Instead of inspiring your customer base to purchase upgrades, you can lock them into a repeating subscription fee that ensures they continue to enjoy the latest features and compatibility. But this strategy comes with the downside of having your revenue stream diluted across months or even years, making growth more challenging. This is the problem Miguel Fernández sought to solve with his company Capchase. On this edition of UpTech Report, Miguel discusses how Capchase enables companies to have access to those revenue streams faster, giving them the capital they need to expand their businesses.
11:36
January 5, 2021
The Fear of Founding | Peter Mahoney from Plannuh
Taking that leap into entrepreneurship can be terrifying. It often involves giving up a secure job, and committing personal finances and resources to follow a dream that has a reasonable chance of dying.    So how do you finally make the decision? For Peter Mahoney, he had to tell thousands of people he was doing it. Only then was it real.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Peter talks about finally overcoming the fear of taking that plunge and how he confronted the challenges awaiting him on the other side.
27:22
January 2, 2021
Bringing 3D to Your Customers | Ashley Crowder at Vntana
With so much sales and marketing happening in online spaces, companies more and more are craving to deliver 3D and AR experiences for their customers. Wondering what that couch will look like in your living room? Hold up your phone, and an app will visually place it there.    Want to see that sneaker in a full 360 radius? Just spin it to get a full view. The problem is that software platforms that deliver these experiences need files that aren’t used by most design teams.    Ashley Crowder set out to find a solution, which eventually became her company, Vntana. In this edition of UpTech Report, Ashley discusses the Vntana product, which helps content teams quickly and easily bridge the gap between their product designs and interactive experiences for customers.
08:37
January 1, 2021
Today's Leaders on Tomorrow's Tech
Looking forwards to moving on from 2020? Hear what the leading innovators predict will be the key technologies coming your way!
03:10
January 1, 2021
The Advantages of Limitations | Jeremy Levy from Indicative
Not having the financial resources to hire the best talent can actually be a great thing. Bring in young talent and nurture a relationship that will grow with you year to year, and possibly even company to company.    This is an insight Jeremy Levy learned after decades in entrepreneurship. His clients were Disney, Staples, and Old Navy. His companies were sold to Match.com and IBM. And his talent stayed with him.    Today his team at Indicative develops an automated customer analytics platform, and he credits them with the success of his business.
14:31
December 31, 2020
Reinventing Email | Hetal Pandya from Edison
Having an email address is as essential as having a home address. If you want to buy a product, take out a loan, apply for a job, or even just post a photo of your vacation, you need an email address.    And yet, unlike your residential address, your email address exposes you to a torrent of unwanted solicitations, notifications, requests, updates, appeals, advisories, and you get the idea. It’s turned a solution into a major problem for most people. Hatel Pandya set out to turn this problem back into a solution with her company, Edison, which offers a two-pronged approach: Their email client, Edison Mail, and their email service, OnMail.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Hatel discusses why she believes these solutions will again make email a useful tool instead of a headache.  
14:42
December 31, 2020
Inspiring Hiring | Sean McCreanor at Assignar
In part one of my conversation with Sean McCreanor, the co-founder and CEO of Assignar, he talked about his project management solution specially tailored for the construction industry.    In this second part of our conversation, Sean discusses some of the unique problems he had early on, selling to companies that were still using computers like glorified calculators. He also offers some thoughts on how developing the right hiring technique helped lay the groundwork for their current success.
23:23
December 29, 2020
Fostering Community in the Online Workplace | Bill Boebel from Pingboard
Keeping employees connected and informed is essential to a healthy and productive workforce. But today, with so many people working remotely, generating a feeling of community in the workplace is an increasing challenge.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Bill Boebel discusses his search for a quality solution, which eventually led him to create his own. The results are Pingboard, a social networking and communications system that’s now used by over 350,000 employees across the world.
10:39
December 28, 2020
Make Them Pay | Garin Hess at Consensus
In part one of my conversation with Garin Hess, the founder and CEO of Consensus, he talked about his product that dynamically assembles sales demos based on the needs and interest of the prospective client.    In this second part of our conversation, Garin tells us about one lecture in college that inspired him to become an entrepreneur, forever altering the course of his life. He also tells the story of his early failures—and how they led to his current success.
21:28
December 28, 2020
Your Automated Data Scientist | Jeremy Levy from Indicative
Typically, if you want to gain sophisticated insights into your marketing and sales data, you’d need data scientists and engineers to custom code a solution.    This can be expensive and time-consuming. But Jeremy Levy wants to make it unnecessary with his company, Indicative.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Jeremy talks about Indicative’s product, which offers an automated customer analytics platform specifically designed for product managers, marketers, and data analysts.
12:09
December 23, 2020
Excited about the Same Old Thing | Pedro Alves from Ople
In part one of my conversation with Pedro Alves, the founder and CEO of Ople, he talked about bringing the power of AI-powered data processing to organizations previously unable to access this technology.   In this second part of our conversation, Pedro talks about letting his genuine excitement for his vision guide him through the often repetitive task of starting a company, and he also shares how he learned you sometimes have to ignore the advice from successful entrepreneurs.
28:38
December 22, 2020
Operational Marketing AI | Peter Mahoney from Plannuh
There was a time, long ago, when marketers relied on instincts and perceptions. Today, it’s all about data. And yet, despite the sophistication of information analysis available, it’s still enormously challenging for marketing departments to understand if their budgets are allocated efficiently, their goals are being achieved, and the value to the company is demonstrable. Peter Mohoney realized this as the CMO of a two billion dollar software company.    His solution became his new company, Plannuh, which quite simply automates marketing, planning, and budgeting so marketing departments understand if what they’re doing is working.    In this edition of UpTech Report, Peter talks about the inspiration behind this idea and how it’s changing how marketing teams work.
15:28
December 22, 2020
From Concrete to Code | Sean McCreanor at Assignar
There are entrepreneurs who identify a problem in a marketplace and recognize an opportunity—and then there are those who feel that problem personally and need a solution.    Sean McCreanor was one of those people. He started a construction company in Australia and was unable to find a software product that would offer the mobility and functionality he needed. So he founded his own tech startup, Assignar, which offers a project management solution specially tailored for the construction industry.    On this edition of UpTech Report, Sean talks about the ways in which this software addresses the particular needs of the construction industry and he discusses the challenges of selling a tech product in a marketplace that’s often twenty years behind the times.
11:32
December 22, 2020
Building is Half the Battle | JB Kellogg at Madwire
In part one of my conversation with JB Kellogg, the co-founder and co-CEO of Madwire, he talked about his all-in-one marketing and management software solution for small businesses.    In this second part of our conversation, JB tells the story of walking into a random company down the street from his college and getting his first web design job—despite that he knew nothing about web design—and he shares his thoughts on how to grow your business by growing the leaders.
19:45
December 19, 2020
Building Consensus | Garin Hess at Consensus
For sales engineering teams, assembling demos can be exhausting and time consuming. Each demo must be tailored to meet the needs of prospective clients, and that can take hours out of your day, if not days out of your week. Garin Hess learned this firsthand when leading a tech startup earlier in his career.    After one long dispiriting day of putting together these demos, he resolved to find a better way. And that’s how his current startup, Consensus began.    On this edition of UpTech Report, Garin explains how his product dynamically assembles sales demos based on the needs and interests of the client and why he believes this style of personalization is key.
16:08
December 18, 2020
Friend Your Funders First | Caren Maio at Funnel
In part one of my conversation with Caren Maio, the co-founder and president of Funnel, she talked about her product that helped property owners and managers pull leasing out of the world of Faxes and into the modern era.    In this second part of our conversation, she talks about how her background in marketing and sales made her the right fit to lead a real estate tech company—and she offers her thoughts on the importance of relationships over dollars.
17:55
December 17, 2020
Clearing the Smoke from the Cloud | Nitzan Shapira at Epsagon
Cloud computing for many companies has become more than a trend—it’s a way of life. And yet, the logs and metrics used for these distributed systems are often headaches. Engineers can take hours searching through logs and troubleshooting issues that should only take minutes to resolve.    This was the opinion of Nitzan Shapira when he co-founded Epsagon, which gives teams automated instrumentation and tracing for containers like Kubernetes and virtual machines.    On this edition of UpTech Report, Nitzan explains this technology and tells us how it’s helping people easily see the complexities of their systems from first line of code to deployment.
11:21
December 16, 2020
When the Prayer became the Product | Ben Hindman at Splash
In part one of my conversation with Ben Hindman, the co-founder and CEO of Splashthat, he talked about his company’s efforts to rapidly transform the focus of their product to meet the needs of a world that had shifted to online events.    In this second part of our conversation, Ben tells us how Splashthat originated as a hail Mary effort to promote his other company, which needed a lot of help. He also offers some tips about the right way to speak to potential investors.
18:03
December 15, 2020
Data Science for All | Pedro Alves from Ople
Perhaps one of the most significant byproducts of the digital era has been the ability to gather and process massive amounts of data to gain a better understanding of the world around us. We can now look at business, medicine, education, sports, politics, and more, and discover patterns and relationships that were previously impossible to see. To date, the everyday application of this ability has remained a kind of wizardry for data scientists. But our guest on this edition of UpTech Report wants to put this power in the hands of anyone. Pedro Alves is the founder and CEO of Ople, a company that offers a platform that helps organizations gain insights and recognize patterns using machine learning and AI. In our conversation, Pedro explains how this technology works, and gives some fascinating examples of how it’s applied.
30:31
December 14, 2020
Small Business Marketing Software | JB Kellogg at Madwire
Nobody launches a small business because they want to spend their time managing and marketing—but often, for a business to succeed, you have to burn countless hours every week on those tasks. Mid-level and large businesses can hire staff for this purpose, but what about the hardware stores, restaurants, and chiropractors?    These are the people JB Kellogg wanted to help, with his company Madwire, which offers a complete marketing and management platform for small businesses, rolled into one.    On this edition of UpTech Report, JB tells where this idea began, how it works, and why he believes the mom-and-pops require a unique solution that differs from the larger competition.
15:13
December 11, 2020
Willing to Be Wrong | Rebecca Krauthamer at Quantum
In the first part of my conversation with Rebecca Krauthamer, the co-founder and CEO of Quantum Thought, she discussed the real-world applications of quantum computing she’s helping organizations implement today.    In this second part of our conversation, Rebecca talks about her transition from studying symbolic systems at Stanford to the pioneering field of quantum computing, a sector very few have breached. She also shares her thoughts on how running a successful company means being willing to be wrong.
10:36
December 10, 2020
Real Estate 2.0 | Caren Maio at Funnel
The digitalization of our society is so fully upon us, there are college graduates today with no experience of any other way of life. And yet, some industries have remained stubbornly resistant to the 21st century.    Real estate leasing is certainly one. Owners and renters are mired in paperwork, pay stubs, and Faxes. Any of those college students looking to rent their first apartment may wonder if they’ve traveled back in time.    But Caren Maio, the president and cofounder of Funnel, is hoping to pull the leasing experience back into the present. On this edition of UpTech Report, Caren talks about her product, which gives property owners sophisticated tools for marketing and operations with the goal of taking the headaches out of the dotted line.
20:21
December 10, 2020
The Freedom to Fail | John Baird of Vouched
In part two of this edition of UpTech Report, John takes us through the initial inspiration behind Vouched, and he shares his thoughts on the importance of  holding off on outside funding and why it’s key to let yourself fail.
21:11
December 8, 2020
The Best Laid Event Plans | Ben Hindman at Splash
The coronavirus pandemic has forced organizations to dramatically change the way events are organized and marketed. No longer are we rolling our travel cases across airport floors and congregating in hotel ballrooms. Now the events come into our home offices—if we can manage to break away from our other Zoom meetings.     These changes posed a special challenge—and an opportunity—for Ben Hindman, the co-founder and CEO of Splashthat, a company that offers an event marketing platform that gives planners a cohesive, professional, and engaging experience from launch to wrap.     On this edition of UpTech Report, Ben discusses how his company rapidly transitioned their product to meet the moment of 2020.   
17:44
December 8, 2020
There’s No AI in Team
In part one of my conversation with Danny Tomsett, the founder and CEO of Uneeq, he talked about his efforts to make AI interaction more engaging with his product, digital humans.    In this second part of our conversation, Danny talks about launching his own telecommunications company at the age of 25, making the choice to leave that for something new, and he shares some important lessons he learned along the way.
28:37
December 4, 2020
Quantum Now | Rebecca Krauthamer at Quantum
You’ve probably heard of quantum computing, most commonly understood as a data storage technology built on the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. At least, that’s the idea, someday.    But there are other applications of this principle happening already. Have you heard of quantum communications? Or what about quantum sensing?   If you’re already feeling lost, the guest on this edition of UpTech Report may help you untangle all this quantum entanglement. Rebecca Krauthamer is the co-founder and CEO of Quantum Thought, a company that helps organizations implement quantum technologies to assist with everything from cybersecurity, to molecule modeling, to AI machine learning, and more. Hear how she’s making quantum computing happen right now.
11:49
December 3, 2020
The Vision Revision | Haseeb Bedhani at Rafay
In part one of my conversation with Haseeb Bedhani, the co-founder of Rafay, he discussed his platform to help manage Kubernetes. In this second part of our conversation, Haseeb talks about his view that to grow a company, you have to do it like it’s never been done before, and why the successful startups are the ones that revise their vision.
24:45
December 2, 2020
AI Identify | John Baird of Vouched
Whether you’re taking out a loan, receiving healthcare, or even purchasing wine, verifying identities is necessary to prevent fraud and protect consumers.    But as more and more of these transactions occur digitally, it’s become a greater challenge to verify identities with accuracy and security. The opportunities for identities to be stolen and for personal data to be compromised is high.    John Baird set out to solve this problem with Vouched—a company that uses artificial intelligence to verify the identities of customers and contractors with speed, accuracy, and security.   In part one of this edition of UpTech Report, John discusses this technology and the many problems it solves to determine that you are indeed you.  
22:09
December 2, 2020