About Us

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The founders

The Smarter.ai story begins with Francesco, Lewis, and David. Although they had yet to join forces, all three were working on impressive projects that would form the basis of the Smarter.ai platform.

Francesco

At the heart of the initial Smarter.ai blueprint was Francesco. With a longstanding belief that all businesses should have access to the tools they needed to grow effectively, he knew there was work to be done regarding bureaucracy and red tape in the tech industry. Throughout his career working in Venture Capital and investments, he quickly cottoned on to the fact that smaller businesses were stumbling at the same frustrating hurdle: they simply couldn’t access the high-quality artificial intelligence that would take them to the next level.

However, it wasn’t only accessibility to tech that he deemed problematic. After spending years consulting on green technology services, he became acutely aware of climate change and the importance of sustainability for a better future. He knew that artificial intelligence had the power to change the world, but was also aware that the power-intensive GPUs required to train a single machine learning model contributed heavily to global CO2 emissions. So, to improve his approach to sustainable living, he cut out all family visits to Ronald McDonald’s Golden Arches and went vegan.

These were certainly respectable steps forward, but his operator’s gene approach left him wanting to demystify AI for businesses and encourage entire sectors to reduce their carbon footprint. Using his knowledge of how successful businesses grow and develop, Francesco began launching his passion project: Smarter.ai.

Lewis

While Francesco was investing in growth startups, Lewis was making the most of his PhD in Software Architecture Reuse. While working for Reuters, AbnAmro, and Blinkbox, he developed a passion for creating flexible software systems through mega-programming that made buying and selling easy. For Lewis, there was nothing more satisfying than improving marketplaces and making things work.

Following an eye-opening experience at a green data centre in Sweden, Lewis saw that Artificial Intelligence could be made more accessible and sustainable. He felt that letting anyone create AI would allow everyone to stay on the cutting edge. This democratic approach would encourage businesses to constantly innovate and evolve without training their own energy-draining models. With this exciting prospect in hand, he started brainstorming.

David

David, our third founder, started his career working for global enterprise technology organisations before moving into the high-growth start-up and tech-transfer sector. With a background in mathematical computation and computer science, David used his strong operational drive to foster three Oxford University startups. Among these were Oxford University’s impressive startup, Mind Foundry, and three other international growth businesses.

His international experience and extended time with Helsinki’s deep reinforcement learning startup Curious.AI showed David how quickly companies could grow when they had access to the right talent and technology. As a UK data advisory board member and former board member of TechUK, David intrinsically understood the transformational power of innovation and how this could be turned into commercial success. By building great teams and companies that could execute to their full potential, all businesses could, in theory, achieve the same results as big tech.

While plugging away at their respective careers, all three founders experienced ‘lightbulb’ moments. Come on, we’ve all had them - those magical, almost otherworldly sparks of creation that drive real change. Although their experiences with AI weren’t identical, each founder knew that there were problems in the global marketplace that needed solving.

They understood that businesses were frustrated by the lack of AI technology available to them, with many stating that traditional solutions weren’t fast-moving or innovative enough. As the pandemic forced more companies online than ever before, it was becoming even more difficult for small businesses to compete with large firms that had access to the best technology in the field.

Smarter.ai was little more than a seed at the time, but in late 2020 Fran, Lewis, and David joined forces to build a marketplace that would seamlessly connect the best talent in AI with global businesses. By making AI accessible and easy to use, companies would be able to solve their problems quickly, efficiently, and without excessive cost.

With this ambitious idea in mind, Smarter.ai was born.

Chapter 2: The mission >>>
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