Innovative AI Technology Entering the Small Business Market – Lethbridge

To hear from the best in the industry, the RBC Small Business Summit at the University of Lethbridge spotlighted Alberta business innovation.

“There are so many innovations in general. Tracking that is really tough,” said Shawn Needham, a University of Lethbridge alumnus and now senior vice president of global sales for Attabotics.

Needham demonstrated the world’s first 3D robotic supply chain system to attendees on Friday.

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“Rather than a person walking into a warehouse and driving 15 miles a day, they will be standing at a train station and the goods someone orders online will be brought to that person,” Needham said. “That’s why it’s called ‘no one’s good’…Very efficient from a command point of view.”

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Attabotics is a six-year-old company that started in Calgary and is now entering the commercial market.

Attabotics saw the global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on supply chains and discovered that artificial intelligence could be the answer to fill the gaps in the system.

“We don’t know what will happen next. It’s critical to look at those technologies that really secure the future of your supply chains,” Needham said.

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Luis Escobar, acting assistant dean of graduate studies at the University of Lethbridge, said summits like this are good for budding entrepreneurs.

“When you have the ability to find efficiencies, companies have the ability to increase stakeholder value to make money. And that’s all you need for a student entrepreneur to realize that it can be good business,” Escobar said.

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Emilio Ficaccio, a fourth-year student at U of L’s Dhillon School of Business, used his passion for personal training to create E-Fitness, a system that uses AI to program nutrition, fitness and coaching clients.

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“I kind of see AI as the internet of my generation,” Ficaccio said, “I think the people who can adopt it as soon as possible will be ahead of the curve.”

Ficcacio has seen how AI can create websites, videos and marketing materials in seconds. It inspired him to think big.

“It’s just amazing what can happen if you have the vision and the team,” Ficaccio said.

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