Our core mission will never change: to understand, engage, and empower large groups of people
November 2012. Andrew Konya is in the second year of his PhD program, mastering computational physics by day and building machine-learning algorithms at night. Nearly 10,000 miles away the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has once again boiled out of control and violence has broken out. For the next week, Palestinians will be trying to dodge of Israeli airstrikes while Israelis are forced to take shelter from Hamas rocket fire. Between November 14th- 21st, roughly 1,000 Palestinians and 200 Israelis, the majority civilians on both sides, are injured or killed.
Journalists and activists condemn the violence, pictures of crying, wounded children and their destroyed homes fill the airwaves. But politicians, both in Gaza and Israel, and their allies around the world defend their actions, Israel citing the right to defend their citizens and Palestinians their right to pursue freedom and autonomy.
Andrew Konya regularly skyped with his friends who had spent their entire lives on both sides of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After a series of particularly politically charged, philosophically deep conversations spurred by the latest surge in violence it became apparent that the actions of both governments did not represent the people. Andrew’s friend jokingly challenged him to build a software that could accurately represent the will of people and amplify their collective voice. It wouldn’t be simple, but if actualized the implications of a technology that could unlock many-to-one communication were massive. Andrew wasn’t one to back away from a challenge, especially one that boiled down to a math problem.
The idea: Build a platform that allows a large group of people — scalable infinitely — to use a chat app, but instead of one-to-one communication, every message from the group would represent the group’s collective responses. Given that a large and diverse group of people will have many divergent opinions and multiple intelligent thoughts, it’s vital that in addition to finding a response that best represents the group, the platform must also allow for the data to be sliced and segmented to represent different demographic or psychographic groups.
From late 2012 to mid-2014 Andrew worked part-time developing the core algorithms and solving the necessary math problems while continuing his PhD. The acceptance of Remesh into the 2014 FlashStarts class in Cleveland, Ohio helped drive initial funding, provided the resources for a prototype to be built, and enabled Aaron Slodov — former Google engineer — to become the 2nd full time co-founder. But in order to generate the capital needed to sustain the growth of this technology, a pivot was necessary.
The 2015 Techstars Barclays accelerator was an ideal environment to execute this pivot and the right time to bring on Gary Ellis — former political operative — as the 3rd full time co-founder. And, since graduating, we have been named the 2016 Ohio Seed Company of the year and the 2016 Insight Innovation eXchange winner.
Remesh has positioned itself to disrupt the market research industry because market research is all about understanding people and what better way to do that than to talk to them. But our plans stretch well beyond...