Alexander appears in the Top 100
Innovators & Entrepreneurs magazine
Alexander Linn is on a mission to use artificial intelligence to help people. As the founder and CEO of Shipshape Solutions Inc., he and his team use AI to help homeowners transform their houses into safe, reliable, efficient havens through smart upgrades. Prior to starting Shipshape, he studied smart buildings, worked on new philanthropic models, and became a specialist in AI; all preparing him to build Shipshape. We asked him how it all comes together.
Why did you start Shipshape?
With the resources and technology we have nowadays, everyone should live in a home that is reliable and efficient. We should not live in a world with so much advanced technology and wealth, yet leave families struggling to keep a roof over their head. Homes today waste energy, cause financial nightmares, and even make people sick. The home is deeply emotional for people. It’s their foundation, their safe place, their steppingstone to build wealth.
I just think we could make a positive impact by helping homeowners save energy, money and time with new technologies and doing so will strengthen local economies and families.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur and innovator?
It was more like I caught a bug and couldn’t get it off my mind. I think technology needs to be used for the right things — used to make the world better. That’s the point of new products and technology, right?
I became concerned that artificial intelligence could cause some problems for us if we are not intentional about how we use it. So I wanted to design a business model that would use AI to make the world a little better and help people.
The way I see it, companies are the greatest platform for change, and I want to build a company that raises the bar for how business models can be used to do good. Not only did we design a core business model that wins when homeowners win, we created our 2-2-2 philanthropic model and the Shipshape Foundation. We set aside 2% of our equity, 2% of our product, and 2% of our time to help homeowners that need it most.
How did you get in a position to start Shipshape?
I’d say my up bringing. My mom and dad were big on community service and both of them had entrepreneurs for parents. I remember my mom taking my brothers and me at a very young age to serve homeless people.
My dad encouraged my interest in economic development, he asked me to help him develop a model to help orphans lift themselves out of poverty in Kenya. That program has helped 2,700 orphans lift themselves out of poverty so far – we thought teaching them entrepreneurship and providing a micro-grant would work but we quickly learned that they needed to have a roof over their head at home to take risks at work.
Around that same time, my dad wanted to develop technology aimed at energy efficiency in the wake of rising concerns about climate change. As an intern in college, I worked for his startup helping develop award-winning, patented technology that used artificial intelligence to reduce the energy consumption of the HVAC systems in commercial buildings.
To learn more about homes and homeowners I went into a lot of crawl spaces and attics, rode along with service pros, and installed early prototypes of shipshape in homes of all sizes and shapes.
Prior to starting Shipshape, I went to work at Salesforce to learn how Marc Benioff built such a great company. At Salesforce I helped companies determine how to use the latest technologies to operate more efficiently and deliver more value to customers. I learned from smart people and gained experience analyzing how industries are transforming in the wake of new technologies. When I left Salesforce, I was a lead solution engineer specialist on their Einstein AI & Analytics platform.
Tell us a little about you, personally.
I grew up in Alabama and Ohio. Small town kid. A lot of things didn’t go my way, but I kept a good attitude, strong values, and the determination to make an impact. I am passionately curious and believe willpower can make the difference. I exercise, eat healthy, spend quality time with friends and family, travel the world, and am an avid snowboarder, mountain biker, and hiker. Spiritual. Deep thinker. Sometimes a bit introverted but I love people, great conversations and a fun party. I have four brothers and a remarkable mom and dad!
Founder & CEO — Shipshape Solutions, Inc.
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