Meet our founders — How Jan Kinne from ISTARI AI is building the future of market research with artificial intelligence

What’s your company ISTARI AI doing in one sentence?
Our webAI reads company-related web data, gathering up-to-date information on company activities and characteristics that could otherwise only be collected by humans through painstaking manual research.

Tell us more about yourself, your co-founders and your team.
My co-founder David and I started ISTARI.AI based on our PhD research on “web-based innovation indicators”. David has a PhD in statistics and econometrics from Giessen University and I in geoinformatics from the University of Salzburg, though I also worked for many years at the ZEW economic research institute in Mannheim. By now, David is our CTO, I am the CEO and Robert joined us as COO. We also have eight other working students as team members in development, marketing and accounting. Our main location is at the Mafinex Technology Center in Mannheim and we also have a satellite office at AI Campus Berlin. Now we are adding Heilbronn.

What was your motivation for starting ISTARI AI? Tell us about your journey so far.
Our goal is to become the European provider for automated company intelligence in Europe. We started in 2019 as a side project during our research, although we already generated our first revenues then. With the completion of our PhDs, we then raised some venture capital and got into the BW Pre-Seed Program for innovative startups from Baden-Württemberg. With this capital, we were able to start working full-time for ISTARI at the beginning of 2021. Since then, we have been on a growth course.



When will you say “Yes” to achieve your goals and when will you say “No” to achieve them?
We say yes if it helps us in the long term and no if it only promises short-term success.

What is the most important thing you are working on right now and how will it succeed?
Our most important goal now is to shift from a project-based to a product-based business. To achieve this, we are working on the complete automation of our pipeline from data collection to sales, as well as on sensible pricing and a powerful marketing and sales concept.

What was your biggest challenge so far as a founder?
We had to adjust our mindset. In the business world, things are often different from those in academia.

What are you the proudest of so far?
When we moved into our first office.

Why did you decide for Campus Founders and our Venture Studio?
We believe that it is enormously important, especially for rapidly developing technologies such as artificial intelligence, to be involved in the relevant ecosystems involving business, the public sector and research. One of the most important hot spots for AI is currently being established in Heilbronn, where a very long-term and well-founded strategy is also being pursued. We simply have to be there.

automates market research with artificial intelligence using webAI agents for real-time information discovery. Their agents are developed and tested with international experts and deliver reliable expert level information.