Stelle ‘08 and Kraft ‘08 Find Success in the Start Up World

Stelle ‘08 and Kraft ‘08 Find Success in the Start Up World

June 19, 2017 – Sam Stelle ’08 and Toma Kraft ’08 are two Seattle Academy graduates who now work together on a generalized analytical platform at Stratifyd that specializes in understanding text. Sam works as a Senior Data Engineer and Toma is the Vice President of Engineering.

After their families moved onto the same block back in 2005, Sam and Toma formed a strong friendship that began in 9th grade at SAAS. Toma was a top tier squash player in Upper School and went on to study Computer Science at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York. Sam attended the University of British Columbia Okanagan, outside Kelowna, British Columbia. After a year there, he transferred to Western Washington University to study Computer Science.

While Sam finished up his BS degree, Toma was working towards his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte where he, his advisor Derek Wang, and a fellow post-doc in the same lab decided to found a company around their textual categorization and visualization research, which became Stratifyd’s precursor, Taste Analytics.

Sam and Toma stayed in touch while living on opposite sides of the country and would see each other during the holidays in Seattle where they would have long conversations about computer science and Toma’s research on Natural Language Processing research.

Three days after graduating from Western Washington University in spring 2015, Sam flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, to work at Taste Analytics, now Stratifyd with his old classmate. Today, the company is changing the way people can interpret large amounts of information. The company focuses on collecting data from a variety of sources and providing customizable visualizations to best match the client’s understanding.

Stratifyd merges structured and unstructured data sources across every feedback channel to leverage internal information along with every chat, survey, review, and news feed for a complete view of data. It’s programs collect and organize the most relevant information through an Artificial Intelligence platform they created.

The AI platform collects complex information through predictive analysis of human behavior, understanding of native language specifically ensuring proper contextual analysis of language, the who and where data is coming from and can be used in any language. “We use a language invariant techniques, so the application can be generalized across multiple data sources” explains Toma. The outcome of their service allows customers to achieve “faster data-driven solutions provided by unsupervised machine learning that moves you toward the right business decisions in less time while allowing you to use your domain knowledge to get the most from data.”