Data science solution for sales – and networking

An Adelaide entrepreneur is at the cutting-edge of technology to help businesses outsmart competitors and escalate their success through artificial intelligence, customised data analytics – and super-smart networking.

Imagine feeding your customer database into a program that identifies its unique commonalities, then applies this knowledge to thousands, possibly millions, of organisations to intelligently identify those most likely to benefit from your services?

Kale Needham, the mastermind behind MapRunner, a business-to-business artificial intelligence marketing tool, says “Between 30 and 50% of a sales rep’s time is spent manually prospecting for leads. People are creatures of habit and tend to walk the same paths, so despite the time put into this task, a lot of prospects are immediately ruled out.

“Add to this the fact that web tools to assist with lead determination require explicit inputs, but again as soon as you apply these filters you are eliminating a lot of market potential.”

MapRunner takes a smart approach. It’s ‘taught’ by the database it receives, and applies these learnings to businesses in a defined area, informed by their online content, to isolate strong sales prospects.

The product and its Adelaide-based company was launched in May this year and has been quick to acquire several multinational clients. It’s now seeking seed funding to upscale.

Mr Needham says “People know artificial intelligence has a lot to offer but few understand how it can apply in practical terms to them. There is literally no business that doesn’t stand to benefit enormously from the incredible capabilities of AI.”

Mr Needham established MapRunner’s parent company, Spiral Data Group, in 2016. Based in the Tonsley Innovation District, it partners with organisations to generate growth or realise efficiency gains.

One of Spiral Data’s more unique projects is its partnership with Flinders University’s New Venture Institute’s (NVI) to deliver sophisticated match-making for its flagship networking event, Icebreaker, to be held on 21 November.

Kathryn Anderson, NVI Deputy Director Enterprise and project lead says “Our first Icebreaker in 2016 brought over a thousand people together in an event that delivered an estimated $2.9 million in forward value for South Australia.

“Innovation is central to what we do at the NVI, so for this year’s event our first consideration, two years later, was how do we improve? How do we harness information in the most sophisticated way to give participants the most valuable experience possible?”

Mr Needham says the solution was to apply science to a human problem.

“People might think ‘I just want to be on a table with X’, but their networking needs go deeper than that. Our role was to custom design a smart data-matching mechanism to optimise the value of each table at IceBreaker18.”

The result is a survey that collects purposeful information and will be put through Spiral Data Group’s scientific matching process, providing each participant with connections customised to their unique inputs, which the NVI will use to set up connections at the event.

Participants can experience the outcomes of the smart data-matching at Icebreaker18, which will be held at the Tonsley Innovation District on Wednesday 21 November. More information and registration is available on the NVI’s Icebreaker webpage.

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