All aboard. We’re taking you on a whistle-stop tour of some of the incredible organisations pioneering the AI scene within Leeds.
The Leeds Tech Map AI Line begins – as most endeavours in the tech space do – with a start-up.
Founded in 2018 by Paul Hallett, Robert Dawson and Sarah Warren, Vet-AI develops innovative products and services that aim to reshape the UK’s animal health industries. Built on the belief that pet care should be both accessible and affordable for every owner on the planet, their flagship brand Joii’s Pet Care App employs patented AI technology that uses learned information to predict a pet’s likelihood of contracting a disease, and grants owners access to professional veterinary advice and treatment in just a few taps.
Vet-AI has already amassed an incredible 500 downloads per hour and gained the backing of key animal welfare organisations like pet insurance giant Animal Friends, and leading charity the PDSA. Going forward, their continued mission to overhaul the pet healthcare industry for the good of vets, pets and owners will see them further develop the app with help from Nexus and some of the city’s leading academics.
Next stop on the tour is Synap, an intelligent Learning Management System that helps organisations deliver engaging training online. Founded by then-students James Gupta and Omair Vaiyani in 2015, Synap was born out of a frustration with how restrictive, repetitive and dull learning from a book could be.
Existing across the city’s AI and Edtech circuits, Synap employs proprietary ‘Spaced Learning’ algorithms to support personal development. By identifying the areas a learner is weakest in, the platform utilises micro-learning principles to create personalised quizzes and study schedules in order to encourage long-term knowledge retention and track a learner’s progress. In recent years, Synap has won a number of awards (including Leeds Startup of the Year 2017), been named one of the Top 10 British AI Companies to Watch by Business Insider, and established a globe-spanning customer base that includes the UK Medical Defence Union and The American Academy of Osteopathy.
Where AI meets Health-tech, you’ll find Seeai – a start-up working to empower radiologists with artificial intelligence. The platform uses deep learning-based technology to detect and diagnose bone fractures from x-ray images, and has the potential to enhance patient care and address the shortage of trained radiologists in UK hospitals.
Seeai’s CEO and Co-Founder, Saile Villegas was inspired to develop the technology after a shortage of healthcare specialists in her native Mexico resulted in her receiving a wrongful diagnosis. Upon moving to Leeds to study at the School of Computing, Saile mobilised the city’s established healthcare ecosystem to begin development on Seeai, with the intent to roll the technology out across the UK market before scaling to Latin America and other parts of the world.
Saile expects their product to be ready for testing and validation in hospitals around the country within the next 12 months, and you can find out more about what Seeai has in store in our very first interview for Putting Leeds Tech on the Map, featuring Saile herself.
Next stop: Crisp. Arguably one of the more established companies on the AI line, Crisp was founded by Adam Hildreth in 2005 with a mission to end child exploitation online. In the sixteen years since its creation, the platform – which makes use of complex intelligence to identify online harms – has grown exponentially. Having initially focused on identifying harms against children, by 2010 use of the platform extended to social media moderation – to address the emergence of trolls, bad actors and hate groups – and by 2015, Crisp were able to offer a managed digital risk service to aid the PR and communications sector.
Crisp’s 16 years of experience has led to their real-time Actor Intelligence Graph, trained on more than a trillion items of online harms. This allows Crisp to identify the online personas that are creating illegal and hateful content, and prevent online harm from happening in the first place. As a result of their unique expertise, Crisp not only defends the reputations of today’s most beloved brands, it also contributes to the safe, daily online experiences of more than two billion global users, including an estimated 450 million children.
Winners of multiple awards in recent years, Crisp sits comfortably across the intersections of Cyber Security, AI and Tech For Good on the Leeds Tech Map.
Continue onwards to the junction where AI meets Software, and you’ll find Panintelligence – a fast-growing predictive analytics tool that sits at the heart of the SaaS community. Designed to enable better decision-making, once embedded in a site, the software provides business intelligence through three key strands; Reporting, Data Visualisation Dashboards, and Predictive Analytics.
Spear-headed by CEO and Co-Founder Zandra Moore, the company boasts an impressive client list that includes the likes of PCMS (whose customers include Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and US firm Walgreens) which has seen Panintelligence software rolled out across thousands of high street stores across the UK and America. Named in 2020 as one of the 30 companies selected to join Tech Nation’s Upscale 5.0 cohort, steered by Moore and her growing team, Panintelligence will help to establish a peer-to-peer network of tech scale-ups that will address the leadership gap in UK tech, and help fast-growth companies to tackle the challenges scaling can provoke.
White Label Loyalty
Rounding off the tour is White Label Loyalty, an API-first loyalty platform that helps businesses to increase revenue and retention by understanding, predicting, and influencing customer behaviour. Founded by CEO Achille Traore in 2015 – and powered by the belief that existing, one-size-fits-all loyalty programmes are fundamentally flawed – White Label Loyalty provides a cloud-based platform that through machine-learning, is able to deliver a frictionless customer experience and encourage customer loyalty.
Now in its sixth year, the company shows no signs of slowing down – with a client portfolio that features the likes of Burger King Switzerland, Yorkshire tapas chain La Casita, and Emma’s Diary (the UK’s largest pregnancy App), White Label Loyalty is revolutionising loyalty programmes worldwide, from right here in West Yorkshire. We chatted to White Label Loyalty CEO and recent winner of the Connect Yorkshire Champion award, Achille Traore, as part of our ongoing interview series, where we find out how he’s Putting Leeds Tech on the Map.