Seattle startup vets who founded Urbanspoon, Crowd Cow, Algorithmia lead stealthy AI startup
From left: Joe Heitzeberg, Nathan Kriege, Adam Doppelt, and Brian Fioca. (Blueprint AI Photo)
A group of longtime Seattle startup vets are behind a new artificial intelligence platform called Blueprint AI that streamlines task management and facilitates communication within product development teams. The company has been in stealth mode since launching in December but revealed some details to GeekWire this week.
The startup is led by Adam Doppelt, Brian Fioca, Joe Heitzeberg, Nathan Kriege, and Diego Oppenheimer. Doppelt, Heitzeberg, and Kriege are the founders; Fioca is founding engineer; and Oppenheimer is founding investor.
Doppelt co-founded restaurant review site Urbanspoon, which sold to Zomato; vacation rental startup Dwellable, which sold to HomeAway; and TV app Strangeberry, which sold to TiVo. More recently he co-founded and led Fresh Chalk, a platform for local business information.
Fioca founded Seattle startup RescueTime and led engineering teams at Glowforge and Crowd Cow, an online marketplace for meat and seafood. He was a founding partner at startup studio Madrona Venture Labs.
Heitzeberg, who leads Blueprint as CEO, co-founded and led Crowd Cow as CEO for nearly eight years. He also led Snapvine, acquired by Whitepages, and MediaPiston, acquired by UpWork. He was co-founder and president of Madrona Venture Labs.
Kriege co-founded Fresh Chalk and Dwellable with Doppelt, and co-founded Snapvine with Heitzeberg. He left Fresh Chalk in April.
Oppenheimer co-founded Seattle machine learning startup Algorithmia, which was acquired by DataRobot in July 2021. He is now partner and CEO-in residence-at venture capital firm and incubator Factory. He is Blueprint’s interim head of product.
Blueprint uses “AI agents” to automate time-consuming tasks, provide actionable insights, and assist with decision-making for product development. It creates status reports, release notes, and other updates. It scans past contributions on software development platforms like GitHub, distilling insights and summaries into natural language. The software integrates with tools developer teams are already using.
The motivation to start the company came from the founders’ collective experiences in the software industry.
“Product development teams often struggle with communication and coordination as complexity grows,” Heitzeberg told GeekWire. “We realized that there was a solution to help teams focus on the creative aspects of product development.”
There are a number of tools in the market that address specific aspects of product development including Jira, Notion, Github, Trello, and others. Blueprint AI differentiates by taking an AI-first approach and working across multiple tools to help users make smarter decisions, Heitzeberg said.
“Our long-term vision for Blueprint AI is to enable companies to innovate faster and build better software with more leverage,” he said. “We aim to become an indispensable tool for product development teams everywhere.”
Blueprint can create summaries of new project changes with popular open-source repositories including Auto-GPT, LangChain, BabyAGI, GuardrailsAI, and LlamaIndex.
A few organizations are currently testing an early access version of a private enterprise edition of the platform, Heitzeberg said.
Blueprint is among a bevy of companies tapping into advancements of AI to automate mundane tasks. Heitzeberg thinks of Blueprint as a “foundation model” AI company more so than “generative AI.” “We are embracing and building on those types of systems to model human inference and perform process automation,” he said.
Blueprint raised a pre-seed round back in December, but the company declined to disclose specifics on funding amount and backers.