IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A SINGLE PERSON TO PREDICT WITH CERTAINTY EVERY PLACE WHERE THERE COULD BE AN ERROR. BUT FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, TRAINED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE PROBLEMS OF SAID COMPANY, IT BECOMES THE SCORE FOR AN IDEAL SYMPHONY.

Diego is a second time founder who studied actuarial science as an undergrad at ITAM and a Masters in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford. As a part of a diploma in entrepreneurship at ITAM, he founded Carrot, his first startup—a car sharing company that paved the way for Mexico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and was one of the first M&A deals in the country. After Carrot and his time at Stanford, he worked at Blend as a Product Manager focused on AI and Automation, knowing he would eventually return to the world of startups. Now, at Auba, he looks back to his early childhood, growing up in a family devoted to exports in Mexico’s northern region. Through Auba, Diego seeks to create the necessary tools to ease trade internationally and avoid the countless costs associated with complex supply chains.

Diego’s  story is based on a fundamental tension. One that seems like a lie, but is ultimately true. There is a certain music in noise; a surprising order that lives within chaos. It is not easy to find it and, perhaps, it is impossible for us as a species to do it on a daily basis. But, even if it costs us to find it, that music is there. Hidden, in everyday life and stories of our past, order waits to be found. 

Let’s leave the metaphor for a moment and go, specifically, to the story. The first noise—the first movement of what would make up Auba—came from conversations a couple of years ago. In closed circles, people began to hear, like a murmur, an acronym that could change the world. Diego heard it, briefly, in a presentation on the subject in Mexico City. He was, then CEO of Carrot, a startup that sought to change the way Mexicans got around in cities by using rented cars that did not need keys to operate. The company emerged as a project for a diploma on entrepreneurship at ITAM, where Diego had majored in actuarial sciences. He was, by nature, an entrepreneur even if AI and advanced computing was beyond the reach of his initial company. Curious about the topic, he went to the talk and learned, from it, those two words that are now on the lips of the entire plant: Artificial Intelligence (AI).

As days passed, that murmur would only grow. In Mexico everyone talked about the subject without understanding, specifically, what it was about. Companies like IBM were already bringing their own model to the market, called Watson, and even presented it to Diego in Carrot for its possible use. But, outside of those rare moments, it continued to be another topic of conversation in the nascent Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem. What endured, above all, was confusion paired with immense interest.

The noise of artificial intelligence would continue to accumulate, tirelessly, until, in 2017, Diego took a subtle turn to understand the message hidden within voices everywhere. That year, Carrot was formerly sold and, trying to make sense of the endless talks of artificial intelligence, he headed to Stanford to study for a master’s degree related to the topic. There, for the first time, he would understand that this growing interest in artificial intelligence could really change the world.

What was then chaos was beginning to be sensibly formulated. After Stanford, Diego joined Blend, a promising startup in the financial sector, where he led the creation of artificial intelligence products. They were years of learning, but also of preparation for the next step; to understand, to a greater degree, the noise around you.

The second movement of this chaos, as so often in music, is that of retreat; a memory that leads to action. After years at Blend, Diego knew that he wanted to create something of his own and, with this, stop hearing about artificial intelligence and be an active part in its creation. What was missing was the inspiration that lay hidden in the noise of his personal life.

Growing up in northern Mexico, among exporters and producers, Diego’s childhood was spent on sugar trucks and discussions of problems along the border. One week, due to a paperwork error, the delivery of an order was delayed; the next, a protest in some distant port created the same problem. Although now, with more sophisticated tools, the general transportation process had been improved, the same production risks remained.

Speaking with businessmen and exporters, he realized that there was an infinite world of possible errors in the transportation process. All of this is made worse by the sea of databases existing in each company and the fact, above all else, that the essential currency for an exporter is that of communication and countless platforms to do so. Each one must handle dozens of emails or messages with all its suppliers, port operators and its own workers. If one even expresses some casual detail that could delay the order, it could easily get lost in the flood of paragraphs to be read in any worker’s inbox. Again, the problem is finding, amid mountains of chaos, a path to reason.

Thus, finally, comes the third movement of the song; that of creation. Uniting those scarce memories of exporters in the north with their recent years in the world of artificial intelligence, the complete tune of this melody began to form. Together with Austin, whom Diego met at Blend, he founded Auba to solve those problems that were so distant in his memory, but still present in the reality of exporters. Shortly, Françoise would join the team, after being introduced to an early version of the company as an angel investor and, in true fascination, jumping on board.

Put plainly, Auba’s idea is to make visible, to each exporting company, all possible opportunities for improvement. It goes back to the problems Diego observed in those initial interviews. From among mountains of messages and thousands of news items, it is impossible for a single person to predict with certainty every place where there could be an error. But, for an artificial intelligence, trained specifically for the problems of said company, it becomes the score for an ideal symphony.