MarTech360 Interview With Sean Austin, Chief Executive Officer At Markets EQ

Authenticity is more meaningful than ever. I have tried and failed, with so many initiatives that seem to check the box. I now aim to foster meaningful connections and deliver meaningful value for my brands.

As a Co-founder & CEO of multiple AI companies like Helios Life Enterprises and Markets EQ, what pivotal experiences and personal passions have shaped your journey into pioneering innovations at the intersection of audio science, machine learning, and product development?

The most impactful moment of my early career was seeing firsthand the power of fusing human curation and expertise with the emerging world of AI at Spotify. Since this was their first acquisition, I was lucky enough to really dive head-first into this enormous domain over a decade ago.

Sean, can you tell us about your professional background and your current role at Markets EQ. Also tell us how does Markets EQ differentiate itself from other companies in the same space?

I’ve been growing my product background since my freshman year in college, when I launched an app that garnered millions of downloads on Android. I’ve always had the vision to build world-leading products, and that’s done by being at the helm of a company as CEO. At Markets EQ, I’m our co-founder and CEO, pushing the boundaries of how next-generation AI can improve us all as communicators. From sales to investor relations calls, we all can improve with this supercharged communication AI. We uniquely fuse voice tones and emotions with the exploding world of large language models.

How does Markets EQ’s innovative AI-generated scorecard, EQ MarketScore, revolutionize traditional corporate communication training by integrating voice tone analysis and language intricacy assessment, and what potential impact might it have on spokesperson effectiveness in various communication contexts?

We all want to be better in our day-to-day, but it is a luxury to have a team of consultants or coaches. We’ve taken the best of voice tone and language analysis so you can improve on every single communication that matters. This personalized experience lets you unleash your capabilities like never before.

What key factors should companies prioritize when transitioning from curiosity about Generative AI to its practical integration within their operations, while navigating challenges such as skill development, partnership cultivation, and strategic cost assessment?

This technology and the products derived from it will only increase in capabilities. You need to fully embrace your domain-specific GenAI tools to unlock the best version of yourself.

How does Artificial Intelligence leverage voice tone analysis to enhance communication, and what role does voice tone play in conveying emotions, intentions, and attitudes in interactions with technology?

38% of a message, on average, is our voice tone. Think about if you lived life only through text messages! We created emojis as a way to convey body language via text imagery, and as human beings need the audio component since we’ve been using those biological skills since day 1. We can detect confidence, uncertainty, and a whole lot more by truly listening to what is said.

In an era where consumer preferences and trends shift rapidly, how can marketing professionals ensure their communication strategies remain relevant and resonate with target audiences amidst changing demographics and cultural dynamics?

We’re seeing now in this hyper-connected world just how quickly technology advances us. We need to always stay on top of practical, efficient, and useful ways to understand our core target audiences. With Markets EQ, we think about the speaker but also the audience every single day. Communication is only as impactful as the audience who listens.

Can you share a pivotal moment or lesson from your career that has shaped your approach as a leader, and also how do you maintain a work-life balance, especially in a demanding role like CEO?

The word ‘pivot’ is used all the time in the startup world, and I “luckily” got to experience it firsthand as an 18-year-old with only collegiate sports aspirations. A torn ACL in the New York State semi-final football championship game forced a pivot in my life which I never have forgotten. Staying nimble, humble, and grateful for each day we’re given helps motivate me every morning. We want to harness the potential of everyone and unlock that especially through communications.

What advice do you have for other leaders who are looking to drive growth for their brand?

Authenticity is more meaningful than ever. I have tried and failed, with so many initiatives that seem to check the box. I now aim to foster meaningful connections and deliver meaningful value for my brands. In a world that is full of noise and so much information, this continues to prove a successful strategy.

What is the biggest problem you or your team is solving this year?

As an early-stage start-up, how do you unseat the incumbents of the space? Bloomberg and S&P Global sell billions of dollars of intelligence products a year in our exact domain. Luckily, I remember the words from Daniel Ek over a decade ago at Spotify when we’d do all hands in Sweden. “We’re going after the final boss, Apple, who dominates music. Let’s keep going and focus on the end goal.” Well, Spotify did it and overthrew the giants of Apple, Amazon, and Google. Pretty motivating.

Is there anything that you’re currently reading, or any favorite books, that you’d Recommend?

The Creative Act by Rick Rubin. Rick is a legendary producer and the only one I resonate with who distills everything to the pure essence. It’s an incredible read, and you can even pick it up, open up any page, and leave better off. That’s the impact and vision for what we do with our product. One minute or one hour, you’ll leave better off.

Sean Austin is currently co-founder of multiple AI companies, including Helios Life Enterprises Markets EQ. Sean brings over 15 years of experience pioneering innovations at the intersection of audio science, machine learning, and product development. As CEO and mastermind behind Markets EQ, Sean is leading the charge to transform financial analysis through conversational artificial intelligence. As a second-generation American, he has seen the power of conversational understanding across culture and language from an early age. Incorporating those nuances into daily life and combining them with his love for music were all the ingredients needed for an AI-born entrepreneur. He has been on a mission to build technology that intimately connects human and machine intelligence. During his undergraduate career at Rensselaer, Sean co-founded an audio biometrics startup, was part of Spotify’s first acquisition in 2010 (Tunigo) to create influential consumer programming, led core machine learning initiatives at Klarna in Stockholm, and only a few years ago served as CPO at aptihealth; growing the company to over $100 million in enterprise value. He has led Helios to become a category-defining company with Wall Street quant hedge funds and now goes one step further into the new field of generative AI. With Markets EQ, he is merging his lifelong passions for entrepreneurship, audio technology, and machine learning to provide financial professionals with the strategic advantages of understanding leader communications. Guided by Sean’s vision, Markets EQ is pioneering the future of financial decision-making.

Markets EQ is the only GenAI solution providing competitive tonal analysis, previously unavailable awareness and understanding to investor relations, finance and communications professionals.

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