Concierge dispatches vital assistance to supply chain tech startup

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

April 19, 2018
London, Ontario

With software that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Orca Intelligence relieves supply chain headaches and boosts profitability.

Transport trucks moving goods for Orca Intelligence clients such as Parmalat, 3M, Rogers and 3PL Links submit hundreds of thousands of dollars in invoices. However, when freight carriers bill clients directly, costly errors and delays often arise.

London, Ontario-based Orca Intelligence alleviates that pain with a revolutionary prescription for collecting and auditing supply chain data. Carriers that transmit their shipping invoices electronically to Orca benefit from automated accuracy checks and payment. For example, if the system detects errors, it alerts the carriers and helps them resolve the inaccuracies. At the same time, it collects all the data from freight operations and supplies clients with analytics they can use for decision-making. "Our service typically saves clients between two and four per cent," says Orca CEO Matt Grossi.

Concierge dispatches connections

Since he launched Orca Intelligence in 2016, Grossi is auditing about $150 million in billings a year. He acknowledges that his rapid market ascent is due in large part to Concierge, without whose help he might still be running the business out of his basement and making cold calls.

"When I moved from Woodbridge to London, I didn't know anyone there," he says. "Trish Barrow, my Concierge Innovation Advisor (IA) helped me establish a network that gave me all the support I needed including government funding." She began by introducing him to the TechAlliance of southwestern Ontario and the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). These organizations support startups with consulting support, industry connections, educational programs and other resources. "Trish also set me up with the Western Entrepreneurship organization—an incubator at Western University where I spent four months and got additional funding, office space and mentoring." Through these connections, he has so far received a total of $87,000 in funding.

"Starting out in business can be intimidating if you're not familiar with programs available to you," adds Grossi. "To have Concierge introduce me to key contacts was so helpful—and without that support, I don't know where I would be today."

"To have Concierge introduce me to key contacts was so helpful—and without that support, I don't know where I would be today."

Matt Grossi, CEO, Orca Intelligence

The long haul

Within the next five years, Grossi expects to be auditing in the billions annually, investing heavily in R&D and developing technology not yet available. His ideas are all geared to providing clients with a range of critical metrics, including carbon footprint calculations using blockchain technology.

Building the business will mean hiring employees and obtaining more funding—and he is optimistic that Concierge will continue to work with him. Barrow has just introduced him to the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), which provides financial and advisory services to qualified small and medium-sized businesses for developing innovative technology.

Grossi advises entrepreneurs not to fear getting out of their comfort zones and asking for help. "If we try to do everything ourselves, it just takes too long and we can lose that first-to-market edge," he says. "If you have a good idea and a good business model, speak to someone at Concierge and get help to move your company forward."

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