It’s a rare moment when a person’s experience aligns perfectly with an opportunity, but that’s exactly how Robbie Allen felt coming onboard as CEO of Infinia ML. Robbie was working on his Ph.D. in computer science and teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when he met Dr. Lawrence Carin, Infinia ML’s Chief Scientist, to discuss working together. Robbie understood the potential of machine learning – even if academic research stopped today, there would still be a ten-year backlog of ML implementations in the business world. With the caliber of talent Infinia ML had assembled, it was clear the company can reshape how businesses and industries operate today.
The perfect opportunity also requires the right individual to unlock its potential, and Robbie checked those critical boxes. Cutting his teeth at Cisco, he became a Distinguished Engineer before returning to school, earning two Master’s degrees at MIT. He went on to start his first AI company, Automated Insights, which was successfully acquired by Vista Equity Partners under his leadership.
During his tenure at Automated Insights, Robbie was a culture builder: Automated Insights was named Best Place to Work in Research Triangle Park for four years in a row during his tenure. But to Robbie, this is just common sense –a culture where people are happy and want to come to work helps the company be more successful.
In addition to his duties as CEO of Infinia ML, Robbie is an advisor for multiple startups and occasionally teaches at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. He’s a huge UNC sports fan, but his number one focus is training the next generation of coders and computer scientists – including his daughter and son. Robbie is also a prolific blogger, offering his insights into AI/ML and entrepreneurship.