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Beyond Borders, Beyond Limits - 3 Migrant Founding Teams Trailblazing in AI in 2023



Exploring 3 immigrant founding teams that propelled the world forward in 2023. Artificial Intelligence was undoubtedly the hottest sector and we look at three companies excelling in this space.


At Backbone Partners, we have an unwavering belief in founders, especially those at the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Migrants, in particular, capture our admiration. 


Migrants are hustlers, with tenacity and determination, but are more often than not navigating through a foreign land without an established network. 


The courage it takes to leave one's homeland mirrors the audacity required to launch a startup. 


In this blog, we shine a spotlight on the remarkable achievements of migrants who defied the odds and left a lasting mark on the world in 2023. Our focus: individuals building significant businesses contributing to the pursuit of safe artificial intelligence (AI).


Harrison AI - Dr. Aengus & Dimitry Tran

Country of Origin: Viet Nam 🇻🇳Country of Company: Australia 🇦🇺

For those unfortunate enough to have been in a position to need X-Rays or other scans, you’d know how long it takes from scan to receiving the results. These scans have to be reviewed manually by radiologists. One of Harrison.AI’s tools uses AI to not only speed up the review process but to help improve the accuracy of the results.


Hailing from Vietnam, the Tran brothers are the co-founders of one of Australia’s most successful AI start-ups. They made their way to Australia as students of medicine and finance, and have remained here as founders. Harrison.ai’s mission is to scale critical capacity in the global healthcare system through the rapid commercialisation of comprehensive clinical AI applications. 


The company is currently working on 2 products: 

  • Annalise: a partnership with investor I-MED Radiology. This is their radiology venture, using AI to support increased diagnostic accuracy, efficiency, and patient outcomes with models currently focused on head CTs and chest X-rays. 

  • Franklin: a joint venture with Sonic Healthcare, is a pathology venture, aiming to unlock the power of AI for pathologists, becoming their second set of eyes, enabling efficient diagnosis of patients in anatomic pathology and laboratory medicine.


To date, Annalise has processed over 3.7 million cases, and growing.


Anthropic - Dario & Daniela Amodei 

Country of Origin: Italy 🇮🇹Country of Company: USA 🇺🇸

If you’ve heard about ChatGPT and Open AI, you would’ve heard about Anthropic, a fierce competitor in the space with, Claude, it's chat interface. Anthropic means involving or concerning the existence of human life.


Hailing from Italy, Daniela and Dario, a sibling pair, are the co-founders of Anthropic, founding it after leaving OpenAI.

 

The duo share a common perspective for their company: create AI systems that are controllable, understandable, and trustworthy. They aim to achieve this by training large generative models and conducting safety research. Their ultimate goal is to ensure that these models are safe and aligned with human values, making them more beneficial to society.


We’re a fan not only because they’re tenacious, but because the Amodeis left OpenAI as executives in 2020 to start Anthropic over disagreements regarding how OpenAI (and Sam Altman) would ensure AI's safe development and governance.


Their company has raised US$7.25b to date (as of 23 Oct. 2023), after recently raising US$4b in a deal led by Amazon, with other investors such as Google previously investing nearly US$2b.


NVIDIA—Jensen HuangCountry of Origin: Taiwan 🇹🇼Country of Company: USA 🇺🇸


AI and it’s mighty potential was on the tip of everyone’s tongue in 2023. Jensen Huang’s company (and Morris Chang’s TSMC) are two of the firms that make it all possible.


At the age of 9, Jen-Hsun "Jensen" Huang and his brother were sent to the US to live with an uncle in Tacoma, Washington state. Fast forward living in a Baptist institute and studying for Master's at Stanford, Jensen founded NVIDIA at the age of 30, which initially focussed on designing graphics chips (GPUs) for computers which utilised parallel processing, a crucial concept in AI processing.


In 2006, NVIDIA introduced CUDA, a programming language that made their GPUs programmable for general-purpose computing, including AI computations. As of 2023, NVIDIA owned 80% of the market for chips used for Artificial intelligence, which is why it’s a $1.5 Trillion company today.


Jensen is one of the coolest CEOs you’ll ever see - we highly recommend you watch this podcast to see what we mean.


Fun fact: NVIDIA doesn't manufacture the chips themselves. They design the GPUs and then rely on chip foundries like TSMC and Samsung to fabricate them.

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We acknowledge the countless other migrant success stories beyond the spotlight above, and encourage you to share stories of your own or nominate inspiring migrants that you believe we should spotlight!


We believe immigrant founders have an unfair advantage when starting and scaling technology companies given their inbuilt hustle and resilience. If you’re a migrant founder building something the world needs, reach out!


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