#NEXTFounderChats: Krista Caldwell

Krista at Prototype Day 2017.

Krista is a NextAI entrepreneur and the co-founder of Deepnify.

Tell us a bit about you!

I grew up in Vancouver and went to Quest University where I studied Liberal Arts & Science and played varsity soccer.

I came to Toronto in 2011 to be part of Next36 where my team launched Winston/Fleetbit, a taxi app platform that we operated for two years. Before starting Deepnify, I also led early sales development at Tulip Retail and advised clients on SaaS sales with Predictable Revenue.

What was your inspiration for creating Deepnify?

2-minute explainer video on Deepnify.

The first time I bought groceries, I remember being shocked that an apple costs more than a chocolate bar! Apples grow on trees locally, whereas chocolate bars need complex ingredients, packaging, and marketing. The reason is actually bad prediction. The same moment demand explodes in one region, it can dissolve in another. Since stores can’t accurately predict shopper day-to-day buying patterns, they over-buy. This is fine for chocolate bars with a stable shelf life, but it means that 18% of apples go bad on the shelf.

Deepnify helps companies solve this problem by producing a more accurate forecast of what quantity will sell in each store or distribution centre on each day.

How do you think AI will impact your industry over the next decade?

In the next decade, food companies will need to eliminate waste from their supply chain in order to stay competitive. AI will make it possible.

What has been your greatest challenge as an entrepreneur?

Since we’re selling to enterprise, the biggest challenge is to find that first visionary customer that can be nimble during the pilot, will measure meaningful ROI, and will have incentive to share their success story publicly. It’s a lot to ask for but it makes all the difference!

What was the biggest lesson you learned from your first venture?

Startup life feels fast-paced, but building a stable SaaS business usually takes years! So it’s worth it to invest in smart, sustainable processes. Hang on to receipts, hire the best people, go to the gym, sleep, thank everyone for everything, document and outsource repetitive processes.

What founder or company do you admire the most?

I admire Murad Al-Katib of AGT Foods. He saw an opportunity to grow and transform Canada’s agricultural industry with lentils, a more sustainable crop…. And built it into a 2000 employee, 1.5B global company based in Saskatchewan. I just think it’s a powerful that he addressed a local problem (unemployment) and is still thinking BIG. I also love lentils and am proud Canada’s now a top producer.

What are 3 books, blogs or newsletters you recommend for aspiring entrepreneurs?

When you’re feeling drained, what do you do to recharge?

I do a lot of hammocking. Inside, outside, double decker hammocks… Usually with a book. I also play beach volleyball competitively and try to go play somewhere hot with my friends every winter.

Watch Krista Caldwell and her co-founder, Nima Shahbazi, on #RBCDisruptors, discussing the future of AI!

Krista Caldwell and Nima Shahbazi, Co-founders of Deepnify, on #RBCDisruptors.