Digie’s founding team members and advisors have worked together on numerous endeavors over the past 27 years, creating businesses with successful exits, ongoing businesses, and digital platforms for enterprise clients. We value and leverage our long-term working relationships and consider them a competitive advantage.
Founder, CEO and Chief Architect
James serves as CEO and Chief Architect, having designed Digie's innovative AI technology and led the system implementation prior to forming Digie Inc.
He has over 27 years of leadership in applied AI, knowledge systems architecture and UX design. In the early 90's, James was Architect and Product Manager of the first intelligent assistant for the Apple platform called Open Sesame. As Senior Scientist at Charles River Analytics, he served as Principal Investigator and has more than 15 publications on the hybrid integration of neural networks and expert systems. Later, he served as Director of R&D for KnowledgePlanet, Director of Dev for MediaMap, VP of Software Dev & Consulting for Athenium Inc., and Founder/CEO of Aminda LLC where he developed a proprietary rule-based equity trading system, designed a patented trading platform for Fidelity, and enterprise knowledge systems for MassMutual, Goldman Sachs, Moody's, Morgan Stanley and Lazard.
James has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from UMass Amherst, and in 1996 became a Candidate for Eng.D. at UMass Lowell with a focus on engineering leadership and artificial intelligence.
VP Design - AI Strategy and User Experience
René is responsible for the strategic design of Digie’s total Personal AI experience, involving the merging of conversational AI capabilities with Lean UX practices to influence and shape the consumer’s experience of having a trusted Personal AI.
He has over 19 years of experience in AI, UX, and product design. In the late 90’s René worked on NLP and Computational Linguistics at the speech recognition firm Lernout and Hauspie (which acquired Kurzweil Applied Intelligence and Dragon Speech Systems). He conducted AI research and Human Factors Engineering for a NIST-funded project which produced the “Physician’s Assistant for Continuous Transcription” (PHACTS) speech recognition system for Radiologists, integrating speech recognition, structured reporting, and dynamic text tagging for semantic queries.
Expanding his independent practice to include UX consulting in financial services, he designed digital platforms for Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Upromise, Jackson National Life and Moody’s. René has a B.A. with a dual major in Bio-psychology and Cognitive Science (with a track in Artificial Intelligence), an M.A. in Computer Science from Brandeis University (with a dual focus in both Artificial Intelligence and Human Computer Interaction) and a Ph.D. in Psychology with a focus in Human Computer Interaction.
VP Products - Strategy and Development
Michael is responsible for strategy and implementation of Digie's MVP, leading the software development team, and establishing strategic business partnerships.
He has over 24 years of experience building and leading technical organizations, including 13 years as a technical founding member of Viisage which had its IPO in 1996, and was renamed to L-1 Identity Solutions in 2006, where he later served as VP Engineering for their Secure Credentialing Division. In addition to full product life-cycle and software development leadership, his expertise includes machine learning, fingerprint and facial recognition, security and identification, and large scale database mining. Mike also served as Chief of Technology and Program Delivery for MorphoTrust, and most recently as VP Products for Authentix where he commercialized product and solution offerings that apply machine learning to brand identity tracking and business insights.
Michael is the recipient of Journal of New England Technology’s 2001 Mass High Tech All Star Award for Software, in recognition of his widely deployed Facial Recognition product for large scale enterprise database mining (FaceEXPLORER). Michael is a graduate of GE's distinguished Edison Engineering Program and was honored as a GE RAVE Award recipient, with an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University in 1992, and a B.S.E.E. in 1989 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Software Engineer, Messaging & Mobile
Zoaib is part of Digie's Techlogix offshore development team, located in Lahore, Pakistan. Techlogix provides technology development teams that address the full product lifecycle including conceptualization, detailing of functional specifications, software development, testing and verification, release management, product maintenance and support activities. They specialize in design and development of cloud and mobile applications, and have expertise in AI and Big-Data platforms such as IBM Watson, Google Analytics, AWS, and MS Azure.
Dr. Alper K. Caglayan serves as a senior advisor for Digie Inc., providing guidance with strategic goals, financing efforts, business planning, product direction, and marketing and sales efforts.
Dr. Caglayan is a serial entrepreneur having founded multiple bootstrapped, spinoff, rollup, and venture backed information technology companies. Most recently, Dr. Caglayan was the CEO of Milcord that built the semantic knowledge management system MARCIMS (Marine Civil Information Management System). Milcord has recently been acquired by Aptima Corporation. Before cofounding Milcord, Alper was the CEO of Peoplestreet – a venture backed professional social network startup. Previously, Alper was the Chief Strategy Officer of Bowne Internet Solutions, an Internet consulting and development company now part of Lionbridge, and CEO of Open Sesame, the first user profiling and personalization company now part of Adobe Corporation. Previously, Dr. Caglayan was a co-founder and President of Charles River Analytics, an R&D company in intelligent systems technology. Earlier, Dr. Caglayan has held Senior Scientist position at BBN and Research Scientist position at NASA Langley Research Center.
Dr. Caglayan holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech, as well as a B.S. from Robert College. Dr. Caglayan is the principal author of Agent Sourcebook published by John Wiley Computing, has contributed to several books, and over 100 articles on applied artificial intelligence, semantic knowledge management and machine learning, and directed several DoD R&D projects including semantic knowledge management for USMC Marine Civil Information Management System (MARCIMS) now used globally by the Marine Corps and its partners in disaster response and humanitarian assistance missions and ISAF Joint Command Social Network Analysis Reachback Capability (SNARC). Dr. Caglayan is a member of the University of New England Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences. Alper serves on the Board of greenGoat – a non for profit organization dedicated to recycling of building materials.
Advisor, Business Strategy & Finance
Stephen is responsible for advising on business strategy for Digie Inc., as well as conducting competitive analysis, financial modeling, and funding strategies.
A Connecticut entrepreneur and graduate of Suffield Academy and Babson College, Stephen founded Expense Consulting, Ltd. in 2009, which became a recognized leader in cost reduction and has helped numerous organizations realize substantial savings. Stephen was recognized by the Hartford Business Journal in 2014 as a 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a graduate of the Goldman Sachs Small Business program for growth driven entrepreneurs. Stephen is on the board of directors of the Playhouse on Park, advisor to A Better World: The Adoption Connection and is a member of MetroHartford Alliance.