AE Studio – championing unparalleled thought-partnership and creativity with the goal of becoming thought-leaders in human agency, BCI, Blockchain and other world-changing tech.
Over the coming weeks, we will be bringing you extracts from 9 trailblazer profiles from our new Neurotech report – dynamic and innovative companies we feel are driving this exciting space. Each profile includes a flagship product deep dive which offers a forensic consideration of product development, efficacy, target market, channels to market, success factors, IP and funding.AE-Studio-Trailblazer
Agency Enterprise (AE) is a software development and data science consultancy. Founded in 2016, AE has bootstrapped its way to over 140 employees that aim to use technology to increase human agency. No venture capital. No private equity. No outside shareholders. This allows a longtermist perspective for clients and employees that leads to unparalleled thought-partnership and creativity. AE aspires to be visionaries and thought-leaders in human agency, BCI, Blockchain, and any other world-changing technology .
AE was born of the vision to increase human agency for end users through the technology the group develops for their partners and their wholly-owned and operated skunkworks companies. Running a highly collaborative agile process, these efforts are extended by investing heavily in the brain computer interface (BCI) space. BCI represents, to AE, the pinnacle of agency increasing tech with massive implications for users and the whole of humanity. To ensure that the incentives of this technology aligned with long-term gains in human agency rather than short-term monetary incentive, the founders were determined to bootstrap their way in lieu of outside capital.
“Building products with human agency in mind results in happier, more satisfied customers who use their newfound agency to build a longer relationship with the product, refer connections, and better their lives,” says Judd Rosenblatt, CEO of AE. “What’s good for the user is good for profit and growth.”
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that aims to develop computers that are capable of intelligent behaviour. Through AI, a computer uses maths and logic to mimic the reasoning of humans.
There are three main subsets of AI:
- AI – mimics the intelligence or behavioural patterns of humans or any other living entity.
- Machine learning (ML) – ML involves the use of algorithms which help a computer to learn without continually needing direct instructions. It can then find hidden insights without needing to be programmed on where to look and what conclusions to draw from the data.
- Deep learning (DL) – DL is modelled after a human brain, meaning it can carry out some of these more complex tasks. DL involves creating multi-layered data processing which is not linear and therefore can deal with increasingly abstract data.
A proportion of the profits from its data science consulting business are channelled into “skunkworks” efforts – internal, ambitious, agency-increasing projects that AE’s software team ideate and lead. AE incubates skunkwork ideas, turning its world-class team into founders themselves. Some projects remain internal even after finding market fit. The team at AE scales them into full-fledged businesses, ploughing profit into their BCI efforts, whilst others are sold, with the proceeds similarly finding a home in the BCI division.
In addition to multiple internal projects currently being incubated, one recent success has been the sale of ElectricSMS to Recharge, one of the industry’s largest subscription payment processors. The software allows users to pause or alter subscriptions without cancellation and without the dark patterns of conventional alternatives. Short-term loss, long-term gain in customer lifetime value! AE is also enjoying impressive growth in its online fitness video platform, Instill, which managed $200k in subscriptions from 13k users and over 2m+ minutes streamed in its first three weeks.
As a product and venture studio, skunkworks and other ventures enable AE to fund their ambitious BCI goals without the need for outside capital, ensuring incentives are aligned with long-term goals, maximizing the quality and quantity of positive outcomes.
By taking on a longtermist perspective, AE can make decisions with the products it develops internally, unbound by considerations of quarterly earnings and the like.
The company’s expertise in data science and software engineering best practices have allowed it to implement and improve upon the performance of state-of-the-art neuroscience and machine learning models. This expertise and experience led to AE’s win in the Neural Latents Benchmark Challenge .
The ability to think like founders in helping clients craft their software visions ensures that AE does not only deliver to specifications but also exceeds expectations with extraordinary, agency-increasing products.
AE’s innovative developer equity plan represents a unique approach to compensation that incentivises its employees to collaborate and think about the long term with regards to adding value. It also greatly increases retention .
The company is also in the early stages of collaboration with multiple leading academic research labs and industry partners in the hardware space. Both will be necessary for developing its BCI software platform using data from human subjects.