Title: Behind the Scenes: Building a $1.75 Billion Artificial Intelligence-based Educational Business
About the lecture:
Earlier this month, educational software company Turnitin was sold for $1.75 billion (over 6 billion QAR). This talk from CMU Entrepreneur-in-Residence Elijah Mayfield walks through the story of leaving a research position in Pittsburgh to start LightSide Labs, a company that was later acquired by Turnitin. Mayfield and his team developed the machine learning and artificial intelligence hub for the growing international business, whose products reach over 30 million students worldwide. This talk will explore the early stages of starting a company based on university research; the process of building a team, finding initial customers, and being acquired; and the challenges of bringing early-stage technology innovations to market to make an impact in society.
About Elijah Mayfield:
Elijah Mayfield is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Project Olympus in the School of Computer Science. Prior to that position, he led all aspects of research into machine learning, artificial intelligence, and natural language processing at Turnitin as Vice President of New Technologies. He previously served as CEO of LightSide Labs, a startup based on research at CMU and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the College Board, and the US Department of Education. Mayfield has coauthored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications on language technologies, learning sciences, and human-computer interaction, has received a 2011 Siebel Scholarship and a 2013 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship, and was named to Forbes 30 under 30 in Education in 2017.