By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
The Knoxville start-up, founded in 2016 by Alicia Caputo and Mik Bertolli, launched its inaugural product offering this week after more than 40 companies in a variety of industry sectors participated in the beta testing.
“We received really good feedback,” Caputo said. She serves as the start-up’s Chief Executive Officer, focused on marketing and business operations, while Bertolli is the Chief Science Officer.
It’s been a whirlwind period for the duo since they graduated less than 18 months ago from the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s “CodeWorks” and were selected to participate in the fourth cohort of Launch Tennessee’s “The TENN” master accelerator.
Caputo said the impetus for Sibyl was a client that used a lot of social media in its marketing efforts. It wanted to know what were people saying – positive, negative or neutral – so the company could respond quickly.
“We tried to find an existing product to meet the needs, but could not,” she added. “The options were either very restrictive on how they looked at nuances in the postings or required a human component to review them. That’s expensive and has a time lag.”
Enter Sibyl, currently designed to integrate with Twitter.
“You can address positive of negative tweets,” Caputo says. “You can teach Sibyl your industry terms. You can use Sibyl to tell prospective customers what you are really good at doing or producing.”
The platform imports all of your Twitter feeds and other relevant data about a client’s company, location(s), etc. Using machine learning technology, Sibyl learns a client’s business, ideal customers, and style of communicating.
As it collects and analyzes all of this continuing information, it literally becomes smarter at identifying Twitter users who are ideal targets and retweets content to them in an automated manner.
Avrio describes Sibyl as being a “sentiment analysis platform” that offers a “clairvoyant insight into what they (a client’s audience) want next.”
“You become the news outlet for your ideal follower,” Caputo says. “Sibyl’s engine makes sure your Tweets have a consistent feel based on the history of your communication and can also predict the likely reaction of those receiving the Tweets.”
Up to now, Avrio has been a services company, so Sibyl represents the start-up’s inaugural foray into marketing a product that will fit within the budget of smaller companies that cannot afford something like IBM’s Watson.
“We can do more things with our machine than Watson,” Caputo says. “They’re (the IBM team) extremely good. Watson is great at image recognition and NLP (natural language processing. We’re not trying to compete with them.”
She notes that one of those limitations is the entry price for a company wanting to use Watson is very expensive. Sibyl is priced for smaller to medium sized companies with a more limited budget.
Those interested in learning more about Sibyl can click here.
As far as the start-up in general, Caputo said that Avrio is “working with some great clients. During the recent “Launch Tennessee Road Show,” she cited local firms like Cirrus Insight, NewsBreak Media Networks, and Sword & Shield.
Caputo says there are several other product ideas in the pipeline, perhaps starting with something in the customer relationship management (CRM) space. She laughed when she said they would have Greek names, considering both Caputo and Bertolli have Italian ancestry.