Angel Investor, Start-up Entrepreneur, Crowdsourcing-Expert, Artificial Intelligence

Simon Schneider spent his entire life dreaming and then tackling the world’s biggest problems by building communities and platforms connecting people in order to solve them together.

  • Making the world a safer place with our $500K Global Security Challenge together with the US DoD
  • Making people walk again after spinal cord injuries together with the Sam Schmidt Foundation at InnoCentive
  • Crowdsourcing data to eradicate cancer with our CancerBase platform, part of the White House’s Cancer Moonshot initiative
  • Replacing the outdated and error prone resume, incepted 1482 by Leonardo da Vinci with an online footprint aggregator Zyncd.
  • And now… Simon Schneider is retiring Henry Ford’s conveyer belt system, invented over 100 years ago. “Our goal is a totally new kind of factory where manufacturing mirrors how software is developed: fast, agile and data driven. We don’t create this AI-factory alone, but together with a global community of engineers, startups and scientists in a fully open way.”

Making the world a safer place

Simon’s first job out of college was at IBM, implementing biometric technologies at airports after 9-11 in New York. However, Simon Schneider never understood the premise of why it was deemed impossible for airports, security agencies and online merchants to tap into the ingenious crowd of security innovators worldwide to better protect themselves from increasing security threats. Hence, he setup a competition “Global Security Challenge” during his MBA at London Business School to find the best security technologies that would have prevented the London tube bombings the year before. The United States Department of Defense immediately backed this venture with significant resources and OmniCompete grew to host open innovation competitions to solve R&D challenges for enterprises like BAE Systems, HP and Barclays and government entities (EU Commission, MI6). Having grown his startup into Europe’s largest Open-Innovation platform for technology challenges his firm was successfully acquired by InnoCentive in the USA in 2012.

Making people walk again

During his time at InnoCentive, Simon met the leaders of the Sam Schmidt Foundation whose founder’s dream was to walk again after a car accident that left him paralyzed. Setting up a private-government consortium, Simon Schneider designed their $10M Spinal Cord Injury Prize. While the final prize has never been claimed, it played a tiny role in energizing the scientific community, which has achieved amazing breakthroughs since then.
A world without cancer
In 2016, Simon Schneider was approached by the White House to help Vice-President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, which has the goal to eradicate cancer within the next decade. Together with leading cancer researchers from Stanford and UCLA he built an open platform for patients, called CancerBase, where patients upload their medical information and share it for further research. Against the stated opinion of the entire science community, he started with the (correct) belief that cancer patients would actually share everything for the small chance to advance medicine for themselves and fellow patients.

Replacing the outdated resume from 1482

Leonardo da Vinci is widely credited to have written the first resume in order to land a job with the regent in Milan. While a great invention over 500 years ago, Simon Schneider was often frustrated when hiring staff as their CVs and resumes where full of errors and exaggerations. The question of why the world is still using such an outdated method for hiring led to his idea of creating a better, online driven resume.
By collecting the digital footprints of professionals, his startup Zyncd aimed to better detect their real backgrounds, achievements and soft skills. Zyncd didn’t collect these signals against people’s will but rather invited professionals to collect their online footprint in this place for the most accurate reflection of their skills. The company was acquired in 2017 by Capacity in the USA.

Retiring Henry Ford’s conveyer belt
Factories today still use the conveyer belt system invented by Henry Ford over 100 years ago for his famous Model-T. But that rigid system often takes months for implementing new changes into the end-product. Simon Schneider is currently building an open community for TRA Robotics to create the AI factory of the future that is going to produce hardware products like we already develop software.

“You have to suspend reality in order to solve the biggest problems in the world.”

Simon Schneider holds an MBA from London Business School. He serves on the Boards of 42AI and Language-On-Stage in the UK. He resides in Munich together with his Italian wife and their two young boys.