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Summary:

We’re kicking off a new video series in which we talk to startups and entrepreneurs with a unique view of technology and its impact. Our first conversation is with Lukas Biewald, co-founder of crowd-sourcing labor platform, CrowdFlower, which aims to redefine the future of work.

Lukas Biewald, while he was working for search startup, Powerset, which was eventually acquired by Microsoft, came up with an idea that eventually became the basis of the company he co-founded: CrowdFlower. The idea was the result of his need to get help doing mundane tasks. Inspired by Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, he left Powerset, and along with Chris Van Pelt (now CrowdFlower’s CTO) set up shop in San Francisco’s Mission District and developed a platform that allows companies to tap into labor on demand.

Think of it as putting crowd-sourcing to work for large companies. CrowdFlower has raised $6 million in funding from Trinity Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and angels such as Travis Kalanick and Manu Kumar, and now counts some of the largest corporations among its clients. It even sends work to refugee camps around the world, thanks to a partnership with SamaSource, a not for profit group. “What we have done is turned an unreliable workforce into a reliable work force, based on our platform,” said Biewald in a conversation earlier this week in our office. The company uses machine learning to make intelligent decisions.

You can watch our conversation with Biewald below. It’s the first of many Startup Sessions I’m planning to record with startups and entrepreneurs that have an interesting and unique view of technology and its impact. Their inclusion in this series means that I am deeply interested in such people and their work.

  1. Just a heads up your linking to “CloudFlower.com”; not “CrowdFlower.com”.

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    1. Yeah, unfortunate mix-up thanks to me rushing through things. The damn names of startups are beginning to merge and causing mistakes. Sorry about that. fixed it.

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  2. WHO IS JILL RANDOLPH-SIKKING – a facebook page???

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  3. after the crowdflower video i clicked on the one w/kicklabs. tried to find the article related to this and it doesn’t seen to exist. tried to share that video on facebook and it keeps pointing crowdflower one. did a search on google and gigaom and it’s like it doesn’t exist. seems like the implementation of additional videos linked to a story has much to be desired ;)

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