Meet the man with a “game” plan + 3 local creative success stories
“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” – Hunter S. Thompson
Meet a man with a game plan.
My house is smarter than yours.
Two heart patients in UofL clinical trial.
New software to improve employee productivity
Mark your calendars.
Know your city!
January 21, 2020
LOCAL AGENTS OF CHANGE
Computer data and gamification: Q&A with Sean O'Leary
Sean O'Leary, Founder and CEO of EdgAnalytics, LLC
Edj Analytics is a Louisville, KY company that created a platform for analyzing a company’s data using gamification. Like those computers that have been taught to play chess or backgammon, Edj Analytics’ platform incorporates the “rules” of the data, not just the data and the desired goals.
Today, we ask Sean O'Leary, one of the company’s co-founders, a few questions.
How did Edj Analytics come to be?
Sean: Indiana University astrophysicist Chuck Bower and world backgammon champion Frank Frigo noticed about a decade ago that bots that played chess, backgammon, and other games were improving at a pace that made them consistently better than the world’s best human players. Bower and Frigo set out to leverage sophisticated data analysis in sports and other arenas to improve people’s decision making. For example, for football, that meant analyzing plays to help coaches make decisions that had measurable value to improving their win probability. As I had co-founded Genscape, a Louisville-based organization that offers proprietary data to the global energy markets, Bower and Frigo partnered with me in 2013 to launch Edj.
What can Louisville do to support entrepreneurs in direct and helpful ways?
I don’t think CEOs from large companies understand their influence and importance for early-stage companies. A lot of a startup’s success is really influenced by its opportunity to get to work with large companies and their willingness to commit resources to do business with startups. I’d love to see companies put honest line items in their budgets for startups like they do for the arts or other things they support in the community. We don’t do that right now. The amount of inertia we run into can make it tough for entrepreneurs. I’m encouraged by the creation of the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council and efforts such as Cintrifuse in Cincinnati. If Louisville wants another Humana, we have to have 200 startups.
What is the best thing about having a startup in Louisville?
Accessibility. It’s much easier to get a meeting with CEOs and others who can help your business. If you can build a really great company culture here and give people opportunities to grow, you can keep your turnover really low. At Edj, we try to build a situation where people can’t imagine working anywhere else.
Editor's note: Answers were edited for clarity and brevity.
INNOVATION IN ACTION
CNET's 'living laboratory' in Louisville
Ever wondered if all those smart home devices flooding the market are worth the price? Is the convenience factor of a smart thermostat or smart oven worth the sticker shock? Well, there's a custom home built with all the latest tech gadgets, and it's ready to answer all your burning questions. CNET, a popular technology news site on the internet, just unveiled its Smart Home 2.0 in Louisville, KY. (CNET, it should be noted, has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Sydney and—surprise—Louisville.)
A “living laboratory” of sorts, CNET's mission with Smart Home 2.0 is to share as much information as possible on the ever-changing array of smart home devices coming to market, so consumers can better gauge what's worth buying and what's not. CNET's virtual tour lets visitors move from room to room and assess the practical value of each device, such as smart faucets in the kitchen and smart shades in the bedroom.
Clinical trial focuses on patients with severe heart failure
Two heart patients who are participating in a clinical trial are now sporting a device called the intravascular ventricular assist system (iVAS). The device, which can be implanted without the need for open heart surgery, is aimed at helping those with severe heart failure. Described as minimally invasive, iVAS pumps blood and oxygen to the heart between beats. It’s implanted in the descending aorta and connects through the skin to an external drive unit that weighs just eight pounds.
Brad Shuck, who invented the Employee Engagement Scale (EES) technology said it is key to increasing productivity (and profits) for companies who use it. He said. “Employee engagement is the differentiator between market share, customer experience and quality. Everyone wants more of it.”
Unitonomy was founded in the summer of 2019 by Charley Miller, co-founder of TouchCast, a New York-based video communication company. Unitonomy is the first platform that helps companies grow, manage and measure their culture vis SaaS software. It was a winner of the Vogt Award in 2019.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
Registration is now open for Tomorrow's Talent: AI & the Future of Work, produced by KentuckianaWorks, 55,000 Degrees, the Greater Louisville Project, and Greater Louisville Inc. The day-long conference focused on how artificial intelligence and other new technologies will impact the Louisville Region's workforce and talent pipeline.
We publish Scrapbook each week because we believe the best way to envision our future is with a good understanding of where we've been. We hope you enjoy our fascinating "look-back!"
This week's "Scrapbook" pic is of Fourth street, from Broadway looking North. Some buildings are gone, some are new (like the Fifth Third Bank building) and what used to be Loew’s theatre is now The Palace. The idea of turning Fourth Street into a pedestrian mall dates back to 1943, when Mayor Wilson Wyatt suggested it.