Episode 91: Ozan Bilgen – His Story, Solving a Big Problem with His A.I/Machine Learning Solution, The Future of A.I!

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In this episode, I’m joined by Ozan Bilgen. He is the founder & CEO of Base64.ai Inc, the fastest-growing artificial intelligence startup in New York. Like always, we first dive into his story and what his journey looked like as an entrepreneur. From Turkey to the US.. from working for Microsoft, PayPal and Uber. He’s got a fascinating story!

We talk about his business. Where did he come up with this innovative idea that leverages AI and Machine learning? How does he approach business in general? Like many of us he’s tried a lot of different things to market his business.. what has worked best for his company?

Then we land on technology. I picked his brain about where he sees AI and Machine Learning today and where we’re headed with it. Don’t miss this one.. he’s a high-caliber guest with amazing insights.

Ozan Bilgen

Ozan Bilgen is the founder & CEO of Base64.ai Inc, the fastest-growing artificial intelligence startup in New York. He's got a fascinating business story.

He is the founder & CEO of Base64.ai Inc, the fastest-growing artificial intelligence startup in New York. He built a cutting-edge AI that understands and extracts data from all types of documents. Their AI processes document much faster and more accurately than humans. Building AI models for 700+ document types that can now process documents we have never seen before!

Ozan has BSc and an MSc in software engineering. Before Base64ai, he was a software engineer and manager at Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Uber, Palantir, and Tubitak. He’s a dual citizen of the US and Turkey. An airplane pilot, avid scuba diver, and philanthropist.


  • Intro
  • His Story – how he got started.
    • Software Engineer, Masters in Computer Science
    • Originally from Turkey
    • Moved to the states 16 years ago…
      • At 25 got a job at Microsoft on the server team (azure)
      • Worked there 5 years.. amazing.
    • After, entrepreneur.. startup.
    • Worked at Netflix, Paypal, Uber ..
    • Uber – where he faced difficulties
      • Automating document processing.
      • Had to enter documentation manually ..
      • People would make mistakes .. hard to get people to call back etc..
      • No real solutions
      • Became technical lead ..
        • Leasing contracts .. checking more documents.
        • 300 people..
        • Hard to get better.. getting tired etc..
    • This lead him to working on solving this problem which lead to his current company Base64.ai.
      • Built company from the ground up..
      • Build an AI that can understand all types of documents.
      • Why all types of documents?
        • A vendor to support them for anything they need.
        • Evolving domain.. better to have one vendor.
      • Sneak peak announcement – taking humans out of the loop – SAAS service!
    • Problem with Hiring for peak volume.
  • Looping back to his past.
    • Launching into something new – identify problems and working on something you can improve.
    • What was the leap to work for yourself.
    • The Steps
      • Seeing the problem was the first step..
      • Wasn’t Ubers focus (documentation) .. wasn’t perfect, but they were doing fine.
  • Needs money to hire people .. startups
  • Seeing a problem through your experience, skills
    • Can I find a really big problem and solve it?
  • How he financed himself..
    • More than money ..
    • Thought about retiring.
    • Needing a purpose in life.
    • Teams
      • Different people and perspectives.. collaboration.
      • Further with a team.
    • Self-funded 2021
      • Q3, commercially successful..
      • Ready for fundraising..
        • Needing more developers, sales force.
  • Wanted to make what they are doing the next big thing.
    • Money in the bank account.. bigger, bolder decisions.
  • How is he attracting business?
    • Trying everything ..
    • Find gout what works and doesn’t work..
    • Inbound events.. really good.
    • Email, newsletter marketing
    • Phone calls
    • Partner channels..
  • What are events/conferences great?
    • People like to meet people and shake hands..
    • “You’re a hustler” ..
    • Google says the space is crowded.. you go to the conference, there are only a few competitors..
    • Can you walk the talk?
    • Learning how they can make an impact?
  • Talking about the technology ..
  • Where are we with AI? His perspective ..
    • His background in web development..
    • Every 10 years new things pop up.
      • Web Dev late 90s
      • 2010s Mobile dev
      • 2020s Machine Learning
        • Where the smartest kids and growth is.
    • Not playing on the fears ..
      • Will have control ..
    • GPUs today. More powerful.
    • New types of neuro-networks…
    • They don’t have to develop everything themselves from scratch.
    • Machine Learning infrastructure .. new domain, but there are products they can use.
  • Why he likes Machine Learning?
    • Mimicking humans
    • Learns and makes mistakes – how our brains work.
    • We’re building a human ..
    • In his work, an office worker.
  • Hard to tell where things will be like in 5-10 years..
    • You’ll probably be able to hire AI robots to do your jobs..
    • Comes in ready .. How many marketing people do you want? Spin it up.
  • Him now having to reinvent the wheel.. using other people’s libraries.
  • Machine Learning.. is it a mystery?
    • How it actually works..
  • What Matt finds fascinating .. Tesla cars learning on their own, updating software.
  • It’s not if, but when.. a how.
    • The speed of innovation is exponential.
    • Comparing a 100 years ago to now.
  • Nothing will stop evolution of AI/Machine learning..
    • It’s our dream.
  • How fast his own tech is learning.. AI/Machine learning and documentation.
    • The leap to it being able to handle docs it hasn’t seen before.
  • Human learning is inefficient
    • Machines can scale this up..
  • He’s actually creating a GENERAL AI for docs!! :smile:
Ozan Bilgen's quote
Matt Levenhagen
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