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The story of DrAI

Once upon a time, there was a young PhD student, who wanted to know how the society around us influences the way we think about different things.

The contemporary literature did not have a clear answer. So, he went back to the classics, and read and read and read.

At the same time, there was another PhD student, who wanted to know how the context influences market exchange.

The contemporary literature did not have a clear answer. So, he went back to the classics, and read and read and read.

These PhD students were surrounded by learnt professors, who had read the same classics, and had figured out things that no one else had before. They developed unique ideas that challenged our thinking.

Fortunately, one of these professors shared the interests of the PhD students, with an additional interest in the formation of public opinion, communications, logic of text, and computer-aided content analysis. Naturally, he had a high proficiency of statistics and knew how to code. His passion was to code an algorithm that would help him to see what the public thinks and how a computer could know that from any textual data without the need for teaching the machine to analyze every unique context.

The professor joined the forces with the two PhD students. The first one helped him to advance the codebase with novel ideas. The second one helped him to understand how the algorithm could be relevant (read: revolutionary) for understanding the business environment. Embedded with decades of academic knowledge, the program was able to provide interesting insight faster and more accurately than any other commercially available solution. To be honest, you don’t need a PhD to realize that this is super important for decision makers.

In February 2020, they decided to leave their day jobs and cofounded DrAI. They felt that the solution should be available for everyone. The team started providing services to all organizations that were interested in learning about what people think – from marginalized youth in Europe to politically active US voters. As taking any actions requires the understanding of what people think, it was more challenging to identify companies who were not interested in their offering than actually finding them and closing deals.

The team had developed an algorithm that worked better than any other solution that the customers had seen before. The PhD students (now seasoned-academics-turned-into-entrepreneurs) and the professor (now fulltime-entrepreneur) were happy seeing that years of reading had paid off with a great impact to the society. They realized that they made lives of thousands of people easier by implanting their knowledge in the algorithm that worked without any effort needed from the customer side.

Thanks to DrAI, while reading classics is recommended, not everyone needs to do that.

Dr.

Miika Vähämaa

CEO, Co-founder

Dr. Miika Vähämaa, CEO, has a background in academic research and holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Helsinki. As Research Director and CEO, Miika’s experience in advanced textual analysis techniques and statistical analysis helps to bring DrAI clients to their goals. Availability of textual content through Web and its applications is constantly increasing and we face an increased need to quickly make sense of vast amounts of textual data. Prior to DrAI, Miika has worked as a business consultant, journalist and university lecturer.

Dr.

Valtteri Kaartemo

Head of Sales, Co-founder

Dr. Valtteri Kaartemo, Head of Sales, has a background in academic research and holds a Ph.D. in international business from the Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland. He is a coauthor of several books, book chapters, conference papers and peer-reviewed articles. Valtteri’s research interests include market shaping and the use of technology (artificial intelligence and robotics) in markets and marketing. His research has been published in academic journals. He has written books for managers, and has also co-authored reports to the Prime Minister’s Office (Finland) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Finland). Valtteri has acted as a part-time entrepreneur for 10+ years, and has held various roles in several startups prior to joining DrAI.

Dr.

Mark West

Chief Scientist, Co-founder

Dr. Mark D. West, Chief Scientist, has a background in academic research and holds a Ph.D. in communication research from the University of North Carolina, USA. As Chief Scientist, Mark’s experience in advanced textual analysis techniques and statistical modeling helps to develop methods by which clients can come to deep understandings of market opportunities. Availability of textual content through Web and its applications is constantly increasing and we face an increased need to quickly develop real insights into vast amounts of textual data. Prior to DrAI, Mark has worked as a university professor and corporate researcher.  His dissertation won two international awards for its groundbreaking analysis of textual material. He has written five books and numerous research articles. Mark's research clients through firms for which he has consulted include BMW, USAir, the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Piedmont Airlines, various US cellular telephone firms, Procter and Gamble, the Helsingin Sanomat, the Church of Finland, and a broad range of governmental agencies and pro-bono communication firms.

Dr.

Antti Kauppinen

Regional Associate, South Germany

Dr. Antti Kauppinen, Regional Associate (South Germany), has a background in academic research, and holds a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship from the Oulu Business School, Finland. Antti takes care of DrAI’s sales operations in the southern part of Germany. Antti is an author of several journal articles where he applied textual analysis techniques and statistical modelling. Prior to DrAI, Antti was lecturer and researcher at universities in nine countries. Currently, he is also a firm founder and mentor for early-stage startup teams.

Francis Ayieko

Regional Leader, East Africa

Francis Ayieko is a publisher, an editor, a PR practitioner and a marketing strategist who partners with CEOs and executives for increased market visibility. He has spent nearly two decades working with the region's leading media houses and amassed a wealth of experience in effective communication necessary to drive conversions in marketing. Francis has landed coverage in print and broadcast media outlets both locally and abroad, including Magazine Training International and CNBC. He worked for eight years with the Nation Media Group as a business reporter, focussing on regional trade and real estate. He is currently an editor with The Standard Media Group. He is also the founder and publisher of The Shepherd newspaper. Francis is also a trained publishing business coach with a passion to helping upcoming publications to grow and thrive. Francis holds a BA in Land Economics from the University of Nairobi.

DrAI Regional Office:

Luther Plaza, 1st Flr
Nyerere Rd, Nairobi - Kenya

Paul Omeno

Regional Associate, East Africa

Paul Omeno is an ambitious problem solver with a passion for e-commerce and digital solutions businesses, and who works with a team of like-minded professionals. He has a keen interest in technology, mobile applications and user experience, having successfully completed projects for IT consultancies, software houses, web design agencies, and IT departments. Right now, he consults for both individuals and organizations to deliver outstanding performance on a variety of high-profile projects. Paul has a wealth of technical and research experience from Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, International Centre for Theoretical Physics, University of Leuven and Boston College. He began his academia journey with a Bachelor of Science (Nuclear Physics) from the University of Nairobi.

Anne Delgoulet

Growth Hacker

Anne, Growth Hacker, has a background in business and event management. She is freshly graduated from a Business Management Masters from Neoma Business School, Rouen, France. Interested by societal topics - among which the formation of public opinion, especially on social media - Anne has found her way to DrAI growth hacking team. If you need customer support in French or Spanish, she is the one you will talk to.

Ishtiaq Khan

Growth Hacker

Ishtiaq Khan, Growth Hacker, has a background in peace research and holds a master’s degree in social sciences from the University of Jyväskylä. He has experience working with international non-governmental organisations on projects focusing on the global arms trade. He has focused on qualitative research for his research roles as well as his master’s thesis. Ishtiaq has co-authored four versions of the annual Arms Trade Treaty Monitor Reports and a special report on the illicit firearms markets in Europe. His interests are in peace, development and technology and has previously operated in a leadership role for a startup with Norwegian roots.

Elisa Halkosaari

Project Coordinator

Elisa Halkosaari, Project Coordinator, has a background in European and world history studies at the University of Turku. She is currently writing her master’s thesis on health notions related to food in The Journal of Health (1829-1833) and has an interest in the history of knowledge. Her minors are psychology and theology. Prior to DrAI, Elisa has worked as a salesperson and as a guide on a historical site. She has also done an internship in Office for Academic and Student Affairs, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Turku.

Ainomaija Mikola

Junior Data Analyst

Ainomaija Mikola, Junior Data Analyst, is a master’s student in Politics and Communications in the University of Helsinki. Her bachelor’s degree focused on intersectional politics and bordering. Prior to DrAI Ainomaija has worked in customer service and as the head of communications and events in her student organization. She also has a lot of experience working with international customers. Ainomaija’s knowledge on communications and analytics as well as her excitement for learning new things brought her to DrAI.

Leevi Kangas

Project Coordinator

Leevi Kangas works as a project coordinator at DrAI. His tasks include, among many other things, client relationships and running different projects. Leevi’s strenghts are his problem solving and analytical skills. He wants to succeed in making cooperation with DrAI the best possible experience for the client. Leevi is currently studying politics and communication at the University of Helsinki and has previously worked in IT management and education.

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