Workplace safety has always been a challenging aspect for many, especially for those in high-risk industries. According to a press release by the Ministry of Manpower Singapore, in the 1st half of 2022, there were 28 workplace fatalities, which brings the 6-month fatality rate per 100,000 workers to 0.8. This is higher as compared to the 2nd half of 2021 (0.4) and the 1st half of 2021 (0.7). In fact, Construction was the biggest contributor for both fatalities and major injuries with a 6-month fatality rate of 2.3 per 100,000 workers and a 6-month major injury rate of 19.1 per 100,000 workers.
So, apart from using quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), what else can be done in terms of the operations and safety which can lower the fatality and major injury rate?
In this startup conversations, we caught up with Lenard, CEO and co-founder of Ailytics. Ailytics is Singapore’s leading construction video analytics solution provider with over 10 active deployments across the country, helping companies in the construction industry improve their operations. Read on to find out how the team is making a difference for the construction industry.
Share a little about Ailytics! What sparked your interest to focus on the niche of workplace safety?
Lenard: Ailytics enables the construction industry to enhance safety and maximize productivity of their operations by leveraging on information from existing camera feeds to provide actionable insights. Construction is one of the largest industries in the world but yet one of the most laggard when it comes to adopting of technology. In a country like Singapore there are still so many construction accidents and fatalities, but when you look at it from a global perspective, it is actually much dire as there is one death happening every 10 mins, so I really wanted to do something about it.
How did you meet your co-founder and what made both of you decide to work on this together?
Lenard: To start a tech start-up in this industry has many barriers to entry, from the lack of public datasets, technological challenges of operating in harsh environments as well as the culture and mindsets of people in the industry.
Prateek and I both met while we were studying in NUS and were going through the NUS accelerator program, NUS GRIP. We were fortunate enough to have done 2 years of research with NUS, AISG and HDB and after receiving positive feedback and validation from the parties involved, we saw the potential of the tech, application and market opportunity and decided to spin-off into a company.
It is always bold to quit a full-time corporate job to work on a startup. What sparked you to take the leap of faith?
Lenard: There were 3 main factors for my decision. Firstly, was the point I was at in my life, in terms of commitments which would give me the ability to really dedicate my time to the start-up. Second was the knowledge that I have gain throughout my 7 years of corporate life, the good, bad and ugly or building products and leading teams. Lastly was the amount of runway the start-up had, as I went full-time once we closed our seed round that was led by Shao-Ning.
Why the name Ailytics? How did it come about?
Lenard: It’s nothing fancy, just means AI + Analytics. I am quite pleased that quite a number of people get it right of the bat, which means that the branding is working to some extent.
With the constant revolution of AI technology, how would you stay on top of new technologies and trends?
Lenard: There are almost new State-of-the-art (SOTA) research papers coming out every week and everyone on the team does keep a close eye on the latest trends as well as share it with the team. We also allocate a % of the time allocated to trying out some of these new SOTA methods every month or whenever we are building a new feature to validate the performance claims and also asses if make sense for us to integrate or upgrade our system. There are a lot more considerations of taking research into production and we are cautious with that, however this is required for us to stay competitive.
Ailytics pitched at AngelCental at the start of this year. How was the experience like fundraising through AngelCentral?
Lenard: The process was really smooth, from the very first meeting with Der Shing, to Shao-Ning leading the round, organizing the closed door pitch and eventually closing the round only took about 1+ month. Everything was very structured, from the processes to the documents and information required for due diligence.
What has been the most satisfying moment for you as an entrepreneur since starting Ailytics?
Lenard: Being able to set the standards and requirements of how video analytics can be applied to the construction industry with so many private, public agencies and corporations. This comes after months and even years of validating the technology, countless trials and deployments as well as forming and building relationships with key stakeholders in the space.
Share a tip on how to keep focused and productive at work.
Lenard: I always timebox the work that I do so that I can fully focus on the task at hand and ensure that I complete things on time. I also always try to group meetings close to one another so that I do not have to context switch too often.
Ailytics is Singapore’s leading construction video analytics solution provider with over 10 active deployments across the country, helping companies in the construction industry improve their operations.