Stuart Frost has over thirty years of experience founding and leading successful data management and analytics startups. Just within the last eight years, he has incubated several leading companies in the IIoT market, including Maana (IIoT knowledge platform), OspreyData (oil and gas analytics), NarrativeWave (wind farm analytics), ThinkIQ (food traceability) and SWARM (AI agents for IIoT).
Stuart saw the market go from its very early gestation to the point where major industrial companies are starting to make significant, long term commitments to digitization. Through this unique experience, Stuart Frost has developed deep knowledge of the market’s needs and how to successfully create and sell key technologies to meet those needs.
Frost founded SELECT Software Tools very early on in his career and led the company as CEO through rapid growth and expansion. Stuart went on to found the company DATAllegro in 2003 which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008 for $275 million. As part of the acquisition, Frost joined Microsoft to lead the data warehousing group, which generated nearly $1bn in revenue. He left Microsoft in 2010, and started an incubator focused on creating industrial and healthcare IoT startups.
Stuart Frost has held a number of roles throughout his career – mostly working as founder, Chairman, and CEO roles for other startups. Stuart Frost is currently the CEO of Avventura, LLC. From 2010 through today, Stuart Frost founded and held chair positions for numerous other startups, including MAANA and SWARM Engineering.
Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Geminos Software?
Stuart Frost: The next Industrial Revolution (aka Industry 4.0) is being driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), which can improve expensive, complex decisions by up to 30%. It’s therefore no surprise that IDC has estimated that 500 million new AI applications will be needed in the next 5 years. However, that simply won’t be possible at current levels of productivity. Geminos is addressing this problem by “using AI to build AI” applications more quickly and with better quality.
What are the biggest challenges for mid-sized businesses when it comes to building AI apps?
Stuart Frost: Reading the press, it seems as though everyone is implementing AI-driven solutions as part of broad digital transformations that will take them to “Industry 4.0”. The reality is somewhat different. While it’s true that large companies such as Wal-Mart, Amazon, FedEx, etc. have had successes and in some cases have radically improved their operations or even created entirely new lines of business, the successful use of AI has not yet reached the broader market to the same extent.
A recent report by Cognilytica showed that only 9% of North American companies have multiple AI solutions in operation, with a further 22% have one in operation. The vast majority of the rest have their first project in progress (18%) or are planning one in the next 1-3 years (42%).
One of the main reasons why these companies struggle to keep up is the difficulty they have in hiring high quality resources that can deliver effective solutions. The same report by Cognilytica stated that “Limited AI Skills or Talent” was a showstopper for 13% of all companies and slowing adoption for a further 27%. Our own research indicates that these numbers are significantly higher for mid-sized companies.
It’s not just the shortage of data scientists and experienced AI solutions developers; cost is also a factor. Recruitment costs for a team can run to hundreds of thousands of dollars and salaries are often significantly higher than those for existing IT resources. Also, competition for the very best resources is intense and there are many appealing opportunities for the more capable people.
Can you tell us something more about your platform? How does it work?
Stuart Frost: The Geminos platform is centered on a powerful knowledge graph that acts as a hub for business requirements, knowledge of the world around us and orchestration of the final application. It uses the concept of a digital twin of the physical world in order to provide a consistent architecture through all aspects of the platform. This unique combination creates a foundation for using advanced AI to dramatically improve the ability of developers and data scientists to understand what they need to build, what all of their data means and how to create AI-driven applications that are more accurate and reliable. The end result will be a 10X gain in productivity.
Could you provide some real world use-case scenarios?
Stuart Frost: Our target markets include manufacturing, logistics and retail. We’re particularly focused on complex optimization problems. Previous projects include food manufacturing, container management and high volume data analytics for energy utilities.
What are some of the main objectives for Geminos Software in 2020 and how do you plan to achieve them?
Stuart Frost: Our main goal this year is to secure our first batch of customers and prove that our approach to building industrial AI applications is significantly faster than the status quo. We have a good sized team of experienced and talented AI developers and data scientists that we can use to build solutions. To help secure the first few projects in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are offering to build solutions at our risk. We will work with customers to create compelling applications that will solve real problems for their business. If they like the solution, they can decide to purchase and deploy when budget is available, but they don’t need to make any upfront commitments. That’s how confident we are in our ability to deliver powerful solutions at sensible cost.