Cornell alumnus Tao Liu M.Eng. ’12 recently made the Forbes 30 Under 30 – Asia list in the Finance and Venture Capital category for founding a financial analysis startup, MioTech, with former banker Jianyu Tu.
Founded in 2016, MioTech is “an artificial intelligence platform that empowers financial institutions to better manage and draw insights on their data,” Liu told The Sun.
Although the company may not be the first to incorporate machine learning in the finance industry, “in our space, we are still an innovator,” Liu said.
MioTech draws on “cutting-edge data visualization, information retrieval and machine learning” to answer complex finance questions and has the mission of “unlocking financial intelligence,” according to Liu.
“Finance cares a lot about efficiency and cost, so new technology will definitely play a big role,” he said.
Liu said they chose to take on the Asian market because they know it better and because China, Hong Kong and Singapore were a sufficiently large market to start with. Liu hopes to bring MioTech into the U.S. market once his product is mature enough.
According to Forbes, MioTech has raised $8 million from ZhenFund and Horizon Ventures, business magnate Sir Ka-shing Li’s private investment firm.
For Liu, the most rewarding aspect of his work is making the finance industry more efficient. He said he hopes a similar technology to the one that powers his product “can help other sectors as well in the future.”
Like any entrepreneur, Liu faced challenges as he was getting his company started. The biggest problem Liu said he had was tailoring a product to a customer’s needs.
Liu described how one time MioTech worked on a project for a customer for over six weeks before finding out that the client needed something “much more simple than we thought.”
“After that, we move very carefully delivering a complex product,” Liu said.
While at Cornell, Liu said that the University provided “global insights” and a network of “top talents” and resources.
Liu’s advice for current students is to learn to program. For students not studying computer science, he suggested “learning a programming language” because “programming is becoming a basic requirement.”
For those who are computer science majors, Liu advised them to expand their horizons and explore other fields.
MioTech’s clients are expected to triple in 2018, according to Forbes. As for future plans, Liu said that the company has a broad goal of changing “how people work in the finance industry.”