Tyler Willis is the founder of Customer Science, which established a new branch of artificial intelligence based on unsupervised machine learning techniques. Customer Science uses this new branch, Unsupervised AI, to help the world's biggest companies analyze and understand what drives their customer's behavior.
Prior to founding Customer Science, he served as the CMO of Hired.com, a career marketplace that has raised over $100 Million to help talented people find jobs they love. He previously served in marketing, partnerships, and M&A executive roles at several top performing startups. Additionally, he's an angel investor in technology companies like Lyft, Classpass, and Patreon.
He also serves on the Board of Directors for several cause oriented companies and non-profits: Acre Designs (energy-efficient housing), the Rare Cancer Research Foundation (cancer research), The Turing School of Software and Design (education and economic empowerment), and ZeroGap (gender and racial equality).
Willis started his career as one of the first employees at several successful startups. was a member of the founding team (joined pre-product) of both Unified and Involver. At Unified, a successful privately-held data management company, Willis was one of the first hires and served as Vice President of Business and Corporate Development. At Involver, the largest social marketing platform, Willis was the first business hire and served as Director of Marketing and head of Brand Strategy. He oversaw all growth activity, and the company grew to well over two million customers before being acquired by Oracle in 2012. During this time, Tyler also served as a growth advisor to BranchOut (which grew to over twenty-five million users before being acquired by Hearst).
Willis also co-founded two non-profits. The first, Nomadic Mentors, evens the playing field for international entrepreneurs and has worked with over 10,000 founders globally to date. The second, ZeroGap, aims to even the the gender and racial gaps in our society.
As an angel investor, Willis backs technology companies with either deep technical achievement or a novel sociological insight. He has invested in seed-stage companies that have gone on to raise significant additional investment from Khosla Ventures, Index Ventures, Founders Fund, Kleiner Perkins and others. Select investments include Patreon (helped creators earn over $100M), Lyft (did $700M in revenue in 2016), and Classpass (over 20 million fitness classes booked).
Willis is an occasional author and public speaker. He has given well-received talks at companies and conferences across the world, including Microsoft, Oracle, MIT, South by Southwest, and the American Marketing Association. His presentations on innovation, entrepreneurship, and marketing, have been described as “very insightful and educational with an excellent ability to balance trends, techniques and strategies with concrete advice and real-life examples.”
Selected Press, Speaking Engagements and Awards:
- Bloomberg Markets, Tech Billionaire Made in France Seeds Paris Entrepreneur
- Sole24Ore, Interview on International Investing in Silicon Valley [in italian]
- VentureBeat, An Angel Investor’s Ultimate Guide to AngelList Syndicates
- MIT Tech Conference (Boston, MA)
- Seattle Interactive Conference (Seattle, WA)
- South By Southwest (Austin, TX)
- Microsoft Webcamp (Mountain View, CA)
- American Marketing Association (Chicago, IL)
- Facebook Studio, 2012 Bronze Award
(awarded on behalf of work done for EVB and Skittles)
- Stanford University, Certificate of Recognition
(awarded from the Persuasive Technology Lab)
- OMMA, 2008 Best Integrated Marketing Campaign
(awarded on behalf of work done for Serena Software)
- Society for New Community Research, Award of Excellence
(awarded on behalf of work done for PUMA)