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B2B AI Startup CEOs to Watch in the U.S. in 2024

The B2B AI market is witnessing swift expansion. According to forecasts, around $87 billion in opportunities are projected to emerge in the AI sector for B2B companies this year, with expectations to grow to $407 billion by the end of 2027.

As artificial intelligence continues to revolutionize industries, a new wave of innovative B2B AI startups is emerging, led by visionary CEOs who are shaping the future of enterprise technology. These leaders are at the forefront of developing cutting-edge AI solutions that address critical business challenges across various sectors.

The B2B AI market is witnessing swift expansion. According to forecasts, around $87 billion in opportunities are projected to emerge in the AI sector for B2B companies this year, with expectations to grow to $407 billion by the end of 2027.

Here are B2B AI startup CEOs to watch in the U.S. in 2024:

Dario Amodei: Anthropic

Dario Amodei is a prominent figure in the field of artificial intelligence, known for his significant contributions to AI research and development. He is the co-founder and CEO of Anthropic, a public benefit corporation dedicated to building reliable, interpretable, and steerable AI systems. Prior to founding Anthropic in 2021, Amodei served as the Vice President of Research at OpenAI, where he played a crucial role in developing the GPT-2 and GPT-3 language models. With a PhD in physics from Princeton University, Amodei has a diverse background that includes work at Google Brain and Baidu. Under his leadership, Anthropic has developed the Claude AI series and has become a key player in the ongoing efforts to ensure the responsible development of advanced AI technologies.

Sean White: Inflection AI

Sean White is the newly appointed CEO of Inflection AI, a company specializing in developing custom generative AI models for commercial use. Before joining Inflection AI, White held significant roles in technology and research, including Chief R&D Officer at Mozilla and co-founder of BrightSky Labs. Under his leadership, Inflection AI has pivoted towards an “AI studio” model, focusing on creating empathetic AI solutions for businesses, such as customer support agents and internal assistance bots. White’s extensive background in user experience and emerging technologies positions him to guide Inflection AI in leveraging its advanced AI capabilities to serve a broader commercial market.

Alex Schmelkin: Sixfold

Alex Schmelkin is the Founder and CEO of Sixfold, a company focused on enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of insurance underwriting through advanced AI solutions. With over 25 years of experience in financial services and e-commerce, Schmelkin has a strong background in technology and innovation. Prior to founding Sixfold, he was a founding member of Unqork and the founder and CEO of Cake & Arrow. Under his leadership, Sixfold aims to transform the underwriting process by increasing capacity, improving traceability, and enhancing the overall quality of life for underwriters, ultimately leading to better products for end customers.

Kanjun Qiu: Imbue

Kanjun Qiu is the co-founder and CEO of Imbue, an AI research company focused on developing advanced AI agents capable of reasoning and coding. With a background in computer science from MIT and experience in high-frequency trading algorithms, Qiu has positioned Imbue at the forefront of AI innovation. The company, which rebranded from Generally Intelligent, has raised $200 million in Series B funding at a valuation exceeding $1 billion. Under Qiu’s leadership, Imbue aims to create AI systems that can safely assist humans in various tasks, emphasizing the importance of AI safety and ethical development. Qiu’s vision for Imbue includes advancing AI from its current “Web 1.0” stage to more sophisticated, agentive AI that can take action on behalf of humans while maintaining trustworthiness and safety.

David Luan: Adept AI

David Luan is the co-founder and CEO of Adept AI, a company focused on developing advanced AI agents to work alongside humans in various professions. With an impressive background in AI research and development, Luan previously served as VP of Engineering at OpenAI and led large model initiatives at Google Brain. Under his leadership, Adept AI aims to create AI systems that can understand and execute complex tasks across different software platforms, essentially functioning as an AI teammate for users. The company has raised significant funding, including a $350 million Series B round, and has formed strategic partnerships with major tech companies. Luan’s vision for Adept involves building AI that enhances human capabilities rather than replacing them, with a focus on creating intuitive, human-centric AI interfaces. 

Munjal Shah: Hippocratic AI

Munjal Shah is the co-founder and CEO of Hippocratic AI, a startup focused on developing safety-oriented large language models for healthcare applications. With a strong background in artificial intelligence and entrepreneurship, Shah has previously founded successful companies acquired by tech giants like Google and Alibaba. Hippocratic AI, which recently raised $53 million in Series A funding at a $500 million valuation, aims to improve healthcare access, equity, and outcomes through generative AI. Under Shah’s leadership, the company is partnering with organizations like Nvidia to build more empathetic healthcare AI agents and is beta-testing its technology with institutions such as the University of Vermont.

Manu Sharma: LabelBox

Manu Sharma is the co-founder and CEO of Labelbox, a company that provides a training data platform for AI teams. With a background in aerospace engineering and experience in computer vision at companies like Planet Labs and DroneDeploy, Sharma founded Labelbox in 2018 to address the data bottleneck in AI development. Under his leadership, Labelbox has developed tools and workflows that enable efficient creation, management, and iteration of training data for machine learning models. The company’s platform incorporates innovative techniques such as model-assisted labeling and active learning to significantly reduce labeling costs and improve AI model performance. Labelbox has secured over $180 million in venture capital funding and serves clients across various industries, including agriculture, robotics, healthcare, and defense.

Stephen Balaban: Lambda

Stephen Balaban is the co-founder and CEO of Lambda, a company specializing in AI infrastructure and GPU cloud services. Founded in 2012, Lambda offers one of the world’s most cost-effective GPU cloud platforms, providing high-performance computing resources for AI training and inference at competitive prices. Balaban, who holds a degree in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Michigan, previously worked at Perceptio, where he developed deep neural networks for face recognition, a company later acquired by Apple. Under his leadership, Lambda has grown significantly, securing substantial funding and serving prominent clients like Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. Balaban’s vision for Lambda focuses on making advanced AI tools accessible and affordable, driving innovation in AI research and development.

Douwe Kiela: Contextual AI

Douwe Kiela is the co-founder and CEO of Contextual AI, a company focused on developing advanced language models for enterprise applications. With a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, Kiela has an extensive background in AI research, including roles at Facebook AI Research and as Head of Research at Hugging Face. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University. Kiela is known for his work on Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), which he developed while at Facebook. Under his leadership, Contextual AI aims to create more reliable, efficient, and privacy-preserving AI systems for businesses, addressing common issues like hallucinations, data privacy, and cost-effectiveness in language models. The company’s approach focuses on improving RAG technology to overcome limitations in current enterprise AI solutions.

Amber Nigam:

Amber Nigam is the co-founder and CEO of, a startup focused on improving healthcare efficiency through AI-powered prior authorization and utilization management solutions. With over a decade of experience in healthcare and AI, Nigam holds a master’s degree in Health Data Science from Harvard University. Under his leadership, has developed an advanced policy engine that automates up to 85% of prior authorization decisions with 98% clinical accuracy. Nigam’s work has been recognized with awards such as the 40 under 40 Health Catalyst Award from the Boston Congress of Public Health and the Cheng’s Fellowship from Harvard Kennedy School. He is also a Forbes contributor on healthcare technology and policy, and actively mentors startups in the Techstars, MIT, and Harvard ecosystems.

Gavin Uberti : Etched

Gavin Uberti is the co-founder and CEO of Etched, a startup focused on developing specialized AI chips for large language models. A Harvard dropout, Uberti founded Etched in 2022 to create more efficient and cost-effective alternatives to general-purpose GPUs for AI computing. Under his leadership, Etched has raised significant funding, including a $120 million round, to develop their revolutionary Sohu chip, which aims to dramatically improve performance and reduce costs in AI model training and deployment. Uberti’s vision for Etched involves creating custom AI chips that could potentially reshape the AI hardware landscape, challenging industry giants like Nvidia. With a background in software engineering and a track record of academic excellence, Uberti is positioning Etched at the forefront of the AI chip revolution, focusing on speed, efficiency, and specialized architecture for transformer models.

David Ferrucci: Elemental Cognition

David Ferrucci is the founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist of Elemental Cognition, an AI company focused on developing advanced natural language understanding and reasoning systems. Ferrucci is best known for leading the IBM team that created Watson, the AI system that famously won on Jeopardy! in 2011. With a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Ferrucci has over 25 years of experience in AI research. Founded in 2015, Elemental Cognition aims to create AI that can engage in thoughtful processing and reasoning before communicating, combining machine learning with logical reasoning. 

Miho Shoji: Moodbit

Miho Shoji is the co-founder and CEO of Moodbit, an innovative HR tech startup focused on measuring and improving employee morale and productivity through real-time emotion tracking. Born in Bolivia and having lived in Chile before moving to New York City, Shoji’s diverse background has shaped her understanding of how emotions impact workplace dynamics. Under her leadership, Moodbit has developed a platform that provides real-time mood indicators and suggests weekly actions to enhance employee well-being, engagement, and productivity. Shoji’s work has gained recognition in the tech industry, with features in publications like Forbes. As a female founder in the male-dominated tech sector, she brings a unique perspective to HR innovation, leveraging her experience in HR and communications to drive forward-thinking solutions in organizational enhancement.

Laxman Papineni: Outplay

Laxman Papineni is the co-founder and CEO of Outplay, a sales engagement platform designed to streamline and enhance sales processes for modern teams. With a background as a serial entrepreneur, Papineni has previously founded successful ventures like AppVirality and GrowthScore. Under his leadership, Outplay offers an all-in-one sales stack that includes tools for sales prospecting, multi-channel engagement, inbound conversion, scheduling, and conversational intelligence. The platform aims to replace multiple point solutions, providing a comprehensive and efficient approach to sales automation. Papineni’s vision for Outplay is to empower sales teams to accelerate deal closures and drive revenue growth through powerful, personalized outreach and advanced AI features.

René Morkos: ALICE Technologies Inc.

René Morkos is the founder and CEO of ALICE Technologies Inc., a company that developed the world’s first Generative Construction Simulator and Optimizer. With a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence applications for construction from Stanford University, where he also serves as an adjunct professor, Morkos brings over 15 years of diverse construction experience to his role. ALICE Technologies, founded in 2015, aims to reduce global construction costs by 25% through its AI-powered construction simulation platform. Under Morkos’ leadership, the company has raised significant funding and works with major contractors to optimize construction planning and execution. Morkos’ background includes project management in challenging environments like Afghanistan and underwater pipeline construction, contributing to his unique perspective on construction innovation. 

Etienne Bernard: NuMind

Etienne Bernard is the co-founder and CEO of NuMind, a software company developing machine learning tools and applications. With a Ph.D. in statistical physics from École normale supérieure and postdoctoral experience at MIT, Bernard brings extensive expertise in AI and machine learning to his role. Prior to founding NuMind in 2022, he spent seven years as the head of machine learning at Wolfram Research, where he led the development of automatic learning tools and user-friendly deep learning frameworks. NuMind aims to simplify the creation of custom NLP models, making AI more accessible to data scientists, analysts, and software engineers. Under Bernard’s leadership, NuMind leverages large language models to enable users to complete NLP projects significantly faster than traditional methods. 

Picture of Mansi Singh
Mansi Singh
Mansi is an Associate Content Strategist. She holds interest that centers around use of Gen AI in enhancing daily lives and she is dedicated to exploring the latest trends and tools in AI. She can be reached at
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