Ex-Samsung employee and Silicon Valley engineer found Tampa … – The Business Journals

Tyler Clark and Michael Nabers have spent their careers working for big tech companies like Salesforce and Samsung. Now, they want to try their hand at starting their own company.
The duo founded Umbrella AI in stealth mode this year in Tampa with plans to be an expansive artificial intelligence company. Its first product, Umbrella Vet, launched this month and is powered by the Umbrella AI model. 
The pair’s knowledge and industry contacts from working in big tech helped them start Umbrella AI. But the two have planned enterprise work since they were friends at the University of Florida more than 20 years ago. 
“We’ve always wanted to work together and to build something that was meaningful,” Nabers said. “And so we really searched for different areas that we thought we could make the most impact with our mutual skills.”
They found pet care to be that mutual space and Umbrella Vet was born. Animal care also has personal ties for Nabers, whose father is a veterinarian, and the app fills a potential gap he saw in the availability of veterinarians to help sick animals and pet owners, Nabers said.
Clark, the CTO of Umbrella AI and a software architect at SurveyMonkey, is the engineer behind the product. He created a proprietary data set to train an OpenAI-powered large language model for Umbrella Vet.
The data is structured from diligently” examining medical textbooks and veterinary science, Clark said. It took hours of effort for the engineering team to create this data set, and they consulted with veterinarians for further information. Umbrella AI has three Ph.D.s on staff to consult about the product. 
“That was challenging because we had to pool from many sources and then normalize them into a database,” Clark said.
Umbrella Vet is a chatbot that can answer user questions about their pets. The chatbot will evaluate the animal’s characteristics and give a predictive direction. It’s not a formal diagnosis and isn’t meant to be. It tells users when they should see a veterinarian and connects them with one at a monthly fee of $5. The $5 also buys unlimited access to real-time consultations with licensed vets, according to the release. 
It’s a way to evaluate what level of emergency your pet is suffering at any hour, Nabers said. 
The two have bootstrapped the company, and the company has received a pre-seed investment from Bob Meyers, former manager of the Golden State Warriors basketball team. 
Nabers and Clark are looking at investment hubs like New York City and Boston for their next funding round, but they’re interested in funding from Florida investors. 
“That would be personally meaningful for Tyler and me because I think part of Florida becoming a stronger ecosystem for tech startups is to participate with some of these larger venture capitalists and financial investors,” Nabers said. 
Umbrella AI has offices in San Francisco and Tampa and plans to stay active in both places. It’s the “two bay areas,” Clark said. 
“We love Tampa, and we think this is a great ecosystem for us to build in,” Nabers said. “And while we still want to have some boots on the ground in San Francisco, because that has built up over many decades, we see the resilience and the early signs of a great ecosystem in the Tampa Bay area. We want to be a part of that.” 
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