The team started dabbling with automation — tapping into the social media content its users had curated over the years to understand the DNA of breaking news content on social media networks (keywords, location descriptors i.e. #yeg), slang and unique ways eyewitness describe a major event). SAM’s database is the largest data set of verified user generated content — giving them a unique vantage point of understanding how news events take shape in real-time.
Launching a breaking news alert tool has opened market opportunities beyond news and journalism, says Neufeld. SAM now works with security teams, emergency responders, banks, analysts, NGOs and other entities that depend on the delivery of fast, accurate data. (SAM typically detects events an hour before major media.)
With the launch of the new product, SAM has been rapidly growing its footprint within the U.K. The international office serves as the base for SAM’s sales and data teams, while Edmonton purposefully remains the startup’s technical hub.
“The University of Alberta and the startup community, led by organizations like Startup Edmonton, is producing fantastic talent that we definitely take full advantage of,” Neufeld says. “It’s extremely competitive globally to find good AI and engineering talent. There aren’t that many cities in the world you can go to that deliver what Edmonton can.”