The Airts founding story is a classic tale of coder meets coder, coders go their separate ways, coders meet-up again, coders create a software company.
Andrew Bone and Alastair Andrew met at their first job out of university. As fresh-faced computer science graduates, they were working on those voice-prompted telephone systems. You know the ones, despite how loudly you spoke, they never understood what you were saying! Unsurprisingly, neither one found this particularly inspiring, so quickly moved on to new challenges.
Andrew, in his quest to get more general business experience, went to PricewaterhouseCoopers to become a Chartered Accountant. Alastair went back into academia to pursue a PhD in combinatorial optimisation, which translates as "computers intelligently solving complex planning and optimisation problems".
Despite their radically different career choices, the two remained great friends. It was over a pint several years later (in 2013) that Airts was conceived. By that stage, Andrew was working on Lean implementations at RBS and Alastair was working on fascinating research projects (but was frustrated at the lack of real-world impact his efforts were having).
So, they had an epiphany!
There is amazing optimisation research happening in academia that could help thousands of companies run their businesses better. But it wasn't being widely used because 1) most companies don’t even know what’s possible, never mind how to benefit from the technology, and 2) the academic world does not create user-friendly and supported software solutions that are accessible to these companies.
To bridge this gap, Airts was formed. And our mission to get optimisation technology out of research journals and into the hands of people who need it is well underway!
Head to our team page to see who we are.