By Nancy Dahlberg / email@example.com
Startup Spotlight: CHIRRP.AI
Concept: Chirrp is a conversational platform that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to create engaging interactions with customers. Through Chirrp, companies can rapidly offer intelligent conversation that is engaging, personalized and targeted.
Story: Since working together on their first project many years ago, the founders of Chirrp — Mallesh Murugesan and Stephen Yuan — have been passionate about using technology to deliver better experiences for consumers. Over the past three years, their team has explored the capabilities of current Artificial Intelligence technologies, identifying weakness and working on ways to apply AI to enhance user interactions. In 2016, they decided to bring these ideas together to create a platform that would enable richer conversations and better experiences for their users.
Once the platform foundation was created, the Chirrp team focused on making the conversations robust, flexible and accurate. Through their research, they explored linguistics and communications in an effort to make Chirrp’s AI more human-like. The company has now created a patent-pending methodology that uses a unique way to understand the context of human intentions and provide human-like engagement.
Murugesan, CEO and co-founder, has been very involved in the startup community here in South Florida. “The startup community has evolved so much in Miami in the past few years right in front of us. There is a very vibrant startup community here and is growing tremendously,” Murugesan said. Prior to Chirrp, he started Abeyon to bring intuitive design, as well as great user experience design and user interface design (UI/UX) to complex business processes, be it health data, manufacturing or government.
Yuan is COO and has more than 25 years of experience working on technology products. He heads the R&D team of Chirrp’s Washington, D.C., office. Having two locations has allowed the company to work successfully in the healthcare industry, as well as with the federal government.
Chirrp is being implemented at hospitals around South Florida as a patient engagement tool, Murugesan said. Chirrp is also working on a project with the U.S. Department of the Navy to analyze data and find patterns and attributes to enable Navy to make better decisions. The company is having conversations with several other federal agencies as well, he said.
Launched: January 2017
Management team: Mallesh Murugesan, co-founder and CEO, Stephen Yuan, co-founder and COO.
No. of employees: Five.
Financing: Currently raising seed funding.
Recent milestones: In June, Chirrp.ai won the eMerge Americas Early Stage Startup Showcase, taking home $50,000 in prizes. Since then, the company has brought in business development partners and advisory board members to grow and realize the potential of Chirrp.ai. The company also recently obtained another major healthcare client for which it will deliver customer engagement through digital channels.
Biggest startup challenge: “Our biggest challenge is the timing of the technology. Artificial Intelligence-based solutions are still new, especially in the enterprise space. Finding the right solution for an enterprise has been a challenge and a focus for us at Chirrp.ai. In the upcoming year, we believe AI will take a central role in solution offerings and we see Chirrp at the forefront of that movement,” Murugesan said.
Next step: To continue strengthening the platform and improve its capabilities. The startup is working on several proof-of-concepts for specific industries to showcase the applicability of AI-based conversations.
Strategy for next step: The strategy is to have a well-defined product road map from a technology perspective, continue to develop the capabilities of the platform, and then bring in the right strategic partners to capture the healthcare market using Chirrp.ai.
Mentor’s view: “Chirrp is also very well positioned and in the early stage of utilizing artificial intelligence to improve and streamline processes and customer interaction, specifically within the healthcare industry. Mallesh has a great attitude and is open to ideas and critique and able to executed changes quickly,” said Nathaniel Pool, an angel investor and adviser. “As with any startup, the key to Chirrp’s success will be to solidify their niche, then remain laser-focused.”
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