Welcome to Silicon Valley successes, we interview experts and entrepreneurs to get the world access to the knowledge and experience that is here in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to create opportunities for those who seek them and help you to become the next Silicon Valley success.


Welcome to Silicon Valley successes over the last couple weeks, we've had investment bankers, we've had marketing experts. But today we have a very special guest. We have the founder of an amazing start up here in Silicon Valley as our guest now instead of me, introducing Maya, I'll let her introduce herself. Maya, could you please tell the audience a little bit about your company and who you are?


Yeah, absolutely. Thank you very much, john. It's such a pleasure to be here. So I'm in AI and machine learning professor and during my PhD, I learn how to sing opera. Wow. which ended up leading to me becoming the co founder and CEO of way they I created a songwriting AI Okay, and we're actually inviting people to join our beta right now. Okay, yeah, so that's actually you should join our beta i will see you can make my voice sound okay. Then the products amazing.


It'll help you compose your song was lyrics and everything, and then you can sing it. Or you can have somebody else sing it.


So this product that you're making, is it something that's going to be used in karaoke bars, or at your house, or tell me the use case for it.


So it's it's a variety of cases. But it's essentially making up songs on which you do your own karaoke karaoke on your own original songs. And what's really, really amazing is that it takes only about five minutes to write your own original song that's then ready to sing. Okay,


so I've never written a song when you're telling me just see by using your app without years of training, or that I can actually write and sing my own song.


Yes, exactly. In five minutes. Oh, wow.


Yeah. So actually, anybody can do that. You just need to sign up at with elisa.com. Okay,


say that one more time.


With elisa.com, you sign up, and then we'll invite you to join our beta as we have more and more spaces available,


and we'll have you Sean joined the beta. Okay, that's gonna be the exciting part.


That sounds great. So hopefully, our audience at home, they'll all sign up for it. And you're gonna have to come back later after the beta test is done, and kind of tell us about all the progress that was made and how our audience helped you out. That would be wonderful. Okay. But in the meantime, though, I got a ton of questions for you about the whole startup ecosystem. What's it like to be a founder, what you've gone through what you thought being a startup founder would be like, and what it actually is, so let's just go with that question. What's it really like to be a founder of a company?


Sean? That's a really, really fantastic question. You know, I think nobody really knows what it's like to be a founder of a company until they do it. Okay.


You know, how, when people have kids, everybody tells them that it's really, really hard, but they think that their case is going to be different. Okay? So it's the same thing with the startup, you think, Oh, you know, I got this, I have all the relevant experience is going to be a brief we're gonna be bought on day three.


Doing a startup is notoriously difficult, because nobody has done your startup before. Hopefully, you're not just imitating somebody else. So it's, you really have to pave a brand new road and figure it all out as you go along.


And it's a it takes everything you have, okay, everything. So how long has your startup been around from the day that you came up with the idea to actually start working on it till today?


You know, I remember very clearly the day that I came up with the idea. Okay,


I was at a conference International Conference on computational creativity.


Oh, that sounds like a fun conference.


Yeah, it is fantastic. Highly recommended. Actually,


it's all about using the computer to create music and art and stories. It's amazing stuff. And somebody in passing said that, of course, a computer can be a co creative collaborator, of course, and then they sort of moved on and just everything stopped for me. I've been trying for three years at the time to write my own original song as an opera singer. Okay. And I couldn't, it just, I didn't have the gift or whatever it is that composers have. Yeah, wait, I can write for myself using machine learning, which, which I've had expertise for many years. Okay, I had my own songwriting assistant, and in that instance, and, you know, sometimes you get so excited. You think maybe it's maybe I'm overreacting.


But it turned out to be as big an amazing I felt about the moment I got back home. I talked my co founder, David locker. And we had a prototype after about three months. Okay, well, let's go back. How did you meet your co founder


on my kind of ever met at University of Waterloo, okay,


years ago, and he really from


Canada, and then came to Silicon Valley,


originally from everywhere, but my education, the mercy of Waterloo, 12 years of in computer science, okay. I mean, I was wondering why everybody else doesn't study for 12 years back then. That's pretty common, right? Yes. Yeah. Okay.


Was it was kind of like they're trying to be a Silicon Valley in Canada. Okay. Yeah. It's a really font University. It's, it's kind of like the Stanford of Canada. Oh, impressed. Okay, so, so, okay.


You're at Waterloo came with this idea?


No, no, I come up with the idea was already a professor Florida State. Oh, okay.


Or State University. I met David, David, low carb, my CTO right now. Okay, at the University of Waterloo, and we've done many research papers together before then we did stuff with improving search engines we did stuff is cluster analysis, all kind of machine learning. Okay.


He was in Canada, you're in Florida, we're both


in Florida. So I talked to him after the conference. Okay. And


we did this original prototype as a research project. Because, you know, you start with what, you know, okay, what I knew for some reason, but the research doing brand new thing that nobody's done before, okay,


my life, right? And then you publish about it. And you're like, yeah, I probably should pay for it got into like a great conference, or a great journal. And people are giving you great feedback. And then you decided what accompanies this


product with this product. We released it on archive, which is the equivalent of putting up a PDF file somewhere online. Oh, before it was even reviewed. I get this email from our New Scientist, okay, this person wants to write an exclusive about me for New Scientist because he found this PDF file and active and it's never happened to me. I did all this stuff on theoretical foundations of cluster analysis. Really amazing stuff, you know, mass proofs. Nobody wanted to write an article before for really, people




do music and journalists care. Yeah. So so we did this, where does our we have this, you know, exclusive in New Scientist and nbc news came or came in we did an article as well but then then the really great thing the people started emailing me, you know, rocker mind can i trial the CEOs like Well, okay,


not really. Do you had demand for your product before ever having a product?


Yes. Okay.