For easing one of the slowest, most painstaking parts of machine learning

Founder and CEO
Daniela Braga
Seattle, WA
IT Services

“Does your engineering team really respect you?” an investor asked Daniela Braga when she first came into pitch her artificial intelligence data startup, DefinedCrowd. “Because you’re not quite an engineer.” As a matter of fact, Daniela Braga has a PhD in engineering; she also has a Masters in linguistics—although the latter was hardly a prerequisite to detect the condescension in the venture capitalist’s tone.

While it may have been true that she never worked as a software engineer, she had a feeling his skepticism had more to do with her being a woman. She laughed him off, as she has other doubters. Today DefinedCrowd sells machine learning training data to tech companies and AI specialists all over the world. Braga’s strength as a manager, she says, derives in part from the fact that she has deep technical knowledge of a subject herself (in her case, natural language processing). That expertise gives her the confidence to appreciate and communicate with experts in other fields—and the resilience to brush off shallow types who might judge her superficially, like the investor.

Her advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs: Master one subject better than anyone in the world — and use that as your cornerstone as you scale your business. “Get something very right in your career, and build from there,” she says. “It gives you a whole new level of confidence moving forward.” – Burt Helm

Other Inc. Honors

  1. 2020