Ramu Sunkara Named 2020 UWEBI Distinguished Fellow
Ramu Sunkara

Ramu Sunkara, CEO and Co-Founder of Alan AI Inc., is the 2020 UWEBI Distinguished Fellow Award Recipient.

Ramu is an entrepreneur and a proven leader with startup experiences at Alan AI, Qik, as well as leading product teams at large organizations such as Skype, Oracle and HP.

Ramu co-founded Alan AI in 2016, with the vision to provide a conversational voice experience to any software application. Every enterprise application with complex workflows can benefit from Alan AI's revolutionary platform that augments their visual interfaces with a conversational voice experience. The Alan Platform breaks new ground in the invention and application of advanced AI models and algorithms to the hard problem of spoken language understanding that researchers have been wrestling with for decades. Alan AI's highly innovative approach of a multimodal user experience gives users the seamless ability to choose touch, type or voice modality when interacting with their applications. Recently, a field service solution built on top of Alan AI Platform finished as the finalist for SAP Innovation Award 2020, validating its value proposition across multiple industries.

Earlier, Ramu started Qik in his garage in 2006, envisioning an online video frontier. He pivoted from the original desktop to mobile, leveraged the nascent and curious smartphone wave, built a unique live streaming framework on the cloud, launched direct-to-consumer service and grew it virally. Qik won ten mobile awards in 2008 and ranked No. 2 in Apple's app store in 2010 as the complete paid consumer mobile video-chat utility. Qik direct-to-consumer branded service, and mobile ecosystem partnerships vaulted it to No. 1 in the US mobile video market, catalyzing Qik’s acquisition by Skype in 2011—a home run for his team.

Ramu is a graduate of the UW–Madison Computer Sciences Department and worked in the Database Systems Research lab during his MS degree program. For the past seven years, Ramu has been an active member of the Board of Visitors of the Computer Sciences Department.

Ramu will be presented the award at the UWEBC's annual Business Best Practices and Emerging Technologies Conference.

Dr. Raj VeeramaniFor more information on the UW E-Business Institute, contact Dr. Raj Veeramani at 608-262-0861 or raj.veeramani@wisc.edu.

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