More than one year into the Covid-19 crisis, we’ve conquered the basics of remote work and online shopping, but the “new normal” is far from perfect. Tech adoption by both consumers and the enterprise is ahead of schedule, necessitated by the pandemic. But the supply chain, cybersecurity and even customer service need upgrades. Businesses across all sectors have figured out that “digital transformation” isn’t amorphous bizspeak. It’s survival. No one understands that more than the latest class of Forbes 30 Under 30 inductees in Enterprise Tech. From empowering employees with platforms to simplify workflow to machine learning that finds hidden solutions for developers, these young engineers and entrepreneurs are essential to the digital future.
“We need to adapt technologies like machine learning to work for the people and upskill our workforce.”
Recovery is never as straightforward as we expect it, Fireflies.ai cofounder Krish Ramineni says of the pandemic. “It also showed me that when intense pressure is applied, businesses need to change, and they will change, even the legacy ones.” That includes the mass adoption of remote work. In 2016, Ramineni and Sam Udotong launched a startup that would become an enterprise necessity four years later. Fireflies.ai’s cloud-based technology automatically transcribes and takes bullet notes from user calls and meetings, identifying key takeaways from the transcription. In less than a year, the startup has grown from 10 employees to 70. It boasts partnerships with enterprise MVPs Zoom, Slack, Salesforce, Dropbox and Asana. Over 300,000 organizations and 2.5 million people have received AI-generated meeting notes from Fireflies.ai.
The pandemic also has been a tailwind for Teamflow, which offers customizable virtual offices that simulate regular workplaces, complete with digital desks and the ability to chat with colleagues in virtual hallways. Since launching his startup in 2020, first-generation French immigrant Florent Crivello has brought on board more than 1,000 customers and has $50 million in funding
Indico Data cofounder Diana Yuan has a new appreciation for the frontline essential workers for whom remote work was not an option, like cashiers, healthcare employees and restaurant workers. Yuan, along with Madison May and Slater Victoroff, worked from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sundays in an Olin College dorm room eating pineapple and onion pizzas while building their product, that, with $36 million in funding, is increasingly a critical player in digital transformation. Indico Data uses AI and machine learning to help enterprises automate the intake and extraction of information from unstructured data such as emails, images and audio files. Yet Yuan takes nothing for granted. “As knowledge workers in a software company, we were all incredibly blessed to be able to work from the safety of our homes,” she says. “We need to adapt technologies like machine learning to work for the people and upskill our workforce.”
In that vein, low-code/no-code tools that help developers work faster and employees outside of the IT department work with digital applications are in high demand. To meet those needs, Obviously AI cofounders Nirman Dave and Tapojit Debnath Tapu enable people without technical knowledge to build AI models that can be integrated into existing cloud services and databases. Isaac Pohl-Zaretsky, who previously created a hugely popular role-playing game within Microsoft’s Minecraft, along with Alexa Grabell launched Pocus, which helps sales teams track how customers are using software and spot opportunities to increase revenue. And Logic Loop, cofounded by Jesika Haria and Jackie Xu, lets people create automated workflows for things such as detecting fraudulent transactions without needing much help from IT teams.
Meanwhile, Christina Gilbert and Andrew Luo built OneSchema in a park with the goal that “no human ever has to manually clean a spreadsheet again.” OneSchema’s platform allows users to easily rectify data, instantly check for errors and it suggests one-click data fixes for CSV files. Atomized, cofounded by Nik Kotov and Peter Ballner, connects code repositories with cloud platforms, enabling developers to deploy applications within minutes instead of weeks. Databand.ai, cofounded by Josh Benamram, is a data observability platform that lets engineers check if data is available, accurate and usable. And Cortex helps developers and engineers explore, understand, and operate the microservices used in building applications. Its platform documents service architecture, audits service health and prevents outages. Cofounders Anish Dhar, Ganesh Datta and Nikhil Unni plan to use their platform to guide other founders and help them along the way.
Finally, the supply chain crunch that has stressed the global economy has been good for Steve Wen’s startup Dray Alliance, which helps clients such as Mattel and Wayfair find truckers to take containers from ports and railheads to warehouses and stores. The business is set to post $28 million in revenue this year, up from $11 million in 2020. Wen got the idea to modernize freight logistics while running a business that exported luxury goods. “In the shipping world, they were still faxing paperwork around,” he says. “That made no sense to me.”
Want to read more? View the Enterprise Technology list or peruse the full Class of 2022.
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