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Catching up with one of our newest Founders: Linda Klug of Airin

Catching up with one of our newest Founders: Linda Klug of Airin

November 6, 2019
Raanan Bar-Cohen

With her boundless curiosity and drive to solve a variety of problems, Linda embodies the founder spirit. Need proof? Airin is Linda’s seventh start-up.It was during her time at Axiom Recovery-- which she founded just prior to Airin-- that she realized she still had another mission ahead of her. Axiom, a disaster recovery company, serves its clients by helping multiple stakeholders collaborate toward a shared goal. But seeing how much time collaboration can take, Linda was motivated to find a way to improve efficiency.Realizing that many of the decisions companies make are universal, she started Airin to improve the process. The company uses artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms to streamline decision-making and predict conclusions, so that progress can happen more quickly.We sat down with Linda to learn more about her, and her goals for Airin.

1. Tell us about the dream you have for your company - what is it you want to accomplish?

I’d like to radically accelerate human problem-solving by giving business leaders the power to create their own enterprise AI expert systems without needing a data scientist or engineer.

2. What inspired this vision?

A customer named Jim Livingston (enterprise healthcare CTO). He was furious when over 120 subject matter experts including Microsoft experts could not architect his new cloud strategy after 2 years. I realized my entire industry (enterprise solution engineering) needs to change.

3. What has been the greatest challenge as a founder so far?

We are only two years old; this is the easy part. Ask me again in another two years!

4. Tell us a bit about your recent fundraise process. What did you learn? What surprised you? What advice would you give other founders raising a seed round?

I learned that you can have 15+ Bay Area VC’s invite you to 3rd, 4th, and 5th meetings and still not see a term sheet or pull out a “no” from them. It surprised me how much raising the round negatively impacted/ slowed down our engagement with customers since I was the only customer-facing person on our small team. My advice: I try to avoid giving advice unless I gave birth to you or you are my intern.

5. What has it been like working with Resolute Ventures thus far?

Resolute Ventures has built an amazing community of founders. We feel like we didn't just gain Raanan, Mike and Caroline - we gained the experience and support of the entire Resolute family!

6. How did you decide on Resolute as your lead? What has your experience been entering into the Resolute portfolio?

We loved Resolute because (1) they were highly recommended, had a fantastic reputation with people we trusted; (2) we were impressed with the community of founders they built and we have learned this is of high value to us; and (3) it was easy to communicate with Raanan and Mike and we wanted “smart” money, investors we could reach out to when we could benefit from their direct experience and their experience with other startups. We are new and still learning about Resolute, but we suspect the community of founders they have built may be distinctive. We have had an amazing experience since we joined the portfolio, we felt so instantly welcomed by Raanan, Mike, Caroline, and the other founders!

7. If you could have a giant billboard with anything on it, located anywhere, what would you have it say and why?

It would say, “Go Where the Boys Are,” and be located in Savannah, near where my daughter exits her dorm every day at college. She knows this means: stay away from the classes and careers that are filled mostly will girls, choose the classes and careers filled mostly with boys. This might not make much sense to anyone who didn’t raise a girl in Utah.

8. If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?

Teleportation. The loss of time while trapped in a car going from one place to another makes me nuts.

9. What is your favorite thing in your house and why?

An old, very worn, child-sized real hammer. It was the hammer I used as a child fixing things around the house with my Dad growing up.

10. What is your favorite photograph of all time?

My two kids laughing on the lawn. It is so...them.

11. What are the best two books you have read this past year?

Prediction Machines by Ajay Agrawal; Psychology of Intelligence Analysis by Richards Heuer.

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