Launch Pad: Ahoy.Ai Saves Schedulers' Time

The four friends behind Ahoy.Ai, the scheduling system with AI algorithms, are not afraid to revamp.

In early 2016, college friends Alex Ogorek and Jesse Rowe began working on an idea of Ogorek's called Chek, a collaborative task-management app. Several months into this joint effort, the two added Max Dignan and Ryan Faulhaber. In the fall of 2016, Chek got accepted into a Lumos cohort, but they decided to pivot away from Chek upon completion. Enter Ahoy.Ai, a helper for scheduling meetings.

“From then on out,” says Rowe, “we built the product focusing on customer interviews, user-driven design, understanding what people want in a platform like this.” What they've built is a system that has none of the back-and-forth of scheduling, meaning the job is done with one email and works with existing systems. They say it's the only scheduling system to finish the task so quickly.

“Ahoy uses natural language processing and also machine learning for your own calendar—it learns how you schedule meetings.” says Rowe. “The more you schedule with Ahoy, the more efficient it is.”

And what they've discovered in the process is a niche—those in industries with high volumes of meetings, such as recruiting, HR and sales. For now, the quintet is building out the niche uses. Maybe Ahoy.Ai will be white-labeled by different companies, or maybe it will be sold to one. The demand is there.

“It's extending into these relevant niches to see how far we can really go,” says Rowe. “We just want to continue expanding on our algorithm and building out a smarter network, and how we do that is we have more users come onto the platform, use Ahoy in its full-fledged service and grow smarter through that.”

Will Ahoy.Ai achieve startup success?

“I think the app sounds like a great idea. With technology continually advancing towards learning users' tendencies and processes, this seems like a natural progression. We use our calendars for everything when it comes to HR and recruiting, and a new app making that interaction even better will certainly be welcomed in our industry. I'm excited to see where this type of application can go.”

Potential User: Derik Abbott, recruiter, Portfolio Creative

“I see four guys with a good idea and tech that, if it works as they planned, can potentially be a beneficial business tool to professionals worldwide. Among other factors, registering the appropriate business structure, intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks and copyright are very important. All can be keys to the success or failure of the startup.”

Potential Investor: Jerry Calliste Jr., founder and angel investor,

“No one has ever said, ‘I just wish I spent more time scheduling meetings.' Scheduling tools that remove even a single email in the process have the potential of not only saving time for individuals and organizations, but a lot of money too.”

Industry Expert: Jay Clouse, founder, Unreal Collective

Matic Insurance Comes to Columbus

Though it was started in L.A., Matic Insurance recently opened an operations center in Columbus around the hire of its new vice president, Jeffrey Snyder. CEO Aaron Schiff says those at Matic are also looking to make Columbus their new headquarters.

Through a relationship that began post-expansion, Nationwide Insurance is helping to grow Matic as part of a $100 million commitment in venture capital to the “next generation of insurance and financial services.” It was introduced to Matic though Plug and Play, a Silicon Valley-based tech accelerator.

Matic's goal is to offer homeowners insurance within minutes to those undergoing the mortgage process. Since it began in 2014, Matic has quoted over 300,000 people.

“Our goal is to be the insurance agent of the future,” Schiff says. “A computer tells you what the best policy is and an agent checks that and then they help you understand what you're buying. There's a lot of manual labor that takes away from customer experience [so] we really want to make it so that if you don't want to talk to someone you don't have to.”