Everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much

Squirro is a modern Cognitive Insights Platform

Please introduce yourself and your startup Squirro to our readers!
Squirro is a Cognitive Insights Platform that delivers AI-driven actionable Recommendations. We are today 40 people in Zurich (Headquarters), New York, London, Munich and Singapore, growing fast.

I am the CEO and co-founder of Squirro. It’s my 4th company I build from scratch. While the first ones were mostly focused on Switzerland, this one has a global approach and ambition.

How did you get the idea to Squirro?
We founded Squirro a few years back on a simple insight: Enterprise Data is broken. 99% of all enterprise data generated is never analyzed. Businesses, which are not making full use of their data, significantly underperform in the market place. The main reason: Most of this data is unstructured data, e.g. call notes, meeting minutes, research, news, contracts, knowledge articles, e-mails, etc. Squirro solves this by turning meaningless data into actionable insights. Squirro’s core USP is its ability to recognize structure in unstructured data.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
The Zero to One challenge (no product, no customers) to product and the first customer is hard. Well, every startup is hard. It takes time, resolve, luck and a clear vision of what you want to accomplish to pull through.

Who is your target audience?
We predominantly sell to Financial Services companies with one or the other industrial and services customer. Within these organizations we are most deployed in customer facing departments with our AI-driven recommendation engine. It sources deals for people in investment, commercial and institutional banking plus also in asset management and real estate finance.

What is the USP of your startup?
It’s really our focused verticalized offering around deal generation and revenue expansion. We accomplish this by deploying our AI-driven Insights platform to an industry specific use case. This delivers an unparalleled value that is directly applicable to any financial services company.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
I am an early raiser, starting the day with catching up on what happened overnight, thereafter I do several times a week early sports. Thereafter, my day is mostly spent with prospects and customers. Given our international presence this includes a lot of travel. Thereafter, I try to spend a day a week with the team and discuss product, customer implementations. And last but not least I given that we have external financing I spend time updating our shareholders and talking to other stakeholders (press, etc.)

Where do you see yourself and your startup Squirro in five years?
In the digital economy five years are at least five dog years. Or it’s difficult to say what will happen in the next five years. One thing is clear: Any organization will have to get better returns on their data. With this in mind, there is a lot of potential for a company like ours.

What 3 tips would you give other startup founders on the way?
– The zero to one challenge is hard. Prepare.
– Advice is cheap. There are lots of startup advisors. Listen, don’t necessarily follow suit.
– Everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much.

More information you will find here

Thank you  Dorian Selz for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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