LikelyAI came to Birmingham from Slovakia to be part of the program that helps promising startups develop business plans and earn financing as they make their companies more marketable.
This week, LikelyAI released its iPhone app, which uses an algorithm to help users select the best photos to share on their social media accounts.
“It’s fantastic,” Jozef Marko, co-founder of LikelyAI said of the launch. “We’ve been preparing for this moment for almost one year.”
Marko interned at Facebook and Google, while LikelyAI co-founder Lukas Ruttkay founded successful companies in Slovakia. They hired a developer, Michal Korbela, in Slovakia and began looking around the world for an accelerator program to help get their idea for LikelyAI off the ground.
When they saw the Birmingham Velocity Accelerator program was seeking applicants for its inaugural class at Innovation Depot, Marko and Ruttkay signed up thinking they would be willing to relocated to Birmingham, England. When they were approved for the program, they realized their relocation would take them much farther from home.
“We came here without any kind of expectations,” Marko said. “We didn’t know what to expect.”
Both Marko and Ruttkay said they have been overwhelmed by the Southern hospitality and the level of support they’ve received in Alabama. They were a crowd favorite at Demo Day, the culminating event for Velocity Accelerator participants.
Marko said it has been so special that the LikelyAI team felt compelled to push themselves to be successful in response to that support.
“It kind of pushed us to work harder,” he said.
Marko said the team had another personal motivation to launch the app this week.
“We are going back to Europe soon to visit our families and we really wanted to push this launch before so we can finally have something done,” he said.
Ruttkay expects a nice reception when they return.
“We shared a post on Facebook to let everyone know we have launched the app,” he said. “Everyone is excited for us.”
It’s a major milestone for LikelyAI.
“The most important part is the launch and how people will use the app,” he said.
The app uses an algorithm powered by artificial intelligence that takes into account objects, shapes, color patches, lighting and positioning and uses them as data points to predict the popularity, success and engagement of the images will find on social media.
Marko said through their participation in Velocity Accelerator, they learned it was easier to develop an algorithm for social media influencers and regular users on Instagram than for high-volume users such as a large corporate user looking to select the right images for a marketing campaign.
“We are tweaking the algorithm all the time,” he said. “We’ve got a very good algorithm at last and we’re very proud of where it is.”
Ruttkay said the plan is to give new users a two-week free trial, and select users will be eligible to analyze up to 100 free pictures per month afterwards.
LikelyAI said social media influencers can expect between 10 percent to 20 percent increase in engagement using the app. An enterprise or corporate version of the app will also be released in the future.
For now, only the iPhone version is available, but within a couple of months, LikelyAI plans to release an Android version.
As for Marko and Ruttkay and the company, they plan to remain in Birmingham.
“We decided to stay here for a while,” Ruttkay said. “We like it. We like the environment and the people.”