Innovation is the generation of novel ideas that have significant value and the innovators behind them are exceptional, out-of-the-box thinkers who can pivot on a dime. They excel in forging new and unique connections between seemingly disparate problems, inquiries and concepts to create something revolutionary.
That aptly describes the creators of Tychon, a platform poised to transform advertising. Co-founders Kevin Blake-Thomas, Darwin Feveck, and Rawle Annandsingh have innovated AI-driven shoppable images that seamlessly blend products into user-generated content. This technology allows consumers to easily explore and purchase products featured almost organically in their favorite content.
But this innovation didn’t start with advertising; this innovation started with food. The team at Tychon began with food tourism. It was a natural progression with Rawle’s professional background. “I spent seven years in Florida where I attained a BBA in Tourism & Hospitality Management while working in restaurants and a 5-star resort. Then when I returned home to Trinidad and Tobago, I embarked on entrepreneurship full-time.”
Kevin adds, “Starting in 2015, we were working on a travel-foodie platform that connects food tourists with local foodies so that travelers could experience more authentic culinary adventures once they were at their destination.”
The platform’s innovation was a great success. Kevin shares, “In 2018, we were recognized as a top startup by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Subsequently, upon launch, we built a membership of just over 20,000 members across 80 countries.” Then the unthinkable happened. “Unfortunately, that was right around when the pandemic hit and we were forced to pivot as the tourism & hospitality industry was decimated.”
As with all great innovators, one idea leads to the next. That is what happened to the founders at Tychon. Kevin explains, “We had a presence across 80 different countries, 20,000 different users and a combination of waitlists and people signed up who were actively using the platform. The commonality that we saw was a strong presence of influencers, content creators and ambassador-type personalities in the food and travel space. So, given that the business could not move forward in the planned fashion due to COVID, we started looking at ways to leverage those resources.”
They re-examined the business. “We looked at our strengths, our weaknesses and how we could operate differently. We used it as a learning opportunity and we were able to continue as a team.”
The three co-founders have decades of diverse experience, including software engineering, business development, and marketing and they are Techstars Alumni. “We are building on eight years of experience together; collaborating, going through the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. We have been able to persevere and survive that; I think that’s a key factor for us.”
As they say, failures often catalyze the next great innovation. That is certainly the case for Kevin, Darwin, and Rawle. “We stumbled across an opportunity to help brands engage with their audiences differently and leverage content creators as a key aspect. So, digging into that, what did that mean? That means we saw an opportunity with images, how we could use images as a starting point for conversations between brands and consumers in a more authentic manner.”
From those examinations, the founders of Tychon identified a critical problem in digital advertising – wasted ad spend. They noted a 30% decline in ad targeting accuracy due to increased consumer privacy measures, 40 cents on the dollar in advertising wasted and 82% of consumers actively avoiding the ads. Their solution was turning those images into authentic advertising experiences, bridging the gap between brands and consumers.
Also, tychon uses AI to match products with niche creators who reach the right target audience. The result is a seamless integration of relevant virtual product placements, free from disruptive ads that drive consumers crazy.
Their track record of success is commendable. Tychon is gearing up to launch its latest AI-powered technology. They have already attracted over 800 merchants for their Q4 2023 release. In addition, they’re a Shopify Partner and developed an app specifically for Shopify Stores. Worth mentioning again is their prestigious recognition of being a Techstars portfolio company.
Innovation is the lifeblood of the fellows at Tychon. They are driven by a desire to implement novel, high-impact ideas. Be on the lookout for their latest. Their innovative spirit, that out-of-the-box, agile way of thinking, will swiftly change how B2C businesses advertise and consumers shop.