Below is the interview of our Founder, Olivia Ramos, by Startup.Miami. See the whole thing here: http://startup.miami/spotlight/deepblocks/
Tell us about you. What is your business background? What was the driving force behind you becoming an entrepreneur? Is this the first business you’ve founded?
Every entrepreneur lives with a deep sense that things can be better, faster, available, easier, scalable, sustainable and, perhaps, fair. My driving forces include the reality that our population will increase by three billion and we don’t have enough housing for the current population, that our cities are not agile enough to adapt to climate change, and that our food production is causing more harm than good.
Since graduating from the Real Estate Development masters in 2010, I have started nearly one dozen businesses or projects, mostly focused on city-related subjects. Deepblocks is the closest I have come to scalable impact.
Tell us about your company.
Working at Deepblocks is a dream. We are building a software company that changes the way we live, the way our cities grow, the way we experience our environment. We are building an AI that will have real-time knowledge of our cities’ population and socioeconomic trends, together with construction costs, zoning rules, and financial returns for existing and potential inventory. This AI will make recommendations on how to optimize our cities as they increase in density and adapt to climate change.
Why did you choose Miami to start your company?
We have amazing support from the development ecosystem. Avra Jain, for example has been a mentor since I was in graduate school. Michael Simkins, Arden Karson, Jeff Miller, and Ellie Bernstein have also been superb mentors to Deepblocks. Our company and product has been built with wonderful guidance.
As well as having a high-profile real estate sector, Miami is also at the center of the climate change conversation. As a community, we are positioned to serve as an example to other cities around the world. Deepblocks came here from Silicon Valley to combine exponential technology, real estate development, and climate change initiatives.
What is the biggest challenge that you’ve overcome since then?
Principles over personalities. At Deepblocks, no matter how talented we are, the groups is more important than any individual. We work hard and make tough corrections in order to maintain a culture we want to scale. The earlier the better.
Where do you see your company in 3 years? In 5?
We see our company helping cities around the world plan for healthy growth and higher levels of sustainability and quality of life. Our AI will be mature enough in three years to help make important decision on what, when, and where to build in order to have the lowest risks and the highest returns. And returns can be defined as monetary, but also as social or cultural.
Where do you see the future of Miami?
I see Miami moving towards a more experimental phase in response to climate change and density increase. We hope to see sustainable systems, deep technology, and IoT find a home here, find support and implementation.
Favorite local place to take visiting friends for a Miami experience?
Definitely All Day Cafe (for breakfast) and Loba (for dinner). Totally biased.