In 1999, the founders of Saffron Technology left IBM to pursue the question, “What if a machine could think like a person?” Their invention — programming that mimics a brain’s ability to find connections in data and identify patterns — was revolutionary. From a commercial standpoint, the potential applications for defense, energy security, healthcare and international intelligence were profound.
Like many start-up stories, Saffron Technology’s origin involved charismatic, brilliant individuals pushing boundaries. Their tale was filled with passion, but it was not only difficult to understand — buy didn’t make a strong business case. Compounding this, its brand — visually and verbally — was not made to be appealing to a VC audience.