We caught up with Hu:toma, a startup that focuses on AI who recently won the 4YFN Internet of Things Awards 2017 to find out a bit more about them, what their plans are for the coming months and how winning the award has had an impact on their company since.
Here is what they had to say…..
Tell us a bit about your winning application:
“Hu:toma is a platform that allows developers to create, share and monetise deep learning bots. Unlike our competitors, our AIs learn to understand humans by autonomously analysing unstructured data or sampling conversations that do not require manually engineered or pre-programmed conversations. Once an AI is created on our platform, developers can deploy it internally or publish it in our marketplace. Developers can, in fact, mix and match existing AIs from our bot store so they don’t have to start from scratch.”
What encouraged you to participate in the 4YFN Internet of Things Award 2017?
“The competition was an amazing place to meet other interesting startups and potential investors but also was important to validate our ideas.
We chose the 4YFN competition because we knew it was a reputable brand and thought it could help us to get in touch with other companies and investors. This proved to be true. The competition put us in touch with top investors and top companies, some of whom we are already in talks with about future collaborations. It also helped us to raise our profile which, in turn, is helping us to recruit certain talent. I chose this particular competition because it fits in with our long term vision.”
As the winner, what words of encouragement would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to apply?
“Try, try, and try because you will eventually succeed. I think that the hardest person every entrepreneur needs to convince, is themselves. So, firstly you have to be very convinced that you will overcome any obstacles that may arise. A lot of the time you will face issues that you don’t know how to solve and you need to be prepared for this. To keep on trying means to keep on believing you and your team will eventually succeed.
When it comes to preparing your pitch, there is only one thing I would recommend to entrepreneurs, and that is to rehearse daily because it will show when you are on stage. Pitch while showering, while grocery shopping, whenever you have a spare moment. You really need to memorise and feel comfortable with your speech before stepping out in front of the crowd.”
Now that 4YFN is over, what are your plans for the business now?
“We are now working with a large corporation and about 2000 developers. In a few weeks we will be opening up our platform to everyone and we are also preparing our A round.”
Do you have any success stories that you wish to share with us following the 4YFN win?
“Yes, we were picked up by some media companies including top tier newspapers in Spain and Italy. We also regularly see people blogging about us. A lot of investors got in touch. In fact we were planning to fundraise next year but thanks to the response we got from the 4YFN event we will start in a couple of months. Being a winner of the 4YFN IoT Awards has made it a lot easier to reach out to worldwide brands. All in all, it was a great experience and it has really helped us to launch our company to the next level.”
4YFN (For Years From Now) has a multitude of events, innovation programmes and activities lined up for the rest of the year. If you would like to find out more information on them, check our website here.