It’s no secret that today’s technological climate is rapidly evolving. As worldwide industries increasingly rely on a dual cyber-physical infrastructure, the demands on safety and security systems have become dramatically more complex, and absolutely essential.
SparkCognition provides clients with patented AI-powered products to enhance cyber security, and state-of-the-art machine learning technology to identify and prevent equipment failures before they happen.
The company was launched in 2014 in Austin, Texas, the brainchild of serial entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO Amir Husain. Now, we are considered industry leaders, creating powerful and meaningful advances in the field of AI technology.
We’re not just predicting the future, we’re changing it for the better.
Our mission at SparkCognition is to create intelligent, self-improving systems that drive safety and security for a vast variety of cyber-physical infrastructures.
Founder & CEO
CEO Amir Husain founded SparkCognition with the desire to build a company that would be at the forefront of the “AI 3.0” revolution. An undisputed tech leader in Austin and in the industry at large, Amir built multiple venture-funded startups between 1999 and 2009, at which point he took over as President and CEO of VDIworks. For his inventions, Amir has been awarded 14 US patents and has over 40 pending patent applications. He serves as advisor and board member to several major institutions, including IBM Watson, University of Texas Department of Computer Science, Makerarm, ClearCube Technology, uStudio and others; and his work has been published in leading tech journals, including Network World, IT Today, and Computer World. In 2015, Amir was named Austin’s Top Technology Entrepreneur of the Year. As the driving force at SparkCognition, he is known for his honest, open, approachable leadership style.
Randy brings more than 30 years of IT industry experience in enterprise software, desktop solutions, and storage. He served as CEO of ClearCube Technologies and in senior leadership positions at Dell, Adaptec, and SCI Sanmina. Randy continues to be instrumental in company growth, taking SparkCognition from startup to setting the gold standard in big data, natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence “AI” algorithms. His overall responsibilities at SparkCognition include operations, finance, HR, driving strategic execution, and creating best practices of company processes and services.
Executive VP, Strategy
Dr. David Asher leads SparkCognition’s strategic initiatives to apply its artificial intelligence capabilities above and beyond its core industrial business, including in financial services and government. Over the last twenty five years David has worked for and advised several of the world’s largest and most successful hedge funds on macro strategy, technology, and market intelligence, focused on Asia and Japan. He also has served in and advised numerous Departments and Agencies of the US government on counter threat finance programs, platforms, initiatives, and operations, many of which he personally spearheaded. Separate from SparkCognition, David is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for New American Security and a partner with Vital Venture Capital.
Major General (Ret.) Kenneth W. Wisian, Ph.D.
Chief Architect, Defense
Ken Wisian brings decades of military and government experience to bear on defense and aviation issues and applications. He has published dozens of papers and presented on topics from geophysics to military affairs and space exploration. Dr. Wisian served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for 33 years, retiring in 2015 at the rank of Major General. General Wisian accumulated 3,800+ flying hours in all types of aircraft, mostly B-52s, C-130s, and Special Mission aircraft. General Wisian holds a Ph.D. in geophysics from SMU, is a graduate of the Air Force Test Pilot School and Army War College, and has combat time in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans.
VP, Market Development
Usman Shuja holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Usman brings over a decade of sales, strategy and leadership experience from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), IBM, Dell, and a tech startup. Usman currently serves on advisory boards for HotelKey and the US chapter of the International Cricket Council (ICC). He is responsible for revenue, marketing and strategic partnerships at SparkCognition.
Randy Groves is an experienced technical executive, having held C-level and VP positions at some of the most prestigious technology companies in the world including IBM and Dell. Randy holds a Masters of Electrical Engineering from University of Texas at Austin, a Masters, Management of Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University.
Paulo Pereira serves as Vice-President of Sales. He has been doing Sales and Business Development for 15 years, including the role of Director, Energy Segment Americas, and later as the Regional Sales Director for Canada and Latin America, leading a team of regional professionals in areas of sales, engineering, operations and marketing.
Paulo is a native of Brazil and citizen of the United States of America. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Mauá Institute of Technology-IMT in Sao Caetano do Sul, Brazil. He is an author of technical text book titled Practical Solutions for Instrumentation and Automation published in 2005 in Brazil.
VP, Oil & Gas Solutions
Previously Philippe Herve was the CEO at Secure-NOK, a cybersecurity company. He is experienced in oilfield service, marketing, downhole technology, and customer relations. Prior to that Mr. Herve was the business development manager at APS Technologies where he was validating and positioning a new line of drilling products focused on drilling optimization. He was also the Director of Technical Applications at Select Energy Services and President of Predator Technologies, an oilfield services company from 2005 to 2006. Before that, Mr. Herve was with Schlumberger for 22 years during which he held management positions worldwide including at head quarter level, his expertise in technical management drove him to the worldwide technical manager position where he became a thought after leader in asset management and maintenance optimization.
VP, Customer Success and Partnerships
Sumant Kawale holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, where he was a Fellow of the Center for Global Business and Government, an MSEE from Drexel University, and a BSEE from University of Mumbai. Sumant has held leadership roles in the semiconductor and mobile communication industries, and most recently served as Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Sumant is responsible for channel partnerships, customer delivery and market strategy at SparkCognition.
Senior Director, Customer Success and Partnerships
Stuart Gillen’s specialties include IoT architectures, platforms, and technologies. Stuart earned his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and M.B.A from Kansas State University, and went on to work for National Instruments as their Condition Monitoring Business Owner. Stuart is responsible for driving business engagements, partner development, marketing activities, and go-to market strategy at SparkCognition.
John King drives the development and execution of SparkCognition’s external affairs, including marketing, communications, public affairs, and media strategy. Prior to joining SparkCognition, John served as the Director of Clean Energy and Power Technology at the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, where he led collaborative efforts with the region’s clean energy industry stakeholders in building Austin’s clean energy economy. A third generation Austinite, John has been recognized for his industry and community leadership by the Austin Business Journal’s 2013 “Who’s Who in Energy” List, and by the Young Men’s Business League and Young Woman’s Alliance as the 2013 Austin Under 40 Awardee for Science and Technology. John is an Advisory Board Member for SXSW Eco, and he has served as Chair of the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce (AYC), Vice Chair of CleanTX, as a Board Director for Pecan Street Inc., and as the Chair of the City of Austin’s Economic Prosperity Commission.
Manoj Saxena serves on SparkCognition’s Board as Chairman. Manoj is a serial entrepreneur, innovator, and racing enthusiast with a passion for moving fast and building outstanding companies. Between 1998-2006, Manoj founded and served as CEO of two successful venture-funded software startups (acquired by IBM and CommerceOne). He later served as General Manager at IBM Watson (2011-2014), where his team built the world’s first cognitive systems in healthcare, financial services, and retail. In addition to his role at SparkCognition, Manoj is currently a founding partner of The Entrepreneurs’ Fund IV.
General John R. Allen, US Marine Corps (retd.)
CEO Amir Husain founded SparkCognition with the desire to build a company that would be at the forefront of the “AI 3.0” revolution. An undisputed tech leader in Austin and in the industry at large, Amir built multiple venture-funded startups between 1999 and 2009, at which point he took over as President and CEO of VDIworks. For his inventions, Amir has been awarded 14 US patents and has over 40 pending patent applications. He serves as advisor and board member to several major institutions, including IBM Watson, University of Texas Department of Computer Science, Makerarm, ClearCube Technology, uStudio and others; and his work has been published in leading tech journals, including Network World, IT Today, and Computer World. In 2015, Amir was named Austin’s Top Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.
Dr. Tom Bradicich
VP Server R&D, HP & Former IBM Fellow
Founder of Techworks, SiteControls/SureGrid
Former VP of BD for Broadcast.com, Yahoo
Prof. Bruce Porter
Chair UT Austin Computer Science, AI Faculty