First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Ludwig is an Italian company and Italy, our country, was hit with unthinkable violence by the epidemic, especially during the first phase.
All of our team is safe and sound as well as our families and relatives. Nevertheless, our lives were deeply changed by the epidemic and the countermeasures.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company
I’m the CEO and Co-Founder of Ludwig and I started the company together with Federico Papa and Roberta Pellegrino in 2014. I’m an Archaeologist by training. Before starting Ludwig, my life was being an archaeologist and a university researcher. I was a researcher at the University of Granada, then at MIT and later a Marie Curie post-doc fellow at the University of Knostanz in Germany. At MIT, I was started dreaming about starting my own startup and create the software that would solve once and for all my English writing doubts. Here is the longer story of what happened at MIT: www.americaninno.com/boston/archeologist/.
I started studying computational linguistics in 2014 and built a great team together with my co-founders.
How does your company innovate?
We built a sentence search engine for English writing. We help people answer questions like: “Does my English sentence make sense?”, “Am I expressing myself properly and correctly?”, “Does it mean what I mean in the context I’m using it?”. Our users love what we do for them and have been growing strongly for the last 5 years.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Being an online service, Ludwig’s business wasn’t particularly affected by the pandemic. Also, we have been working remotely since 2014. It wasn’t a big organizational change for our company.
We received a few emails from a few users who cancelled their subscription because they lost their job as a consequence of the pandemic and of the lockdown. We tried to be as helpful as possible with our users in needs also by giving free access to Ludwig premium to our long-time customers in troubles.
Moreover, even if we are a small company, we decided we would give our contribution to this war and launched a special version of Ludwig, named LIA COVID-19. LIA is a sentence search engine born to help researchers, medical doctors, biologists, virologists, find Covid-19 related scientific papers with ease. The website is https://covid19.ludwig.guru/.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Our previous choices proved good ideas and we were quite lucky our market segment was not strongly affected.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and your company in the future ?
I’m not stressed at all! I’m confident about my company and product. We are growing sustainably and have no debts.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
It may sound simplistic but it’s already a huge achievement: we plan to stay in the game by staying alive, both as single human beings and as a company.
Your final thoughts
Thanks for the interview. It’s time to get back to work 😉
Your website and link to online video if any