Personal training and wellness coaching went online during the COVID-19 shutdown, which put thousands of coaches in charge of their own income and hosting their own classes virtually. Problem is, there aren’t many platforms that are easy for both coaches and their clients to use. And how does a new solopreneur coach attract clients in a crowded space when all marketing is virtual? Yottled, a new online wellness coaching platform, just launched this week to solve those pain points for thousands of entrepreneurs. It was founded by two guys with the credentials to make it work. Co-founders Trevor Hough and Will Guedes have worked in engineering and product management for hot SE Michigan startups Duo Security and StockX, both two of the four recently minted unicorn companies from Ann Arbor or Detroit valued at over $1 billion. The Yottled platform is brand new, but it’s simple to use and it’s growing. Here’s how an online coaching platform can change the game.
“In insurance, there is certain data that matters in writing a risk,” says Jeff Heine, CRO of Groundspeed Analytics, a top-rated Ann Arbor fintech startup that is disrupting the insurance industry. “But they don’t use more than 10 percent of the data. With AI,” Heine explains, “we’re taking the intensive manual effort [to analyze the data] and automating that.” Groundspeed was rated a finalist for InsurTech Honor of the Year Award by Insurance Insider, was listed by Business Insider as a top Breakout Fintech Star, and was named by the 2020 CB Insights Fintech 250 List of Fastest Growing Fintech Startups. It’s one of the hottest new AI startups coming out of emerging tech hub Ann Arbor, Michigan, but it hasn’t gotten the same attention as many cybersecurity or conversational AI companies because the fintech space is often disconnected from other innovative startups in the Midwest. Groundspeed has gained a lot of ground under the mainstream radar.
Ann Arbor startup and TechDisrupt 2019 AI top pick Voxel51 just announced that it has just launched a new tool called FiftyOne, the computer vision industry’s first open-source tool for experimenting with and cleaning image and video data for machine learning. Engineers working with machine learning for image and video data sets have a new way of inspecting their data for labeling errors and finding explanations for functional problems emerging from the data. It’s a quicker solution to the problem of cleaning datasets, which grows by the year along with the size of datasets available for machine learning applications.
Censys Raises $15.5 Million, Hiring To Double Staff, As Cybersecurity Startup Announces New Features
In light of the recent Meow attacks that delete vulnerable databases on the internet, we were curious when Ann Arbor-based tech startup Censys announced $15.5 million in new funding and yet another phase in their mission to make vulnerable online data visible to companies so they can resolve it.
Companies everywhere are looking for best practices and tech tools to make work from home work for entire organizations overnight. Now that a few months have passed since companies across the U.S. started adapting to remote work, we checked in with metro Detroit-based software and AI company that offers enterprise solutions to other companies to see if they had any insights into what makes work from home software really work.
Just a little over 2 years ago, David Ponraj decided to do something for underserved communities: democratize the information that helps businesses network and grow, and make it accessible to everyone. StartupSpace is an app customized for business and entrepreneurial support organizations that allows them to offer a database of business loan and grant information, curated content, and networking events specifically filtered for particular regions, business area, and demographics.
How do you replace all the lead pipes in Flint when you don’t know how many there are? It’s a problem now faced by multiple municipalities realizing they have incomplete plumbing records and water contamination around the U.S. The City of Flint, Michigan, has been sending data to a company called BlueConduit to speed up an incredibly complex overhaul of lead service lines leading to houses across the city. BlueConduit programs what data they have into an AI-powered system designed to predict where lead pipes are likely to be found. This speeds up the process of locating most lead pipes in the least amount of time. For a while, the city returned to the more ordered but slow process of digging up every house’s lines one at a time, but it was proved so inefficient and ineffective at targeting the areas with the most lead pipes that the city was ordered to go back to using the AI system to speed up the process for public safety.
Patent strategy firm Aurora Consulting in Traverse City recently awarded several startups in the Midwest with a RISE Award, which stands for Relief for Startup Endurance. The prize means that Ann Arbor-based realLingua software startup that teaches online language learning through immersive native language speaker programs can pursue a patent for its new AI-based natural language learning programs. Founder Keith Phillips, whom we interviewed at launch just over a year ago, says that the award will help the startup move forward in several ways. “We’ve got an idea for the backbone of our conversational AI and wanted to do a provisional patent for that,” Phillips says of the recent award.
Enterprise software company UrsaLeo recently announced an expansion into the Southeast Michigan advanced manufacturing space with an Ann Arbor office opening. The company plans to work with manufacturers to create 3D photorealistic models of factory floors, equipment and product models to create remote training, operations, and product demo options for companies adding virtual modeling to their operations.
Universities everywhere are trying to trim budgets and plan for virtual instruction in case of a second wave in the Fall 2020 semester, but where does that slack come from? In the case of schools where staff is at essential levels already or there are unavoidable cutbacks or furloughs, can software help remaining faculty and staff do more with less?