The 7th A.I. Startup Battle (hosted by PAPIs ’17 at Microsoft N.E.R.D.) came to an end yesterday in Boston in fully automated fashion. The jury of this unique competition, PreSeries’ algorithms, has predicted that GreenSight Agronomics is the startup most likely to succeed in comparison to the three other contenders. After an intense Q&A session between the startups and PreSeries (through a voice-enabled device present on stage), the A.I. ranked the participants and crowned GreenSight Agronomics. They provide an automated, agronomic intelligence platform for superintendents, land managers, and farmers. They combine automated drones, patented sensors, and proprietary analytics to deliver customers maps and alerts enabling them to better manage water, pesticide, and fertilizer usage. They are already the leader in turfgrass remote sensing and analysis. They are helping Top-100 golf courses across the U.S. and Canada reduce water consumption, better task labor associated with irrigation and moisture measurement, and achieve better outcomes with fewer fungicides, pesticides, and fertilizer.
In the battle, all five startups have had the chance to introduce their company during a 5-minute pitch prior to the human-A.I. interaction. Later on, PreSeries’ AI took the time to ask some questions to all the contenders about key aspects of their business. The exchange was made possible through a voice-assistant device present on stage (our very own ‘VC-in-a-box’).
Klarity, a software that automatically reviews sales contracts (NDAs, Beta, MSA/SLA agmts), so lawyers don’t need to be involved, came in 2nd position. They have completed the first module that uses Natural Language Processing to analyze NDAs and provides the user with (1) an overall risk profile, (2) a list of clauses present and non-present with individual risk profile attached to each clause (green, yellow, red), and (3) detailed analysis of the implications of a clause to the business + actionable insights that help renegotiate the agreement. Their goal is to expand to other contract types and industry verticals and eventually automate all contractual work.
Pearlo, a cloud-based application that helps busy professionals to quickly and inexpensively improve their processes arrived in 3rd position. It is powered by artificial intelligence and, once the user enters the narrative describing how the current process works, the tool delivers a graphical representation of the process, an efficiency score and a set of recommendations for improvement.
Myu.ai, a startup that empowers the many media artists around the world to collaborate remotely in a virtual studio arrived in 4th position. They help collaboration between humans and AI artists, to develop and commercialize original media content (music, film & VR). Their platform provides advanced editors, rights management, and global content distribution. They are a team from MIT and Berklee College of Music, with advisors including Jack Dorsey (CEO of Twitter).
After the event, BigML CEO & Co-founder and President of PreSeries, Francisco J. Martin, shared his thoughts: “Our startup battles have inspired a wide audience of investors and startup founders across the globe who are looking for concrete, quantifiable feedback on their performance on a continuous basis. Boston has naturally become a regular stop given the depth of the startup ecosystem here. We are impressed with arguably the most accomplished set of competitors to date in this 7th edition of the Startup Battle and wish them the best in attracting new customers, gaining further traction and securing new rounds of financing.”
GreenSight Agronomics, the winner of the battle has now the chance to participate in Telefónica Open Future _ Program. In this respect, it is eligible to access, up to six months, to Telefónica Open Future’s pre-acceleration services, subject to space availability (desk space and connectivity). After the six-months of pre-acceleration, PAPIs ’17 winner will be evaluated and, in case of a positive evaluation by Telefonica Open Future, PAPIs ’17 winner may have access to Wayra’s Acceleration Program. Wayra Acceleration Program offers financing for up to 50.000$ in the form of a convertible note and acceleration services, for a maximum period of 12 months, valued at a maximum of 70.000$, subject to the fulfilment of certain milestones agreed with Wayra (in the form of physical co-working space for the team, connectivity services, access to its network and know-how, consultancy services, entrepreneurship training, access to the Wayra network of potential investors, other entrepreneurs and practitioners from the venture capital industry).
For Ana Segurado, Telefónica Open Future_ Global Director, events like the one that we are hosting demonstrate the importance of making use of more technology to help investors make data-driven decision and avoid poor investment outcomes: “Machine Learning increasingly facilitates work with an amount of data and stages that, otherwise, make pricing decisions similar to playing in a casino with marked decks. It gives investors very valuable information that must be very seriously considered to make decisions in a short period of time”.