YEAR FOUNDED: 2013
Engineer.ai, is a human assisted AI (Artificial Intelligence) startup that empowers everyone to build and operate software projects. The company uses Artificial Intelligence, BOTS and a deep network of trusted vendors to build everyone’s personal engineering team, helping them build something new as well as operate your stuff on the cloud. A platform that does exactly what an in-house engineering team would do without any of the cost of running and managing one.
Exhibit: Engineer.ai does seem like an interesting venture. When did this initial idea of the start-up germinate?
We all had an idea – we thought it was going to be the next XYZ and deeply wanted for it to materialize into a true business reality. But then we all walked out of the coffee shop and did nothing about it. As Saurabh, my co-founder, and I heard the same repetitive story from friends and business owners aspiring to bring technology into their business or had a dream that was then effectively stolen by an unscrupulous developer, we decided that this was a big problem to solve and one that needed a rapidly different way of thinking.
Exhibit: Artificial Intelligence is the buzz of the hour, what do you think is the next big move in AI/ AR?
It’s important to emphasize that there is a drastic difference between AR and AI – the two do not have to meet. AI will become more and more prominent in a world that is substantially more interconnected than before, and with it, you will see the nature of work change as frequently repeated tasks are replaced by machines.
AI brings with it many scale advantages; being able to analyze a quantum of data – in seconds – that a group of humans would take years, the ability to customize customer experiences to the nth degree without any overhead. Both of these will have impacts on the longevity of human life (medicine) and the way we engage in all level of commerce.
“ We’re the people that entrepreneurs can trust to deliver on time and on budget with clear guidance along the way.. ”
AR, on the other hand, is more iterative – this is partly because we do not yet have the display technology for mass adoption without the need for everyone to carry and wear glasses, for example – Google Glass. I believe the big move here will be in the display – when it begins to look more like a mass adoption system will you see brands and companies heavily investing in it. Notwithstanding, we are already seeing a showcase of the potential by companies like Sephora who are changing the very notion of how makeup can be purchased.
Exhibit: Tell us about your initial challenges with Engineer.ai and experiences gathered.
There are a number of challenges when building a SaaS Marketplace-based platform:
“Chicken and Egg” – How do you get what we call our ‘Capacity Partners’ (Dev Shops from whom we buy their excess capacity) to join a network that is still in its infancy. Our first quarter of getting Capacity Partners was a lot of hustle. Coupled with this is the challenge of how to get them to adapt to a new way of operating that involves incentivizing them to register and take an assessment test. Custom Software can be intimidating – building an idea can intimidate a lot of people not only because it’s an unknown and expensive process, but also because till date there hasn’t been a clearly defined and transparent road to development.
Exhibit: What’s the response like from your clients so far?
In a word: Outstanding. We haven’t been in business for a long time, yet are seeing exponential growth and opportunities and interests from all kinds of businesses all over the world. We’ve seen massive interest from channel partners including the BIG 5 consulting companies; we’ve had dreamers and small businesses come to our trade booth with a credit card to buy our services..
Exhibit: You have a very interesting domain name – shed some more light on the .ai part please.
Glad it stands out. That was our intention. In order to deliver cutting-edge software at a fraction the rate of our competitors, we leverage artificial intelligence to automate everything possible such as managing projects as well as de-duplicating code. In turn, this saves our clients money and helps us to be more competitive. AI is at our core and makes the end result possible. Therefore, we felt it was important to highlight that in our very name. “.ai” is also the Antilles – so it’s a cool place.
Exhibit: What do you think about Exhibit’s AR app? Do you think that Print Magazines can benefit from AR?
Magazines by nature are static so using AR to create a more dynamic experience is sure to engage users and draw new readers to your content. Exhibit is about informing their users about the next big thing and bridging the worlds of technology and lifestyle. AR can be another tool to show people not only what’s possible, but what’s cool and innovative. Exhibit’s AR app is an excellent initiative to introduce their readers to the world of augmented reality.
Exhibit: Is there anything you’d like to advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs?
If you can dream it, we can build it. Therefore, my advice would be to dream big and stay true to your passion. Anyone can have an idea, but only a true entrepreneur is able to take that idea and turn it into an action. Listen to the little voice inside your head that is telling you to move forward, explore, create, and build. We can help with the ‘build’ part. And as an entrepreneur don’t think about just making money – think about making an impact and the world a better place – money will follow.