John Cushing, CEO, mnAI

John Cushing: Accelerating Decision Making with Data and Technology

Technology has the power to make complicated things more simplified and save the valuable time of businesses. It is possible to gain valuable insights using the statistical data and technology to make calculated business decisions. Technology enthusiasts utilize the data and technology to accelerate the speed of decision making and thereby save their valuable time. John Cushing is one such technology enthusiast who believes that it is vital for businesses to be aligned with newer technological developments to accelerate decision making. John is CEO at mnAI, a growth stage data and technology company. mnAI believes in a world where technology accelerates decision making. John’s days at the company are incredibly varied – from helping with sales through to product development, his role is to ensure that the strategic aims of the business are achieved.

Enabling Users Targeted Information More Rapidly

Like any start-up, the journey of mnAI from inception hasn’t been without its challenges. A good example would the size of the opportunity: it would have been very easy to launch both a consumer and an enterprise product but, given its resources, it needed to focus.

Today, mnAI is a platform for investors, advisors and corporates that provides information, insight, research, and due diligence on all unlisted companies in the UK. It holds 7.5bn+ data points on 7m+ UK companies, applying a wide variety of machine learning algorithms and filters which enable users to access targeted information far more rapidly than is currently possible, often completing what used to take months of work in minutes. As this award testifies, building the enterprise product was definitely the right thing to do!

Adapting to Newer Technology and Platforms

The impact of pandemic is generally positive as the pandemic forced a change in people’s perception of how to work. Companies and individuals had to adopt technologies and platforms that enabled home working and gave both easier access to information and better ways of sharing it. John opines that many Information Technology and Services rely on people to deliver, maintain, and upgrade and he can imagine that for some their experience may have been very different to that of companies like Teams or Zoom, which saw user numbers swell as a consequence of the need to be able to work collaboratively.

John believes that technology can enhance and support operations for businesses and their customers through innovation and digitization, improve their insight, accelerate growth, and reduce costs through increased efficiency.

Relentless Focus on Innovation and Excellent Customer Service

mnAI provides a single source of unified data that makes deal origination, due diligence, and customer search really easy. It has more data points, a greater level of detail as well as high speed, while its Gender Identification technology is truly unique.

mnAI is a comprehensive, easy to use, and an efficient product at a competitive price point which is backed by a relentless focus on innovation and customer service. Every detail matters, as the company puts its customers first and aim to make them happy at all times.

The work culture at mnAI reflects this mantra – being collegial, transparent, listening to each other and always trying to do the right thing. Its customers expect professionalism and integrity and so does the company.

The work is demanding but success is satisfying. mnAI encourages personal and professional development and trust its employees to do the right thing.

Actively Supporting Businesses Across the Country

On a personal level, John, and some of the senior team mentor young entrepreneurs through 1-2-1 programs, or, when asked, through visiting lecturer spots at their local college to support Business Studies students. As a business, they work with local Growth Hubs which are actively supporting businesses across the country at a very difficult time. In addition, mnAI’s technology has been adopted and endorsed by a number of leading advocates for female entrepreneurism and it helps all types of companies measure progress against a number of female initiatives including the Rose Review.

Starting any new company, whether in tech or otherwise, is tough. John says that there is already a decent amount of permanent government support through, for example, SEIS, EIS  and tech credits but there is no doubt that Covid related support through various loan schemes has been enormously helpful and any extension of those schemes would be helpful.

A Valuable Note to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

John encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to venture into IT industry. He advises them to be prepared to work harder than they ever have before. He tells them to do their due diligence on their chosen market and competitors to avoid wasting money and time. He suggests them to take advice from people more experienced than them and be prepared for set-backs!

Continuing Development of Technology and Scaling Internationally

mnAI is constantly looking for ways to improve its technology, sell its product and better serve its clients. Those have been and continue to be its priorities. As a pure tech business mnAI’s entire infrastructure is cloud based so, despite Covid restrictions, it has been able to continue the development of its technology. Recent examples include Insight, which allows customers to generate their own industry reports, and Gender Analysis – its entire dataset can now be filtered by gender which has helped make compliance with the Rose Review quick and easy. Looking ahead, mnAI is almost at the point where the platform is ready to scale internationally – a huge challenge but one