Partners, Foundry

Yonas Tesfaye



Partners, Foundry

When I am out of office

You’ll often find me running. Most weekends involve some sort of long trail run through the mountains.

What’s the most unexpected class you took in college?

An economics class on “The Challenge of World Poverty,” which used the tools of economics to explore approaches to aid.

The advances that have been made in machine learning over the last decade should be transforming the way most businesses operate, but the consolidation of talent with expertise in machine learning at the largest technology companies has slowed the diffusion of those ideas into the broader economy. I’m excited about speeding up their adoption.

Going from defense at Northrop and In-Q-Tel to tech at Apple allowed me to see how different industries operate. It’s clear to me that there are important problems to be solved outside the boundaries of traditional Silicon Valley companies.

The pace of advances in machine learning has been phenomenal and the frontier of what’s possible is always expanding. The ability to systematically apply those advances will determine how fast it transforms the world, and how that transformation occurs.

Prior experience:

  • Apple I helped make Siri better at answering knowledge-seeking questions.
  • In-Q-Tel I was part of Lab41, a machine learning-focused research and development lab that helped the government learn about and apply the latest machine-learning problems through open-source, applied research.
  • Northrop Grumman I initially helped build satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and eventually transitioned to building sensors.

The Team

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Kevin Berardinelli