“In their own words” is a series of interviews with some of our alumni about the stage they were when they joined our programme and where they are now.
Today, we are joined by Tomas Gogar the CEO of Rossum.ai, which automate data extraction from documents with Artificial Intelligence.
At what stage were you when you applied for StartupYard?
When we applied to the StartupYard we had just a lot of technical experience and knowledge of how the document understanding works. However, we had no idea how to build a product, find customers and run a business in general.
At what stage are you now?
There is now a team of 50 people working on our mission. Our technology is used by customers from all around the world – currently covering 4 continents. We proudly automate manual data entry for customers of various sizes – from promising startups to Fortune500 companies.
How much money have you raised since leaving StartupYard?
Unfortunately, I cannot disclose that now (stay tuned, by the time you read this, the answer is maybe out).
How many jobs have you created so far? What kind of jobs?
Around 30 full-time employees and 20 part-time. Obviously, our company was always full of programmers and machine-learning researchers. However, as the product matures our marketing and sales teams are getting bigger and stronger. And as we grow, operations and HR become an important topic as well. We’ve also introduced a completely new type of job “AI teacher”, those are very important people for Rossum because they train Rossum’s artificial intelligence to understand documents.
What has been the most challenging experience when growing the company?
There were (and will be) a lot of challenges but I’m lucky to have two amazing co-founders. Each of us takes care of a specific topic and it is difficult to say which one is the hardest one. For me personally, finding the right go-to-market approach and building the sales machine is the surprisingly fascinating challenge. It’s very surprising how the engineering approach helps in this field as well.
What are you the most proud of so far?
Of our team, no doubt. We’ve already solved a lot of challenges together and I know that a lot of other challenges are still ahead.
Without all the people, Rossum would be a just a logo, website and some source-codes … that wouldn’t have value for me.
How did StartupYard help you?
It’s simple – Rossum was born there 🙂
We had no idea how to use our tech when we joined StartupYard. We were that kind of technology-first group of people, we admit that. Thanks to StartupYard we managed to find the problem that needed to be solved and needed our skills.
What would you say to someone who hesitates to apply for our next program?
3 years ago, I was the most hesitant person from our team. I don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t join. But I really like what we are building now and I know that getting feedback and learning from other people is extremely important. During the last 3 years, we received good feedback as well as the bad one. We heard great bits of advice as well as the bits that didn’t work out. But I believe that getting any feedback is helpful because it shapes your vision, your point-of-view. StartupYard was a great starting point for that.