TechCrunch Startup Battlefield 2018 Winner: Forethought

 

The winner of this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt SF Startup Battlefield is the Palo Alto-based, Forethought.

A Tough Contest

After a fierce competition against 21 other hand-picked and highly selective startups, Forethought was the last group standing to take home the highly coveted 2018 Disrupt Cup. For their efforts the team was awarded $100,000 in prize money and exposure to high-level VC’s. After being named one of the five finalist company co-founder and CEO Deon Nicholas pitched the company to a panel that included Sequoia Capital, Uncork Capital, Forerunner Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, and TechCrunch.

What Forethought Does

Think of Forethought as Google, but personalized for companies. By using the proprietary AI technology called ‘Agatha Answers’, Forethought scans all documents in a company database and provides answers to questions employees and customers may have regarding the company. Rather than taking people to generic trouble-shooting pages, Forethought accesses all items within the companies closed system and provides the best answers for the context. The items indexed can include company sites, emails, and even videos. What’s more, the AI can anticipate user questions and provide answers and links to answers before questions are even asked.

The Advantages of Forethought

According to Nicholas, currently more than 38% of employee time is wasted searching through cumbersome company info for answers. Agatha Answers looks to dramatically reduce this time allowing for more productivity and in turn greater profits. At the moment, the application of the technology is primarily being applied to the customer service field, but plans are already underway for a much broader application.

These initiatives are given a major leg-up by the company’s integration with companies like ZenDesk. According to Nicholas, “Our AI, Agatha for Support, integrates into a company’s help desk software, either Zendesk, Salesforce Service Cloud, and then we [read] tickets and suggest answers and relevant knowledge base articles to help close tickets more efficiently.”

Along with the $100,000 in prize money, Forethought has also already closed a pre-seed round of funding. Not bad for a company that’s less than a year old.

 

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