The BizSpark startup of the day is A.I.type, based in Israel. Below you will find an interview with Eitan Fitusi, Founder and CEO of A.I.type. All the best to them and congratulations for being the startup of the day!
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
Founder and CEO.
What did you do before creating your company?
I was leading a large development group in a software company.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
It is a great honor for us to be selected by Microsoft BizSpark as the 'Startup of the Day'. We believe in the BizSpark program and appreciate its support in us and in start-ups in general.
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is to introduce an intelligent system that enables any end user to compose complex textual paragraphs in a rapid, simple and reliable manner with no spelling or grammar mistakes.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
A.I.type is a unique A.I-based system that allows everybody to write like native speakers, enrich their vocabulary and polish their style.
How did you get the idea for your company?
Basically it's not far from any knowledge collaboration system. We're not trying to create a new AI system. Our challenge is to imitate the well-known human intelligence skills that have been employed to compose billions of paragraphs of text. Looking at this enormous amount of data, we ask ourselves if we can say something about human writing habits. Can we identify the common rules that may create, given a specific context, any text paragraph? In any given style? In any given language? This is what we have basically been trying to do for the past 2 years.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We were funded $500K as seed money. Most of the funding came from the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor of Israel. A Small amount came from private hands. We're looking today for a Round A investment to start marketing our product, and to explore new markets.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We are currently focusing on development. We have 7 Employees, out of whom 6 are Developers (including myself).
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
I wish we could! We have tons of new features and new environments we would like to support. Unfortunately, budget-wise, we are not there yet.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Currently we are working on a Windows client for Windows XP and above with .Net framework 4.0. In the near future we will support smartphone platforms such as Blackberry, Android and even WinPhone 7.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
Internet access and computer use in general become more and more mobile. People are getting used to being online and responsive anywhere, anytime. We have the capability to help them write with less effort and get better results. I think the key word here is mobile, and I'm not talking specifically about cellulars: it could be Tablets, netbooks and even "old style" full size laptops, at the coffee shop, train station, waiting at the parking lot…All this time becomes now a productive time, and we would make it even more productive.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
BizSpark Program has made it possible for A.I.type to make a rapid start and get to a beta stage extremely fast. We would like to thank Microsoft and the people behind this program for supporting our company, and we wish for further assistance, especially in deploying our servers on Azure within our budget.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Yes - start from the beginning and advance one step at a time. I know it sounds trivial, but there is a long path to follow, and people can easily lose their patience and motivation -a bit like agile programing: plan only short term goals and follow them. The full picture might be too much to handle at the first stages.
Who’s your role model?
I like what Jeff Hawkins from Palm does: he takes a failing branch of computing and re-invents it to match the user model with technology limitations, all that without disrespecting the user or limiting the usability or the extensibility of their devices (as Apple does today).
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
We can make your writing much easier! Download the application. If nothing else, it's fun to play with…