Twice a year, I choose a new industry or technology to study, and then spend six months learning everything I can about the topic. I've focused on genomics, epigenetics, fintech — and early in 2018, I took a deep dive into computer vision, which is how computers gain high-level understanding of visual images.

I was curious about how computer vision might work behind the scenes to power transactions in retail, transportation, logistics, manufacturing and healthcare. Just as barcode scanning has made these industries more efficient, computer vision can supercharge workflows for things like mobile point of sale, mobile shopping, self-checkout, inventory management and proof of delivery.

In July 2018 I invested in Scandit, a Zurich-based company founded by pioneers from MIT and ETH Zurich. Scandit's CEO, Dr. Samuel Mueller, envisions a world where computer vision and augmented reality drive logistics and contactless payments. Due to recent events companies across every industry are increasingly turning to computer vision and personal smart devices to create safer contactless environments for employees and customers.

Scandit co-founders Christof Roduner, Christian Floerkemeier, and Samuel Mueller. From left to right: Scandit co-founders Christof Roduner, Christian Floerkemeier, and Samuel Mueller.

Samuel and his team were quick to respond to the pandemic with the launch of a free HIPAA-compliant app, designed to speed up the data collection needed for COVID-19 testing. Healthcare workers use the app to capture and export patient and specimen data on their mobile devices, so nobody has to risk passing germs through pen and paper.

It takes more than just technical excellence and a compelling vision to build the next great startup

Scandit earns no money from this app; they built it to help ease an aspect of this current global crisis. It's this kind of community commitment that sets Samuel and his co-founders Christof Roduner and Christian Floerkemeier apart from others. They maintain a tireless work ethic and value impeccable attention to detail. During our board meetings in Zurich, I've observed the deep trust between them, and their keen understanding of each other's strengths. It takes more than just technical excellence and a compelling vision to build the next great startup; it takes dedicated people, productive co-founder relationships, and the ability to adapt to rapidly evolving business needs. This is where the Scandit team shines.

Today, as Scandit announces its latest funding round, we're proud to support this remarkable team.