How 3 tech companies plan to use AI to help women entrepreneurs grow their startups

Alice, a new AI-based virtual advisor for female entrepreneurs, was launched at Dell EMC World 2017 to help provide these founders with the resources they need to scale their companies.

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Only 2% of women-led startups in the US have topped $1 million in revenues, but three tech companies believe they can change that statistic with artificial intelligence (AI). On Tuesday, at the 2017 Dell EMC World conference in Las Vegas, Circular Board unveiled Alice, a virtual assistance that uses AI to provide female founders with the resources they need to grow their businesses.

Alice was developed as a partnership among Circular Board, Dell EMC, and Pivotal, which designed the software behind Alice. The creators of the assistant hope that Alice can flip the aforementioned statistic, pushing the number of female entrepreneurs who've hit $1 million in revenue up to 98%.

"The current startup ecosystem continues to cycle resources among a very small percentage of well-connected entrepreneurs, making it difficult for less traditional founders to navigate," Carolyn Rodz, founder and CEO of Circular Board, said in a press release. "Alice instantly filters millions of resources down to the personalized, verified content that enables founders to scale to the highest heights, no matter where they are located or who they know."

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Based on the founder's company stage, current revenue, industry, and needs, Alice offers necessary data and resources in real time. As more and more entrepreneurs use the service, machine learning will begin to predict their needs in advance, pointing them to certain mentors or events that may be beneficial, the release said.

Each user will have a personalized dashboard with modules pointing to the relevant information they wish to see, the release said. The solution's conversational interface allows users to engage with aspects of business like finance and marketing--wherever they need the most help.

Similar to other startup services like Crunchbase, Alice offers profiles for individual users and companies, where data can be collected. Alice also provides a calendar of noteworthy events and robust search functionality, the release noted.

Circular Board first approached Dell EMC with the idea behind Alice in 2016. Then, Pivotal built the underlying software in three months. Karen Quintos, Dell's chief customer officer, said in the release that entrepreneurship is "part of Dell's DNA," and the hope is that this innovation will "help women entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level."

Alice is available now.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Dell EMC, Pivotal, and Circular Board have developed Alice, an AI-based assistant that aims to empower female founders to scale their startups.
  2. While only 2% of women entrepreneurs have reached $1 million in revenues, Alice's founders hope to push that statistic to 98%.
  3. Users will have personalized dashboards with real-time data, along with a profile page for themselves and their companies.

Also see


Hello Alice launched at Dell EMC World 2017.

Image: Circular Board