Describe the company – the elevator pitch ...
ASPertise is a Technology Services company focused in Cybersecurity, AI, Big Data and Software Development, that leverages the cognitive abilities of Developers, Engineers and Scientists with an atypical brain structure (Aspergers, Autistic, Gifted, Savant, etc.). We work with large corporations in all industries: Banking, Transportation, Defense, etc.
How are you different?
Our company is naturally different and rare because of the uniquely different wired brain structure of most of our consultants. It’s what we called the ‘Atypical Intelligence’. Their approach to problems is, by definition, out of the box, innovative, highly different and relevant. This fact and other specific capacities of the atypical population is extremely valuable for the development of technology and to create a unique competitive advantage for our clients. ASPertise is also different in that its management is atypical and gifted and have an intimate understanding of atypicals’ needs. Thanks to the uniqueness of its positioning and management, ASPertise is a leader in Technology Services with atypical talent and results.
Why will you do well?
Large corporations discovered the value and the untapped talent of atypicals many years ago. Several Fortune500 have hired Aspergers and Autistic employees; the difficulty is to manage their performance in an environment that is mostly inadequate and often toxic to atypical minds. Hence recruiting, performance and retention issues in those large corporations. ASPertise was founded and is managed by atypical experts who not only understand the atypical mind but also are integrated with atypical networks and (closed) inner circles. Thus, can reach, manage and get the highest performance from these individuals, their peers, and have an intimate understanding of their particularities and needs to reach their highest performance.
The large scarcity of resources and experts in the new technologies like AI, Cyber, Big Data compounded with our capacity to execute makes us an important source of talent for our clients and an increasing number of them are reaching to us for their technology needs. For example, Artificial intelligence is facing a thorny issue: cognitive bias. Most famous companies in AI try to fight against it, to avoid reproducing gender, ethnic or other forms of discrimination in the algorithms. Aspergers tend to be less affected by bias, and have a high propensity to rationality and obviously do not have the same cognitive abilities as then the regular population. We are also one of the only companies in the world that have developed specific proprietary processes and know-how that allows our consultants to work in situ and seamlessly for the companies and even integrated into our clients‘ teams.
Where are you based?
Currently, we have offices in France and North America (Canada) but can execute contracts all over the world.
When was the company launched?
Our company was launched almost two years ago. The genesis of our company was to create a Technology Services Company that provides a real difference in the marketplace. Thanks to the knowledge of the founders and after experimenting we concluded that atypical minds will bring exceptional value to our clients. Since then we closed two investments (angels and private fund) and are starting to expand our geography.
What have been your biggest wins to date?
At the beginning, we thought that our first challenge would be to convince customers of the specific value of our consultants and surprisingly, almost every C-level executive we met had an intuition about the value of Autistic and atypical people, their detail-oriented ability, their excellent memory, etc. We still had to evangelize on the capacity to turn this value into tangible results for the companies. Our biggest win was to be able to convince forward-thinking companies to work with exceptional minds. We have closed deals with some of the largest European companies and started contracts in North America.
Who are you trying to attract to your product?
We attract large corporations (Fortune 500 and CAC40 in France) and Governments. We also work with smaller companies that are attracted by the overall performance of our teams.
What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?
Building a business is complex and multivariable. But at the end, the team makes the difference. You must realize your shortcomings and partner with people that complement you and are aligned with your goals.
Tell us about your team?
We have a team of experts in Business Management and Neuroscience. Everyone, since childhood, has specific interests in some areas of Technology or Cognition.
Frederic is the President and a serial entrepreneur who attended the French equivalent of Ivy League Colleges. He founded and ran companies in the US (Wash., DC), Canada and France, ASPertise is his fourth company.
Murielle is our Development & Partnership Manager. She worked in the Banking Industry and Technology for 10 years, before creating her own business. She joined ASPertise about a year ago to be part of this unique elite team and manages the company growth for France and North America.
Gilles is a highly skilled Security Specialist. He has 15 years extended experience and knowledge of pen-testing, blockchain, and cyberdefense. He is passionate about blockchain.
Etienne is our Lead Expert in Artificial Intelligence. He was one of the first engineers to work on autonomous vehicles in France. His obsession is fuzzy logic and how to cross it with artificial neurons.
What are your long-term plans?
Since we are the first with this approach and since the barriers to entry to our market are huge, the business’ perspectives are extremely high. Some studies predict a shortage of 1.5M people for cybersecurity only for 2022. Based on the total atypical population (~70M people) and our capacity to put them to work, we can envision a huge success. We are already in 2 countries and have multiplied our sales ten-fold since the first year of revenue. Our long-term plan is to communicate our model to atypicals for recruiting and to companies to help them create value. We are about to open an office in D.C. and will probably quickly expand geographically to the U.K. For 2018 we expect to triple our 2017 revenue.
What are your favourite tech gadgets?
It’s not a gadget but to talk about tech, Murielle is personally fascinated by VR and how it can help people in their daily tasks. She’s developing a serious game in VR with her colleagues in a neurotech network that she manages.
What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?
Developing strong AI in robotics will definitely help the citizens and companies in their day-to-day: health industry, training surgeons, making safer transportation with autonomous vehicles, etc. We are lucky to work on topics that we are personally passionate about.
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?
We have and will have a major social impact while we develop our company. It is one of the rare cases where business development implies a profound social impact on society.
How do people get in touch with you?
Prepared and edited by @Edina Zejnilovic, Journalism Student at DCU