Dr. Benjamin Harvey liquidated his retirement accounts to make advancements in the world of artificial intelligence (AI), Forbes reports.

Harvey, born in Jacksonville, FL, and raised in a seven-child household, found his love for the field of technology thanks to his father, who worked as a pastor and AT&T project manager, the outlet notes. His father would bring home computers that were not functioning properly, and Harvey took the initiative to learn how to fix them.

Foreshadowing his future, he would obtain a computer science degree from HBCU Mississippi Valley State University in 2008. He later scaled his education obtaining a master’s degree and Ph.D. in the same field between 2010 and 2015, his LinkedIn profile mentions.

Among his career pathways included a role as chief of operations data science at the National Security Agency (NSA). His observation at the agency would open his eyes to a gap in the market as it pertains to data and analytics. It wouldn’t be until 2021 that he would bring a solution to the market with AI Squared.

According to information provided to AFROTECH™, the platform projects that nearly 90% of AI models being created by enterprises do not get moved into the next phase of production, impacting the return on investment (ROI). However, through the use of its platforms, organizations across finance, manufacturing, and health sectors are able to retrieve and integrate data or machine-learning insights into their everyday applications and tools with reduced costs and in a shorter amount of time, down from 4 months to 4 minutes.

“Far too many companies aren’t getting enough ROI from AI,” Harvey said in a news release provided to AFROTECH™. “Deploying a single model often requires the use of over 10 tools. AI Squared’s tools directly tackle this ‘last mile’ problem and make it much easier for businesses to deploy, use, and improve the use of AI within their teams.”

Harvey saw great promise in bringing the company to market. In fact, with his wife’s blessing, he pulled out their full retirement account balance, $500,000, and maxed out his $20,000 spending limit on his credit card. Fortunately, the risky move has paid off. AI Squared raised $6 million in a seed round in 2022.

On April 17, 2024, the company announced it had been supported by a $13.8 million Series A round. According to a press release provided to AFROTECH™, the round was led by Ansa Capital and included participation from existing investors NEA and Ridgeline. The investment will support advancing the platform and expanding the company’s team, which includes Alvin McClerkin (chief operating officer); Jacob Renn, Ph.D. (chief technologist); Michelle Bonat (chief technology officer); and Jimmy Oyeniyi (chief revenue officer).

Additionally, Allan Jean-Baptiste, Ansa Capital co-founder and general partner, and Roger W. Ferguson Jr., former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve and board member of Alphabet Inc., will both serve on AI Squared’s board.

“While AI’s capabilities are rapidly growing, organizations’ ability to deploy them are not,” Jean-Baptiste explained in the news release. “With new state-of-the-art models being released practically every week, enterprises risk getting left behind. We see a massive market opportunity for AI Squared to solve significant corporate hurdles in AI implementation by simplifying integration into existing workflows and tools while enabling faster time to value for AI investments.”