From the Lab to the Track: 2019 In Review
2019 was an incredible year for the Valkyrie team. We dramatically grew our services practice and research initiatives, added outstanding talent to our team and pushed the boundaries of science with our clients. We moved to a larger lab (we miss you, East Austin!) and expanded our capabilities across the Atlantic and Pacific. We continue to scale our hedge fund, building on its strong early performance, and started our own professional racing company. As if that weren't excitement enough already, we welcomed four healthy babies to our growing team (all future scientists, of course).
Though 2019 has pushed us as a team, we’ve remained true to our commitment to pioneer new research in our field without compromise. Our team continues to dedicate time to furthering their studies and capabilities. Intentional research remains core to Valkyrie’s mission. In 2019 the team contributed back to the scientific community through advanced research in the following areas:
Ensemble Recommendation Engines with Reinforcement Learning
Emerging Graph Database Technologies built with Distributed Ledgers
Predictive Maintenance Techniques for Fleet Management
Graph Neural Networks
Advances in Reinforcement Learning
Current Applications of AI in Healthcare
Advanced Probability Theory
Data Frame Technologies
Techniques in Topic Modeling
Data Visualization Capabilities
The team also spent some research time building models to:
Predict how long an album will be on the Billboard top 200
Locate and classify objects in movie trailers
Identify Marvel superheroes in images in the wild
Predict if a murder will be solved
Predict how long a dockless scooter will survive the Austin streets
Simulate consumer shopping behavior
Identify Harry Potter character communities
Valkyrie wouldn’t be what it is without our incredible clients. We’re honored to work with many forward-thinking, innovative companies. This year, we’ve collaborated to solve some of the most fascinating problems in a multiplicity of domains and industries. We worked with a major communication technology company to shape the vision for future product offerings by leveraging existing data resources. We helped a leading travel and leisure company to measure and assess its environmental impact. We continued to drive data-related strategic initiatives with long-standing financial services and data brokerage clients. We began a new scientific partnership with a Formula 1 team and we're collaborating on the development of an incredible digital twin product. We also started a new relationship with an exciting health data product company and are helping with foundational R&D.
Our biggest differentiator continues to be our people. Valkyrie seeks to hire the best and brightest rising scientists and support team members and we are thrilled to have added seven more names to our roster this year. Our team continues to grow aggressively, including the recent hiring of five scientists, one data engineer and one account manager. Ben, Nikhil, Dariya, Cameron, Keatra, Katie and Matt have been standout additions to our team in 2019 and we’re proud of the great contributions they’ve made.
Perhaps the most exciting moment of 2019 was officially launching our professional racing company, Valkyrie Velocity. Velocity, our science-powered racing team, is dedicated to bringing machine intelligence to the race track. By pairing our state-of-the-art technology with the precision of racing, we’ve created Austin’s first and finest racing venture. The US F4 Championship weekend exceeded our expectations as well. The Valkyrie Velocity car made its racing debut during the F1 weekend here in Austin. Our team driver, Kory Enders, did a fantastic job in this year’s F4 Championship race, making it to the podium to take third place overall. Valkyrie Velocity has an exciting future in racing and we’re thrilled about the progress we’ve made in these first fast and furious months.
2019 has taken us from DC to Zurich to our own backyard, Austin. Our team worked tirelessly to generate 191 hypotheses and build 12 deployable models, strategically applying the scientific method to address some of our clients’ most complex challenges. We worked hard to keep up with demand, doubling our team size and expanding our reach overseas. Despite all of the changes - new faces, office moves and new clients - we've remained true to our core mission of advancing science for the betterment of all. Looking ahead to 2020, we’re more focused on that mission than ever.