With its digital product being beta-tested by two companies, the troika that heads St. John’s-based Creatros Technologies is turning its attention to its first fundraising effort and a full launch in 2021.

The company came together three year ago at Memorial University and set out to solve a problem that plagues many teams of programmers – understanding the skillsets of all the team members. It’s common that a development team of 25 or more individuals has a range of capabilities, and it can take time to find the right person for the right task.

The Creatros solution lays over commonly used project management tools like Jira, and instantly helps team leaders understand who on the team can do what. It means the leader can quickly find someone for a specific task.

“We want to change the way people do software management, to incorporate the human skills into the project management,” said CTO Monjur Ul-Hasan during an interview in Halifax last week. “Projects in the software space are now managed the same way as civil engineering, but software is different and human skill is the main factor. … What we are focusing on is a change of behaviour, which is not so easy.”

An experienced software developer, Ul-Hasan understands the challenges development teams face in finding people quickly who can fulfil specific jobs. At Memorial, he teamed up with Arif Shaikh (now the CEO) and Ashley Sullivan (COO) who brought a range of business development talents to the team.

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The product helps developers speed up their work and avoid cost over-runs. Sullivan added that Creatros can also help teams to asses their overall capabilities and identify the talents they’re missing. That means they can look for people with specific qualifications in their next hire or train staff in the needed skillsets.

Creatros now has an initial product, which works along with established project management software, such as Jira. It keeps track of which team members have been assigned specific tasks in the past and uses artificial intelligence to sift through the data and understand what team members have what skills.

The product is now being tested by two companies – Shaikh and his collaborators won’t name the companies, but said they are both based in Halifax. In the coming year, they will finish the beta test and hope to pick up some paying customers. As the company moves forward, the founders intend to upgrade the product so it can operate independent of other software, and foresee a full launch in 2021. Eventually, the product could be used for teams in other disciplines, such as civil engineering.

Creatros recently joined the flagship Enterprise program at Genesis, the St. John’s startup hub, and is now going through the Creative Destruction Lab-Atlantic 2019-2020 cohort.

The founders so far have bootstrapped, but are now beginning to work on a funding round – something they will work on as they proceed through the CDL program. Shaikh said their target for their first round will be about $750,000.

Ul-Hasan said there is now no real competitor for Creatros in the market because no other similar solution uses AI in this way to manage a tech team.

He said: “A solution with the human factor included in project management software doesn’t exist. Jira is the biggest one but we do it differently, we are complementing them.”