I have always been the person who tries their best to bring a group together. And what I realised is that the first, most basic thing keeping the biggest group of all apart is language. So we decided to tackle that with Unbabel, where we’re striving to enable every human to communicate in every language.
Getting to be the Founder and CEO of a company that is solving a real problem using cutting edge AI is a huge thrill. And it’s a long way from where and when I started, at the age of 14, in a meat factory: I literally got to see where the sausage was made. Working at the meat factory was tough: launching Unbabel, however, was even tougher.
I was starting a company in the final semester of my PHD (Language Technologies at Carnegie Mellon University), while writing my thesis and having a third daughter. So I remember that time vividly: what a challenge! And the PHD was adding to the overall difficulty because it’s so lonely and I’ve always been more of a team player.
Unbabel turned to Shilling as our first institutional investor, simply because they were one of the best investors for early stage startups in Portugal - they still are. And they’re a good group of friends and ex-founders with an eye for tech-driven ideas, scalable business models and really helpful advice to hand out.
And the truth is, as a founder, you never really outgrow the need for good advice.