#NEXTFounderChats: Patrick Poirier

Patrick giving his Valedictorian speech at Venture Day 2017.

Patrick is a Next Founders entrepreneur and the founder of Erudite.ai.


Tell us a bit about you and your venture! What was your inspiration for creating Erudite.ai?

I was a high school dropout and, thanks to private tutoring, I was able to get back to school and earn 3 university degrees in Management, Psychiatry, and Computer Science. I eventually realized that the process of private tutoring can be automated to considerably reduce the costs and to ensure everyone has access to a quality education. Access to a quality education is one of the major factors in ensuring everyone has an opportunity to thrive despite their background. This influenced me to create Erudite.ai in 2013. After multiple pivots and struggles, we are now bringing our technology into Fortune 500’s corporations, for employee productivity, while we still maintain a social impact arm in the private tutoring space.

What problem is your venture solving? Why did you choose to tackle this market?

Employees waste 35% of their time seeking information to do their work. We realized that the technology we built for the school market could be customized to considerably alleviate this problem in the workforce. Corporations enable us to generate 10 times more revenue per users than for the school market, such that we can re-invest a lot more into the technology, further benefiting our social impact segment.

Fortune 500 companies should inquire to us regarding how our Artificial Intelligence technologies (for Dialogue-Augmentation and Knowledge Transfer) can significantly impact the productivity of their knowledge workers and consequently improve their bottom line.

How do you believe technology will impact your industry over the next decade?

While everyone is currently scared of losing their job to automation and AI, we are making an opposite bet. We develop technologies that increase the productivity of employees because, in many cases, it has been demonstrated that human capital, augmented by AI, can outperform both the human and machine taken separately. We believe that augmentation technologies (Intelligence Augmentation) will greatly improve productivity in the workplace, will be more pervasive and achieve far superior results than full AI automation.

Have you won any awards and/or competitions or received press for your venture?

Erudite.ai has been involved in the following initiatives:

We have received the following press:

What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to start a company in your industry?

The challenge in AI is attracting talent. I would highly recommend spending a lot of effort on the company culture and understanding what AI experts crave in order to attract the best of them. Our social impact work enabled us to attract high quality AI expertise.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made as a founder?

I made a major accounting mistake that cost the company an entire year of time and a significant amount of money.

What are 3 books, blogs or newsletters you recommend for entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in your industry?

Who is one person that has tremendously helped you through your time at NEXT? How did they help you?

Alexandra McGregor. She was there day and night to answer my questions and keep me informed so I wouldn’t miss anything important.


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