Techstars alum innerlogic, which is developing a software and AI suite to automate employee feedback for enterprise clients, has closed a $1.3 million funding round to support product and business development.

Founders Bryce Tully and Mike Bawol were inspired to launch the Halifax-based company after working for Canada’s Olympic team, Tully as a mental performance consultant and Bawol as a data analyst. Their software is designed to replace cumbersome employee surveys with the more nuanced conversations with staff that are now possible thanks to AI, and then analyze the results for deeper insights about an organization’s culture.

The funding round was led by Halifax-based Concrete Ventures, with Tidal Venture Partners, blue chip American accelerator Techstars and Toronto-based Middle Cove Capital also joining. Innerlogic was part of the Spring 2024 cohort of Techstars Boston, which held its demo day May 30.

“I think the primary value proposition here is that organizations actually don’t have the time to have such personalized conversations and to understand everybody at that deep level,” said CEO Tully in an interview. “The big return on investment on this phase of our product is scalability of personalized conversation. We’re replacing meetings.”

Tully and Bawol both worked for Team Canada from 2012 to 2021, turning their focus to innerlogic full time in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics. Own the Podium, the federal agency that funds the Olympic bids of Canadian athletes, became their first customer the following year.

Today, they have 40 clients, split about evenly between sports teams and businesses. Tully said they used sports teams as their beachhead market because of their familiarity with the space, but are focused mostly on businesses with between 500 and 5,000 employees.

“We don’t want to skip steps on the journey — we want to learn to scale our technology properly, incrementally — but obviously the broader vision is that this solves a much greater problem the bigger the company is,” said Tully.

When a user begins interacting with innerlogic, they answer a battery of questions designed to build a profile of them and the pain points they encounter at work. Then, the AI has a conversation with the person, asking follow-up questions and refining its understanding of their feedback, such as by asking for specific examples.

“The main thing is to recognize unhelpful, non-action-oriented comments and nudge people and convert those comments into a more production, solution-focused recommendation that the person has for the business,” said Tully.

The employer receives a customized report with suggested actions to take, with actual research cited to back the recommendations and all illustrated with visualizations of the data.

“This is really meant to hyper-accelerate and replace a very time-consuming, expensive process, all while getting to higher-quality feedback,” Tully added. “It’s all anonymous, so it’s in some ways better than talking to your boss, because you’re not creating any pathways of judgment, resentment or worry.”

So far, innerlogic has eight full-time employees, with the head of product and head of sales having joined recently. The company is also working with a fractional marketing firm based in Nova Scotia.

“Our two main focuses with the funds are on go-to-market strategy and on product,” Tully said. “We’ll be heavily focused on elevating our AI capacities … and honing in on our messaging, elevating our digital footprint overall, and learning how to speak the language of our clients.”