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When enterprises set their sites on winning a new business contract, they’re kicking off an extensive, time-consuming bidding and proposal process — fact-chasing and checking, charting, cross-departmental collaboration, editing, circling, revising, repeating.
All this can take weeks. And that’s just to get to a first draft.
After a first year of dramatic growth, the UK-founded company is today announcing its entry to the U.S. and appointment of Elizabeth Lukas as CEO for the Americas.
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“Large billion dollar contracts down to smaller SME size contracts — the amount of time spent working on them can be quite enormous and exhaustive,” said Lukas. “The pace in which business is moving today is so, so fast that you really need these tools at your disposal to manage it.”
Addressing an enormous, multi-billion-dollar market
The bid and proposal market is a massive one: In Fiscal Year 2022, the U.S. government alone committed roughly $694 billion to contracts. That’s not including the enterprise opportunity: Lukas noted that one UK consultancy firm spends $110 million annually just on bidding.
AutogenAI was founded roughly a year ago by Sean Williams, who came from the bid and proposal world and, when building out the product, made a point to sit technical workers side-by-side with writers to address their specific pain points.
Since its inception, the company has closed a $22.3 million series A from Blossom Capital and has been awarded a prestigious AI Grant.
Autogen says it has driven 100X revenue in just a year, and claims to have supported international businesses in winning more than $50 million in additional work. Lukas said that companies implementing AutogenAI’s tool report up to 85% cost savings, a 30% uplift in win rates and an 800% productivity gain.
Learning the voice of an organization
AutogenAI builds language engines for each client that leverage natural language processing (NLP). The platform is trained on an organization’s corpus of text and knowledge and “learns the voice of your organization as well as the knowledge that’s behind it,” Lukas explained.
Instead of weeks spent writing a first draft, AI can build proposals within days, she asserted. Teams can go from chasing facts to focusing on how to win bids and gain a competitive advantage.
AutogenAI is seeing opportunities beyond the bidding and proposal space, too, including in analysis and reporting, marketing, human resources, public relations and thought pieces.
The company has so far supported managed service and consultancy firms, healthcare organizations, government entities and companies in the IT, telecommunications, construction and outsourcing fields. Opportunities are also emerging in grant writing for nonprofits and research universities, Lukas said.
In her new role, Lukas’ first priorities will be building out the U.S. sales team and cementing go-to-market strategy. She expects that the remote-first U.S. team will have 15 to 20 people by the end of the year, growing to 30 to 40 by the end of 2024.
“The U.S. is a very high priority market for us,” said Lukas, who previously served as CEO for the Americas at Decoded Ltd. “It is a very similar type of market, just a much, much bigger playing field.”
AI is ‘augmented intelligence’
In addition to building out custom platforms, AutogenAI deploys dedicated customer success teams that help organizations and their workers understand AI and how it integrates into workflows, Lukas explained.
This is because AI is “augmented intelligence,” she emphasized.
“We truly believe that in this business-critical writing, humans are incredibly important, we’re not looking to replace them,” she said. “Having people understand and embrace this technology to boost productivity is super important.”
When AI comes in, people often think they need to develop a new skill in prompt engineering to deliver compelling, unique responses. However, Lukas pointed out, when they have a piece of well-designed software with prompt engineering built in, “they should be able to talk to it like they’re talking to a research assistant.”
“It’s a new behavior that people are beginning to adopt and it requires guiding people on that journey,” said Lukas.
AI is awe-inspiring
Lukas noted that in the early, pre-ChatGPT days, people were still very skeptical of gen AI.
But not surprisingly, after November 30, 2022, when OpenAI’s hit chatbot launched for the public, that all changed.
“The conversation around generative AI has absolutely exploded,” she said.
Once people understand how the technology works and see it in action, “the value proposition becomes very clear very fast,” she noted. “There’s a real palpable sense that if you don’t do anything you’ll be left behind very quickly.”
She attributes some of AutogenAI’s significant growth to that quick, mass awareness of and appreciation for the technology, she said.
“Written communication, storytelling, it’s the most uniquely human act,” said Lukas. “When you see a computer start to write in a way that’s compelling and makes sense and creative, it’s awe-inspiring. I think that’s why people are so captivated with the technology.”
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