Keeping it in the family: Love for technology and business compels US couple to make UAE their home

Their innate love for technology and business and the UAE's innovative business initiatives compel US couple to make the country their home

By Sandhya D'Mello

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Michael Stattelman and Bobbi Stattelman. Photos by Shihab
Michael Stattelman and Bobbi Stattelman. Photos by Shihab

Published: Wed 10 Apr 2024, 5:11 PM

Last updated: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 4:10 PM

In a world driven by innovation and technological advancement, the dynamic duo of Michael and Bobbi Stattelman stands out as pioneers in the realm of artificial intelligence. With a shared passion for pushing boundaries and reshaping industries, this enterprising couple has established Falcons.AI, a cutting-edge technology company based in Ras Al Khaimah.

Through their relentless dedication and unwavering vision, they are revolutionising the landscape of business by harnessing the power of AI to enhance human experiences by improving speed, precision and effectiveness of cognition and computing.

Michael, a seasoned tech evangelist and the CTO of Falcons.AI, brings over two decades of expertise in delivering groundbreaking solutions across various sectors such as Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, and Computer Vision. He has delivered over 50 unique AI solutions and his models have been downloaded more than 1 million times on Hugging Face.

Bobbi, the CEO, who also holds an MBA degree from HEC Paris Business School, combines her financial acumen with a profound understanding of data to drive enterprise-class innovations. Together, they epitomise the spirit of collaboration and innovation, captivating audiences with their teamwork and transformative endeavours.

Bobbi recalls how the couple met at their workplace, and the foundation of a lifetime's partnership was set up.

“We met at work in a software development department of a large financial corporation in the United States. We shared a love of technology and business and decided to pursue our own venture. Michael is very strong in technology, and I am strong in business. So while there is overlap in a new company, those are the areas we each focus on the most,” said Bobbi.

Early foundations

The couple shares how they spotted an entrepreneurial streak in their respective childhoods which evolved into a business today. “We both have always been entrepreneurial. I was making and selling things when I was in primary school and have started and run other businesses as a young adult, and have always been interested in business processes, optimisation and finance,” said Bobbi.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Michael adds: “I too started and ran several businesses by the time I was in my 20s. I have always been interested in how things work and started inventing things as a child. I hold several patents and copyrights.”

Stressing how finding the right mentor is crucial for business success, Michael shares how his grandfather shaped his entrepreneurial skills. “My grandfather’s guidance taught me the importance of self-reliance and initiative. Under his mentorship, I learned to navigate the complexities of patent filings and pitch my business ideas to top executives of Fortune 500 companies. His inspiration not only imparted practical skills but also instilled in me the confidence to pursue ambitious goals. This highlights how a mentor's influence can shape an individual's entrepreneurial journey, emphasising the profound impact of mentorship on business success.”

When the UAE became home

The Stattelman couple arrived in the UAE in 2021 and set-up their company shortly after in 2022.

“We had originally learned about the amazing pace of innovation happening in the UAE in 2020 and had planned to come then, but had to put our plans on-hold during the pandemic. As soon as Dubai began to open up, we made the move,” said Michael.

The UAE's AI community is rapidly expanding, fuelled by government support; a favourable business environment; and a growing pool of talent. With a focus on innovation and technology, the UAE's AI community is poised for significant growth and has the potential to drive transformative change across industries.

“The government here has done a phenomenal job fostering a culture and environment for entrepreneurship. We started Falcons.AI based on this and have been able to quickly become integrated with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community here in the UAE. The culture is very open and collaborative,” concludes Michael.

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